Archive for Thursday, December 23, 2004

Old stomping grounds

December 23, 2004

The Grade School Wall, as we called it when I was a kid, was a great place to gather and visit.

That wall has a lot of historical significance, as it was built with the same stone that was used in building the state prison wall. It is on the northwest corner of Main Street and Kansas Avenue, still in good condition.

I have a picture of my dad in his car in front of that wall taken about 1910. At that time, the school building was a high school-grade school combination. My guess is that the wall could be at least 130 years old. The rock was quarried from land belonging to Pulley's Dairy Farm.

Anyway, it was a great gathering place for us teenagers. We used to sit on that wall and make big plans for the future. One of the games we played with our eyes closed would be to try to guess the make of the cars going by. At that time, every car had a distinct sound. Some of the kids were really good at guessing right.

Another gather place for the "old men" in town was in front of Thomas' Cafe, which is now the Body Beautiful business. The reason I remember that so well is that we had to walk by them to get to the Post Office, which is now the Kern Real Estate Appraisal office. One man would always say to me, "You red-headed woodpecker!" I think he said that because I always gave him a mean look.

Another popular place to sit was the narrow ledge in front of the Drug Store building on the east side of the road directly across from the cafe. In later years, all the paperboys would sit on that ledge to roll their papers to get them ready for delivery. If you have seen the "Lansing Remembered" painting that is on display at the museum, it shows me going in the front door.

Also, in those days before air conditioning and television, most families sat on their front porches and visited each other.

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