Friday, November 8, 2013
Growing up in Robbins
Dear sweet Robbins has been on my mind today. There was no finer place to be in the 1950's than in the little town of Robbins, NC!
Oh, how I loved the house we lived in next to the ball park. And the people who lived near us; not only on our block, but in all the houses across the sidewalks from around our block.
On our right was Dr. and Mrs. Alexander and their daughter Becky. Dr. Alexander was the dentist in Robbins. His office was in one of the old buildings downtown...up stairs. I clearly remember that office with the pale green and yellow equipment...the porcelain bowl with water running in to wash away the spit and blood as it swirled around. Really scary stuff! Mrs. Patrick was his nurse. Her job was to hold you down in the chair so you couldn't move. At least that's what I thought was her job. Horrors! I can remember screaming from the time we walked in until I was safe, back in the car with mama. Mama used to say she could hear us screaming...and she had gone to wait in the car, hoping not to hear us screaming. The pain was not as bad as the fear we had. I had heard it said that Dr. Alexander was an old Army dentist! I assumed that was something to fear!
In this picture I am holding my baby brother Randall, and my little friend is Becky...the dentist's daughter. I was having a birthday party for my Saucy Walker doll. I babysat Becky once in a while when her parents went out. Of course, our houses were very close together. I'm sure mama was looking out for the both of us. One year for my birthday Mrs. Alexander bought me a special gift. Becky came running over to tell me so. She said she could not tell me what the gift was, but she said, "it runs, you wear it on your arm and it has Cinderella on it".
Across the street there were small white houses...one after the other all around the block. My very best friend Becky Brown lived in one of those houses.
There were so many kids our ages, and we all walked the sidewalks to school, and back home every day. The Steeds, the Gilmores, the Kennedys, the Freemans, and the Patricks, to name just a few.
The Steeds had three children, Jimmy, Billy, and Jane. Jimmy and I were in the same grade. When I think of Jimmy, I remember the time he took my fudgesicle from me and slapped my face with it...I liked Jimmy! :) It was Mrs. Steed who made my beautiful red gown to wear in the piano recital. That would be the recital where I walked onto the stage, sat down at the piano, and did not know the first key to hit. I didn't know we actually had to play a piece in front of the audience. My excitement was over wearing the red dress.
The Freemans had two daughters, Peggy and Carolyn. They had a pet rooster they had raised from a colored Easter biddie (chick). I was afraid to walk completely around the block because, if that rooster saw you, he would chase you. I was as scared of that rooster as I was a German Shepherd dog!
The Gilmores had a son my age named Ronnie...Ronnie looked like Wally, from "Leave it to Beaver". He was soooo cute! All the girls liked him. I had a party when I turned 13 and all those cute boys came. Ronnie gave me a cedar jewelry chest. We played spin the bottle and I got to walk around the block with Larry Kennedy. Thank goodness roosters don't come out at night!
At the very top of the hill in a nice big house lived Doctor Vanore. It was in maybe 1950 or 1951 that I became sick. Dr. Vanore thought it might be Polio. He came to the house every day to check on me. I remember him having me get out of bed and walk around the room. Turned out not to be Polio and I got well, thankfully. Anytime Dr. Vanore gave you a shot, he also gave you a slip of paper to get a free ice cream soda at the drug store downtown. My, have times changed!
Shelby and I are planning a day together soon. Our plan is to drive to Robbins and look for all these places we remember. No doubt, everything has changed, but I really want to go back. We may even park and walk on the old sidewalks...if still there.
Thank you for listening. I could probably write a book about growing up in the 1950's in Robbins...my favorite subject!