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Wednesday, January 26, 2022  

A Walk Down Memory LanePublished 9/2/2008

Living in Oklahoma City for the last, uh, fifty something years, I can honestly say that friends are a big part of my life. I still stay in contact with many of the friends that I grew up with and I have known many since kindergarten.

It was moving day and my twin brother and I sat on the curb as furniture and boxes were moved into our house. We were five year olds. It was a few minutes later, we saw a boy walking towards us. His name was Mike and he was eight years old. He told us that he lived in the house across the street. We soon found out that there were many children in the neighborhood and they were all about our age.

It didn’t take long before we all became good friends. I have fond memories of my childhood. It was the summer nights that seem to stand out the most. A gentle breeze would blow across our faces as we lay on the grass. We traced animal shapes with our fingers, outlining the clouds. We made wishes upon stars, found the big dipper numerous times and even saw UFO’s. (Mike, you were very convincing!)

The summer days started early as we met under the big shade tree. Mike was the oldest so we considered him the leader of the pack. There were fun-filled days as we played hide-and-seek, hiding in the sugar canes that were oh, so tall. Our giggle boxes were turned on and never seemed to stop.

Most of our time was spent at the school playground. We would swing high and higher, as our feet seemed to touch the sky. There were many trees to climb as we found the ones with the strongest and biggest tree branches as we rested our little bodies for a spell. I wonder sometimes - how did we climb so many trees barefooted?

It was a group effort as we collected used coke bottles, putting them in big brown paper sacks. We loaded our little red wagon, pulling it to the ‘little store’ that was on the other side of the schoolhouse. With each bump in the sidewalk or pieces of gravel that we ran across, we heard the clickety-click of the bottles hitting against each other. Getting two cents for each empty bottle, we stood at the candy counter for what seemed an eternity, choosing just the right candy. We would head back home with a bag full of penny candy.

Not a care in the world, we enjoyed each other’s company. Little did we know that this was the beginning of a long and lasting friendship.

This last week, one of my dear friends, Mike, the boy that introduced himself to my brother and me was in town, visiting from Virginia. We got together at our old meeting place, Fillmore Elementary School. Oh, the memories!

We stood at the front of the schoolhouse as though wanting to freeze the moment in time. Memories came back as the two of us stood in the same spot where we had been almost fifty years ago. As I looked across the playground, it was as though I heard the laughter of my friends, "Time for hide-and-seek." I saw pictured in my mind everyone scampering in different directions.

The two of us walked all the way around the schoolhouse. We peeked in windows and recalled which teachers we had. "Mrs. Kuhn was my first grade teacher," Mike said. "Hey, mine too," I answered back with a grin.

The school building was blemished with peeling paint and numerous flaws from so much use over the years, but the memories were alive.

To my special friend, Mike, thanks for walking down memory lane and allowing us to share the love and laughter that was built so long ago. Oh, the beauty of friendship!


Vickie Jenkins is a medical assistant. She is an author/publisher of a children’s book, The Mulberry Gang and has had numerous articles published in newspapers, magazines and books of compiled stories

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