A couple of weeks ago when it was snowing so hard, it brought back memories of a day 75 years ago. I lived on Maumee Avenue close to Memorial Park, and on this particular day it was snowing so hard – as if God had torn open down pillows and dumped them out.
This was the Great Depression era, and my folks couldn’t’ afford to buy my sister and me a sled, so my dad, who was a great carpenter, made us one. It was the sturdiest sled you could imagine. The only thing was you couldn’t guide it. Once you started down a hill, you never knew where you would end.
Memorial Park in those days had some nice hills that were great for sledding, so my sister, Lucile, and our neighborhood friends, Rita, Pat and Mike, took advantage of that beautiful snowy day. We would pile on this wonderful homemade sled three and four deep and take off down the hills. If we by chance hit an unseen obstacle, we would all go flying off the sled laughing like hyenas as we were thrown into the snow.
By the time we all trudged for home near supper time it had snowed six to eight inches and our snow gear was packed with frozen snow.
I can also remember the grotto at the park that had a waterfall and ponds that had fish and tadpoles in it during the summer.
I wonder if kids today with their computers, iPods and other digital contraptions ever take advantage of these simple pleasures? If they don’t, my what they are missing!
When we moved away from Maumee Avenue, we were old enough that at the time it didn’t matter to we girls, so we left the sled. I have often in my old age wondered what happened to that wonderful sled my dad had made. I am sure it would be as sturdy today as it was 75 years ago.
Joan R. Altevogt