Your Parents Did What ?!

As published in the Black Mountain News September 2013

Forty years ago, somewhere in Northern Canada, a mother of six instructed her husband to build a fenced in area in the yard for . . . her third son. “And”, she added, “it needs a top.” Before you dial child services, you should know they had a train track running through their backyard, and no matter how mama tried, she couldn’t keep her third son from sneaking onto the tracks. So, to keep him safe, he got to “enjoy” play time in the — ahem, cage, built of old hockey sticks, while the other kids ran around in the open air. The little boy, now a grown man, laughed as he told this to me, admitting he was quite a handful. Here are some other stories you shared about lengths your parents went to to occupy you as a child:

 “When my sister and I were younger we would travel from Abingdon, Va to Lansing, NC to visit my grandmother. My dad used to say this was “deer country” and if we were too loud we would scare the deer and not see any. In our desire to see the deer, we would obediently become silent and eventually fall asleep. This ended when my older sister finally put it all together and said ‘but dad wouldn’t they hear the car first?’ ” Amy Hunnicutt. Matthews, NC

 “I was sent to the movie theater, and it didn’t matter what was playing! My parents ran a business on Main Street and on Saturday they would send me down the street with my quarter, and that would let me watch every thing on that day- sometimes twice!! I was a grown woman before I could go to sleep without laying on my back-watching out for the monsters my vivid imagination knew were coming after me after seeing them on the big screen.” Janet Greene. Franklin, NC

 “We would get so wound up on Christmas Eve that my mom would let us jump in the beds (something that was FORBIDDEN any other day) for a long time. When that still didn’t settle us down, she made us scrub the bathrooms with old toothbrushes. Every.single.surface had to be scrubbed with the toothbrush. Kept us busy for a loooong time.” Priscilla Maxwell. Black Mountain, NC

 For October: What comment/question do you hear over and over and OVER in your daily life/work. Send your answer to


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