Saturday, August 6, 2011

Memory Lane

Memories have been floating around Facebook today about growing up in Reno, Nevada during the 1960s and 1970s.  It has been fun to share good times with others who remember those days with fondness.

Every summer the fire department would open up the fire hydrants to clean the sediment out, and they would let the neighborhood kids play in the water which came out with great force.  It was always the high point of the summer.  They don't do that anymore--probably their liability insurance won't cover it.  I remember talking with the fire fighters and thinking they were the best!

We lived on Ives Avenue, the last street before Peavine Mountain.  There was a dam on the mountain to prevent flash floods from taking out the neighborhood.  (They have now built homes above the dam--go figure.)  Dad took me up on the dam to give me driving practice.

Rancho San Raphael had fences that were not repaired often enough.  Frequently, we discovered cattle stomping down the grass in the neighborhood.  Dad was able to train the neighborhood dogs to cross the street when they came to our house to avoid his BB gun through the front window, but he never was able to train the cattle and the jack rabbits from playing in his rock garden.

In the summertime, it was necessary to always look carefully before sitting on the chaise lounge on the patio, because you never knew when a rattlesnake would be curled up in it sunbathing.

Snow storms and icicles were lovely to watch.  I used to hope for snow on my birthday, December 16th.  I was never very good at sledding.  Ives Avenue was quite a hill, almost straight up and down, and the fence at the bottom was barbed wire (the only part of Rancho San Raphael's fence that ever stayed in tact).  I don't know how many times I put a sled into that barbed wire fence, but every year it was the same old thing!

Near my elementary school was a neighborhood park with a pond.  It was called Lake Park.  People who owned the homes around Lake Park would always decorate their homes with lots of Christmas lights that would reflect on the pond.  There was one home that played Christmas music outside.  It was magical to a kid.

Driving in downtown Reno was far worse than driving in San Francisco.  In Reno, you had to dodge drunks from the clubs.  Driving down Virginia Street was a real experience for a teenager.

Reno High School has a study hall in the basement (Room 4, the dungeon).  It had the old school desks with the ink wells (which we didn't use since the ball point pen had been invented).  If you so much as dropped a piece of paper, it echoed like a Mack truck had hit the ground.

Tony's Deli on First Street and Virginia Street was the best!  Roast beef or turkey on sour dough bread, with a big pickle right out of the pickle barrel.  At noon people would line up for two blocks to get into Tony's.  When I was 18, I worked at Breuner's Furniture, which was very near Tony's, so I spent a good deal of time standing in that line--but it was always worth it!

Since we lived at the base of Peavine Mountain, evenings were filled with cricket chirps, and mornings with meadow lark song.  If I close my eyes in a quiet room, I can still hear it in my mind.  It blows me away that the Reno LDS Temple now stands on Peavine where we used to play.

Those were such wonderful days in a much simpler time.

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