Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"The Boxcar Children" - of Texas

The Box-Car Children, based on the writings of Gertrude C. Warner,  was absolutely my favorite book as a child around eight to ten years of age. It shaped my way of thinking in so many ways that as I think back on it now I wonder what might have been had I not read this wonderful series. Of course, the books I read were the "re-write" of the popular childrens' books. I never actually thought to look for the books as an adult. One day as I was checking out of a store I saw a stack of The Box-Car Children books for sale. The art work was updated. My first inclination was to snatch up the books and take them home, but then I thought.. no, I loved the way I remembered the series. A group of parent-less children living in an abandoned box car with the oldest child in charge. That was about all that I remembered. Not much to go on, but then, being the oldest child in our family I took my position seriously.

The older sister of a neighbor friend of mine also took her position seriously. She would gather about five or six of us together, load up a little red wagon with snacks, sandwiches, mason jars of ice water (I remember now that I wrote about this a couple of years ago!) and off we would go for the day to the park that was probably about a 15 minute walk from our neighborhood. There was a cluster of trees that had two trunks that appeared to have grown together... it made the perfect "couch". We swept the ground removing leaves, twigs, pebbles and we drew our houses in the sand . Now I pause here in my bestest childhood memory to guide you to *White Spray Paint, entry August 4, 2011, where my dear friend and neighbor, Laura, recalls a childhood memory just as dear to her. Back to the park: We placed little rocks on our lines, leaving an opening for the front door. At this point we were a blend of "The Box-Car Children" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" and all their young brood. We even had names such as "Archibald" and "Sissy". We were in the land of make-believe for hours. This escapade would occur probably every two weeks or so. We never, ever tired of this game. It's such a precious memory for me and Laura triggered those memories when she wrote about her cousins. Please be sure to visit her blog and enjoy what she has written.

Some of the girls in this picture were privileged to make the trip to the park with us. That is me in the back with the hat and the "beard" made of burned cork. ... which inspired my interest in theater makeup... but that is a story for another day!

* White Spray Paint