Wednesday, September 28, 2011

before I had friends


A few weeks back I stumbled upon these two articles about your favorite books as a kid. Oh man, don’t they bring back memories?
My earliest memory about reading is from first grade. Right away, I LOVED it. I reading everyday in school and every night at home. Mom would take the three of us to different libraries to check out as many books as we could. This was before the Leawood Library had been built, so we'd have to go way down to the one on Mission Rd, or the one near Oak Park Mall. I remember staying up way past bedtime to sneak in a few more minutes of reading. Remember summer reading? Once it was built, the Johnson County Library would incentivize kids to read more by giving us tokens to use to buy books at the end of summer used book sale. It was SO. COOL.

I don’t remember specifically when I stopped reading so much, but I’m sure it’s related to computer games, and then the internet, and then play practice/socializing… but I still have such fond memories of how I spent nearly every night of elementary school.

With these girls:

Ramona Quimby
These were one of the first chapter books I read. I wish I’d done more research on Portland before we went, because it wasn’t until my aunt told me that Beverly Clearly grew up there that I discovered the park and the Ramona statue.
Me and (slightly terrifying) Ramona

Laura Ingalls Wilder
I know I wasn’t the only kid who used to play “Little House on the Prairie." The space under our back deck made a perfect log cabin.

The Boxcar Children
One time I was playing “Boxcar Children” in the woods behind our friends-of-the-family’s house in St. Louis (I was Jessie, obviously). We got so deep in the forest and completely lost track of time. The family had just moved to St. Louis and was unfamiliar with their neighborhood. Thus, we didn’t know how to get home… It was bad, but eventually, a neighbor lady found us and drove us back to their house. Needless to say, my mom was furious.

Karen Brewer
My mom wouldn’t let me read the Baby Sitter’s Club books. Looking back… that explains a whole lot about my popularity level as a middle schooler. Siiigh. Anyways, I’d read the BSC Little Sister books in like, a day. After awhile I started skipping the whole first chapter. It’s the same thing in every book! My name is Karen… my parents are divorced… I have two bikes… two pairs of glasses (one pink and one blue)… etc. etc. Once I had friends, we totally made our own BSC. That never babysat anybody… but we had meetings, and a folder!

The American Girls
The library rarely had these ones, and they were too short and cost too much money to buy from the store. But I loved them. And catalogue, and the dolls. I had Kirsten and Addy. Figures. I loved these dolls so much. And it’s unbelievable how much that industry has grown!

I’m sure there are more that have slipped through the cracks in my memory… and next time I’m back in KC I’ll have to take a look at my bookshelf to see what else I’ve kept over the years. Hm… that makes me think about my favorite toys too. I KNOW my mom kept all of our most favorite stuff. But… that’s for another post, perhaps.
ahh, nostalgia.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I couldn't read Babysitter's Club either! We could have been so popular if it weren't for those darn parents. My velvet overalls totally would have caught on.