Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Flashback to Happy Days

This morning Walker brought down some old newspaper clippings he had found and as I was tucking them away in the box that holds my treasured memories, The Yellowstone Cub newspaper caught my eye. As I browsed through it I was reminded of one of the happiest summers of my life.

It was the summer I stayed up all night for the first time in my life and saw the sun rise over Old Faithful with some guy I no longer remember the name of. It was the summer my roomie, Marilyn Coon, and I hitch hiked over a thousand miles through Yellowstone, generally about 100 miles each time we had a day off, which was once a week. It was the summer I worked as a maid, waitress, and part time ironer (for 10cents per shirt) to make ends meet on the starvation wages we were paid.

I did not starve. In fact, they fed us entirely so well that when I arrived home, Mama commented, “You’ve gotten a little hippy while you’ve been gone.” I had discovered the yumminesss of Boysenberry Pie with full fat vanilla ice cream, sundaes with Marshmallow whip and chocolate fudge, and the joy of the restaurant cooks presenting me with a delicious meal every single night and a bagged sandwich for taking along on my adventures on my day off. Those Yankees used butter on their ham sandwiches, which was foreign food to me, but I got used to it.

The memory of trudging through the snow with a huge wooden cart loaded with linens into the never really clean Camper’s Cabins and smelling the remains of the wood from the stoves in the cabins comes back to me now and then. Every once in a while I’ll hear some old folk song like “This Land is Your Land” or “Blowin’ in the Wind” and sing along at the top of my voice and remember what it was like that summer. When I heard that Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary had died yesterday, I was reminded of a summer of enthusiasm for what I was doing.

I found friends from all over the United States that summer, and kept up with a few of them for a very long time. I lost track of most of my favorites, including Marilyn, though. She went back to Stanford, and I went home to marry Walker.

My friend, Kitty Nunn, brought her Western boyfriend back home to Alabama and they reared their family there. I wonder whether she and Brian ever realized that that summer would lead to a lifetime together. I don’t think I did.

I hope I manage to find time for the things that are fun more often and remember that someday these will be the good old days too. Walker would love to drive out West, and I’m at least considering it.


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