5.31.2015

Sibling Assignment #164: Back in the Hood

I gave the sibling assignment this week. "Since I will be moving back to the old neighborhood soon here is the assignment: "Share a memory of  hanging out with people from the 'hood during childhood . "

As of July 1st. I will return to living in the neighborhood I grew up in since I was in second grade. There are three big blocks of houses that were always called  "the Bunker houses". They were build in the late 50s and there are are six floor plans for the neighborhood. It is interesting to now drive around and see how the original houses have changed in color and style in sixty years. The house I am moving into is next door to my childhood home which my mother still resides.. 514 W. Cameron has had four owners in that sixty years, I am to become the fifth. 

There are so many memories surrounding the neighborhood growing up. One thing that comes to mind today is Halloween. It was an event shared with glee with all the kids in the neighborhood. Whether it was the Morgans, Absecs, Faracas, Kenyons, Longs, Saaris, Cralls, Higbees, Whites, Reeds, Rinaldis, Chapmans, Cummings, or the Dorendorfs, all would agree that trick or treating in our neighborhood was like the Mother Lode. Each year we could recite who would give us big Hershey's bars, homemade popcorn balls, giant Butterfingers, Snickers, Big Hunks, or Milky Way bars. It was safe. No razor blades in the candy in our neighborhood. The sidewalks were packed with children dressed up and parents following along with the little ones  just in case. It was fun, it was tradition, it was a bit magical in those days. 

By the time we would get home, our bags were very full.  No tricks at the houses in our neighborhood. We also wondered if grumpy J. Hanson would drop us an apple or something nutritious, but even his wife pulled through. 

What I loved about this memory was the community feeling surrounding our neighborhood. At that time we never thought anything of it. That was how Halloween was. Now... I am eager to see in October if I can continue the tradition. Mom still has her huge bowl of candy bars and doesn't give out as much, but the tradition is alive and well. Perhaps I should learn how to make Halloween popcorn balls.

This was the only image above that could have been Halloween. Sister Carol is front and center. The other two siblings are on the sides. I can't explain our costumes. That was the other nice part about Halloween back in the day. We didn't buy costumes. We were creative about what we wore. That was part of the fun.

5.17.2015

Sibling Assignment #163: A Room With a View

Since Carol is taking an online photography class, let's do an exercise together.  

1.  Read this article:  here
2.  Make yourself pause, look, and see and create a well-composed picture following the instruction of Bobby Baker.  In other words, keep the picture simple.  
3.  Write a paragraph about your experience doing this. 
When my two siblings have posted theirs, I will link them.


I really loved the article brother Bill had us read for this assignment. During a hectic time of preparing for a moving sale, packing, teaching, and house showing this exercise caused me to take a deep breath and just see a room in my house from a simple perspective.

The room we like to call The Annie Room once was a breezeway connecting the main house to the extra bedroom and garage. Everett decided to enclose it to make a room that was filled with light, music, and heat in the winter. Our dog Annie loves this room, thus the name. One goal we had with this house was to grow ivy that covered the wall outside The Annie Room. As you can see from the picture, we accomplished this.

About this photo... I love the way the ivy glows in the morning sun. The door provides light and a view of our favorite climbing rose. What struck me the most was the beautiful combination of colors and how the green, yellow, brown all complement each other.  The dash of eggplant purple catches the eye on the pillow. 

I look forward to creating another Annie Room in our new dwelling.

5.03.2015

Sibling Assignment #162: Creating Emmy Lou

Sister Carol gave the assignment this week: " Think back to something that happened when you were a student at Sunnyside Elementary, and why you think that incident has stuck in your memory after all of these years.". You can fine hers here and brother Bill's here soon.

I could write twenty sibling assignments on this topic, but today I will focus on art. Down in the basement at Sunnyside School is where the lunchroom was located. The smells from the homemade cooking rose up the steps and down the halls every morning. Those smells included homemake bread, cinnamon rolls, baked chicken, and other delicious meals the cooks were preparing.

 We had assigned seats in the lunchroom and we had to eat quietly. If we drank our milk too fast some teachers would put it in the window sill so could have it at the end of meal...I guess they didn't want us to get full on milk. If we didn't sit up straight one teacher came along and told us we would be hunchbacks or old ladies or something to that effect. If we hated something like peas, teachers made us eat the number of our age. If you were nine, you ate nine peas.. 

What I remember most about the lunchroom was the artwork. Each month a teacher was chosen to display student artwork on the walls. The best artwork done by the students was posted. I loved studying that student artwork while I sat up straight, didn't drink my milk too fast, and ate at least nine peas. I always wanted mine on display. The art project that always stuck in my mind was the project Mrs. Tregoning, the sixth grade teacher displayed. She had students create comic strip characters using drawing and watercolor. I was always intrigued by that project each year. Popeye, Olive Oyl, Lulu, and Charlie Brown looked so real. I wanted to try that project. 

I did get Mrs. Tregoning as a sixth grade teacher. I couldn't wait for the time we did that project. She had examples of all different comic characters for us to study. She demonstrated how to sketch them, then how to use watercolors with thin brushes, less water, and precision to create the character. 

I chose Emmy Lou because she drew me in. Now that I have researched her a bit more, I understand. She represented teenage angst at that time, before I knew what angst was. Her comic strip spoke to me. Her character was perfect for me to create. I will have to dig through my archives and Mom's archives to see if I still that piece of art. I just remember her long skinny legs, her determined stance, and her spunk.

During my sixth grade year I began to fell that I had artistic  talent.  I did this watercolor picture, I won a prize in an art contest doing pencil shading still life, I learned to appreciate reciting poetry, loved picture study, and other creative activites we did.  After thirty seven years of teaching, I still want my students to capture that same feeling as we do creative activities. Maybe we should do cartoon characters this week after six hours of required testing.


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