Catching Up – Back Where I Came From

I was looking for something to write about and then I came across Fandango’s post from Suzanne McClendon’s September Challenge, which is comprised of 30 questions (one per day) regarding a person’s background and history.  I didn’t want to participate when I first saw this Challenge, because I thought why would anyone have any interest in me, but then after reading my friend’s post it actually seemed kind of harmless.  I actually decided to write this for my own benefit, in case I develop Alzheimer’s disease some day.

Day 1: Were you raised in the town in which you were born? Where were you raised?

No, I was born in Brooklyn and although my family moved around a lot, I consider South Plainfield, NJ to be my home town, as that is where I matured.

Day 2: Were either of your parents raised in your hometown? If not, how did they end up there?

No my Dad was actually also from Brooklyn and I was born in the same house that he was born in.  My Mom was from Milwaukee and as I said we moved many times.  I did live in Milwaukee for a time but my Dad always thought it was too cold there.  My Dad got a job transfer to Rahway, NJ and he found this perfect house in So. Plfd.

Day 3: Were you raised in a town/city or in a rural area?  Do you live in the same type of place now?

So. Plfd. was a Township and I am not sure of the census when I moved there in 1967, but it had some farms and rural areas along with some industries.  There were some areas where you could see tumble weeds blowing around, so rural might be a good description.  No, I moved out of there in the early 80’s, but my parents kept the house, so I did come back to visit and see some of my friends.

Day 4: What were your hobbies as you were growing up?

I collected stuff, butterflies, bees, baseball cards, albums and coins.  I was very interested in music after I started listening to Rock and Roll and got my own stereo around 1970.

Day 5: Where did all the kids “hang” in your hometown?

The kids in my neighborhood all went to Putnam Park which was a small parcel of land that was set aside for recreational use, but there wasn’t much there. It had two tennis courts and some picnic tables and benches and hardly any light, which was something that we all liked.  During the day it was a playground for kids having swings and one of those runabouts, you know the type where you push it around in a circle and jump on it.  We went there every night as teenagers before I started to drive.

Day 6: Did your town have a river running through or near it?  What was its name?

South Plainfield had Spring Lake and there was a spring of sorts that drained out of it.  The lake was used for ice skating in the winter, but when I lived there it was mostly polluted, however they eventually cleaned it up and made it into a nice park.

Day 7: Did you ever participate in creating graffiti or any type of artwork that would have been confrontational?

I was not into vandalism, just the typical toilet paper throwing into trees and occasional egg tossing on Mischief Night.

Day 8: How old were you when you took your first drink of alcohol, if you ever have?  What were the circumstances surrounding that moment?

My Dad let me sip his beer, I guess when I was about 10 and I did not drink my own beer till I was a Junior in High School.  I used to drink all the time, so please excuse me as the circumstances are a bit foggy for me, being over 40 years ago.

Day 9: Do you plan to move back to your hometown area in your older years?  Why or why not?

I have no plans to move back there as I am happy where I am now.

Day 10: How do you feel about the place that you came from?

I will always have an affinity for South Plainfield, but I am not all that nostalgic of a person.  I guess I could go back there for a class reunion some day.

Day 11: Were there a lot of churches in your hometown?  What about where you live now?

That is a good question, and I guess it was like any other town having a lot of Christian churches, but the only two that I ever went to were the Catholic Churches.  I guess I spent a lot of my younger years being unaware of certain things.  I live in the Bible Belt South now, so there are a lot of damn churches here.

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