Friday, December 18, 2009

Article #83 Sounds of the PAST

Thinking back of your early childhood days, what special sounds bring back pleasant memories? For me, it’s the train’s whistle as it approaches an intersection. Both my grandpa and dad worked on the railroad, so we lived in company housing near the tracks. Trains rushed by all hours during the day and night with their loud rumbles. You got used to the sound and missed it; if a particular train was late, you noticed. (Photo of Silver City depot.)

The sound of neighbor-hood kids playing and dogs barking always lured me outside to play with my friends––two and four legged. Happy memories of taking some of my dad’s tools and deliberately knocking down an old fence that separated my yard from my best boy friend’s house next door are still with me. Quietly sneaking into my house and tiptoeing outside carrying a jar of peanut butter from the pantry to share with my hungry little preschool friends are fond childhood recollections. (Photo of my mom's Silver City school.)

Sitting in the quiet summer evenings on my grandparents back porch waiting for the next train to pass and talking about anything and nothing was our normal routine, as no one owned a TV to watch then. Listening to the old radio play music of the time or talent shows or any of the popular drama shows was our main source of entertainment. Sometimes my grandma would get out her fancy electric phonograph and play a record. One of my favorites was “Red River Valley.” Corny old Western tunes that recall a slower time when families had time to just sit and be together.

My grandma liked to tell me stories of her youth. I can still remember the sound of Grandma’s laughter and Aunt Dora reading us stories. Then there was the ring of the telephone as society progressed. One long ring for our neighbor or two shorts for us. Everyone shared a party line. Talking on the phone was exciting, but long distance was expensive. Other sounds from my youth were high school bands playing in parades, and circus shows when they came to town. As a teenager, roller rinks with their canned music that you could dance to with your skates were popular. Life would never be the same. Popular performers were taking over the new movies that filled the movie theatres. Now we had to be entertained.

What sounds do you recall from your childhood that bring you fond memories?


  1. My mom chanted her prayers very early in the morning while we were still on the bed.

    my dad's footsteps on the wooden floor of the house while he made a cup of tea in the morning.

    A title music playing on the radio at our breakfast time.

    Army salute siren from the army base nearby while in the school .

    Hen making lots of sound..we had many as pet.

    An orderly cutting the wood daily for our fireplace ...we wanted to try but were not allowed.

    list is endless...oh i got all nostalgic.

  2. My mother playing the piano, with us singing hymns.

  3. Wonderful post, Lin. Funny thing... The first thing that came to mind were the huge trucks carrying away the sugar cane after harvest, rumbling past on the road.

  4. That felt so beautiful. Thanks for a great post. The sounds of a summer night--insects, frogs, airplanes, the bug zapper...

  5. Easy frogs calling. The cabin was a safe loving place for us kids to spend the summers at...

  6. That was great revisiting the sights and sounds of childhood. I very much enjoy your writing!!