I have fond memories of my childhood years. But it
also makes me a little sad when I think back because
times have changed so much and so quickly. Although I am
not that old it seems like I grew up a hundred years
ago. It's been said that people waste time dreaming
about yesterday; but there is a piece of me that remains
I remember the day we moved into our
house in Northeast Minneapolis and how it seemed so
strange to me. so unknown; an old house that smelled of
wooden floors and linoleum. There were freshly planted
little trees and railroad tracks in the field across the
street. We were near the Mississippi River. with a park
that had swings. a slide. monkey-bars and a wading pool.
My brother and I hid in the coal bin and built forts
across the street. My mother cooked great meals of fried
chicken or Sunday roast beef with mashed potatoes and
white cream gravy. peas and carrots and her special
home-made bread that she baked fresh each week.
My brother and I sat cross-legged and wide-eyed on the
living room floor watching the cowboy shows on Saturday
mornings. The neighborhood was alive with a pulse all
its own. We got to know the kids on our block; the
Anderson. Rosti and Dalecki girls with their swing set
in the backyard. I envied them. Mothers screamed out
their front door for their kids to come in for supper.
We sat down together to eat and said Grace. After supper
we ran and played Red Light. Green Light. Statue. King
of the Mountain. catch and bounce the ball. sang songs
and played lots of make believe. We'd leave our windows
and doors wide open during summer nights so we'd get the
cool breezes going through. No one had air-conditioning
in those days.
We sometimes lay down on the
grass to look at the stars. We'd see who could find the
big and little dippers. and of course we'd wish on a
star. The seasons came and went. In the summer we played
marbles. jump rope. and practiced tricks with our
yo-yos. In the winter we made snow angels and skated at
the park. I remember catching raindrops in my mouth and
eating snow and icicles. We had time to dream and to be
together. September brought school and a new excitement.
The thrill of brand-new clothes and school supplies; how
great was that! We piled up leaves and dove into them
and enjoyed the paper sales and ice cream socials. We
went through good times and bad. Went through
friendships new and old. first loves. first heartbreaks.
sock hops and doo-wop music. We danced our hearts out.
traded clothes and our 45s. I'll always remember that
time. Green Stamps to Hot Pants
Like many other baby boomers I have a deep sentimental
yearning to reclaim the memory of days long past. We
were the "Baby Boom Generation" born after the soldiers
had come home from World War II. 1946 to 1962. No matter
how ridiculous or dowdy we looked back then. it was the
way we were. As teenagers we used words like "far out"
and "cool" and "groovy." and some of us became rebels.
protesting the Viet Nam War. cultivating Flower Power.
and adopting the Hippie lifestyle. The music was deep.
powerful and also a little crazy. But it was also a time
of innocence; this is a memoir of the world as I
remember it in the 1950s and 60s.
Northeast is one of the
most storied parts of Minneapolis with its crazy quilt
character. Three well written books entertain a capsule
history of the development of Northeast Minneapolis from
its earliest days through the 1940s and 50s. a time when
everyone knew their neighbors and felt safe on the
streets after dark. Each book features the exploration
of a community through interviews. photos and research
that capture the spirit and soul of the area. The
residents tell the stories of their lives. the
businesses they created. their parks. schools and old
fashioned values. Filled with memories and family names.
Come walk the streets of Northeast and enter the
churches. homes. small stores. and even a shoemaker
is a great non
fiction collection of stories told by the Fabulous
Storyteller Genny Zak Kieley titled "
BaitStore Angel and Other
be sure to get your copy today.
You can order it on line now and be the first
in line when it is released on Aug 5.
What's to come....
addition to her series on Northeast Minneapolis and her
memoirs of the 50's and 60's. Genny has a few more
projects currently in the works.
Sequal to Green Stamps tentatively titled-- More
Green Stamps to Hot Pants
: Growing up in the
50s and 60s
Book of Short Stories called Baitstore Angel and
.Daughter # Five. Fisherman's Wife
A Memoir called A Mother's Journal: Journey Back
to Hope after the death of my son
is a member of the Maple Grove Nightwriters. A group
that is a spin-off of Maureen LaJoy's Center for
Developing Writers that started in 2000.