Time To Tell Our Stories

27 Sep

Maybe it’s my age, or the absence of my parents and the missed opportunity to ask them questions, that motivates me to write down the stories of my youth. Not spending time with my children and grandchildren, makes oral tradition impossible. So blogging it is.

The little house I grew up in. Two parents, five kids and a dog.

My father was a blue collar worker, something you see less and less in our country. He worked in a “machine shop” milling parts for large machinery. Every year the company had an employee picnic. I can’t tell you how much we kids looked forward to the day.

My dad worked hard, but he also loved to play. He loved the beach and swimming.
William, Tomm, and Me holding Michael.

The event was held at Schwaebische Alb, a large restaurant/picnic/event center in Central New Jersey. It was named after a beautiful area of Germany filled with castles, verdant valleys and the mountains of the Black Forest. It was a perfect location for a day of family fun.

Schwaebische Alb Restaurant CLOSED

The picnic was a magical day. We kids were given free reign to play, eat and participate in a myriad of games and activities. There were unlimited hot dogs and hamburgers. Jersey corn on the cob floating in butter was served in the afternoon. I especially loved the troughs of soda on ice as we could have as much as we wanted, unlike at home where soda was off limits. My favorite was root beer.

Late in the day, chests filled with ice cream sandwiches, cones, dreamcicles, and rockets appeared. It was all the variety that was sold in the ice cream truck that came through our neighborhood in the summer, but Mom rarely said yes. We were in heaven.

I think, better than the food and treats were the games. Watching our parents, and sometimes joining them in three-legged races, sack race, egg toss (tossing raw eggs while getting further and further apart) and more. Seeing our parents relax and play was such a treat for us kids.

As manufacturing jobs slowed, my dad went to work in the “office”. His fellow blue collar workers shunned him.

My father worked many years for a company that valued its employees. There was a sense of family and belonging that produced some of my best childhood memories. I’m not one who longs for the “good old days” and I’m not sure why it came floating to the surface this week. Holding onto happy memories gives me hope for our future. Time to tell our stories.


7 Responses to “Time To Tell Our Stories”

  1. Shirley Broussard September 28, 2020 at 8:14 am #

    A lovely idea, Alex! We all have SO many stories to tell. I started a book in last year to tell my sister’s unfortunate story with the medical system that resulted in her death far earlier than should have happened. But alas, her life and mine were so intertwined that it was impossible to tell her story without telling mine… and further without telling our family’s story. And with a family of 8 children (we were #7 and 8), material is unlimited!!! My goal isn’t to publish (but who knows??) but the catharsis of telling the stories. Thank you for the added inspiration of some of your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 September 28, 2020 at 5:34 pm #

      I’ve had the thought of writing a book. I believe this blog is as close as I’ll get. Maybe if I string them together 😂.


  2. Jack Scott September 29, 2020 at 3:37 am #

    Good to keep the memories alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Ellen Heath October 6, 2020 at 5:57 pm #

    Beautiful writing, beautiful pictures and memories. I agree, it is important to tell our stories. The grandkids may appreciate it someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 October 6, 2020 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks ME. I hope they will. People save their history is all sorts of ways.


  4. Garth November 22, 2020 at 9:30 pm #

    just catching up on your blog, have been crazy busy. Your love for your parents shows and nice pics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 November 23, 2020 at 10:58 am #

      My love for my parents has grown with my own appreciation of their experience.


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