Monday, April 5, 2010

The Rascals on the Square

When I was a kid......Here I go again, with another chapter of the little rascals Oklahoma Style. I have told you about living in small town Oklahoma and some of the antics of the neighborhood gang, haven't I. Well, if you don't want to read about it, you are free to go. You will miss a good story though. I am so glad that I never shared these things with my children when they were growing up. What would they have thought of me and what will they think today.

Oh well, we were just unsupervised kids who had a lot of fun. Our parents worked, we were to check in once in awhile and we sure had to come in and eat lunch and maybe take a nap. We roamed the town looking for things to do. We knew every older lady in town and what day they made cookies and who made the best ones. I loved Mrs. B's oatmeal/raisin cookies and she always enjoyed sharing one of them with her young visitors.

Our town's business district was in a square, built around the Courthouse, and the courtyard. The library was located in the basement of the Courthouse. I loved to go to the courthouse to check out books in the summertime. Well, I am not sure that I always checked out books but I loved to go to the courthouse. The Courthouse was 3 stories and it had a basement. There were wonderful stairs to climb and lots of banisters to slide down. These banisters were constructed of concrete and were wonderful to slide down. They were wide enough to actually sit on. Maybe these stairs were off from the offices, but I don't recall anyone ever making us leave this wonderful activity. There were always at least 3 of us so I am sure that we made noise. I learned in later years that my own mother had done this very thing when her Father worked in the Courthouse and that it was the thing they expected a child to do. Maybe that is why the library was in the basement.

We never went to the top story though as that is where the "prisoners" were kept. Now is the late 1940's and early 50's the only prisoners were likely someone who had a little too much to drink at the Saturday Dance out at the Legion Hut. We didn't know that though and we were sure that there might be a bank robber in the upper rooms. We would often take up quarters under the weeping mulberry tree, and eat green mulberrys and make faces at the windows on the third floor. This was to assure the prisoners that we did not approve of them and they better not mess with us. My, weren't we brave.

We were all friends with the proprietors on the square. There were 3 grocery stores, The Bank, Lawyers office, Hardware, Cafes, Theater, Clothing Stores, Abstract Ofices, The Chevrolet Dealer, Shoe repair shop, Filling(gas) Stations, Variety Store, Drug Stores, Beauty Shop, Millinery Shoppe, The Grand Hotel, and back in one corner....The Longbranch Salon. No kidding....right in my own town...Not the famous one of Dodge City Fame though. Just the Longbranch Salon. We never did go to that establishment.

Mr. W., the local shoe repairman, always had a story to tell us and we all enjoyed watching his skilled hands at work. He was a crippled man who had a wonderful smile and a friendly wife. He was a good friend even when I grew up and had children of my own.

Now that you know the layout of my town, ( I no longer live there) and the town has changed, you will be looking forward to more stories, I am sure. Well, you should be, I have some good ones. Some of them I will probably never tell though. I would be breaking a pact, of the Rascals on the Square.


Andi said...

No real criminals? Granddad told me that he once had to pump gas for Bonnie and Clyde! Now, I don't think criminals get much harder than that!

Dawn said...

The rascals would forgive you if it became a made for tv movied! Grandad told you he pumped gas for Bonnie and Clyde???? hmmm. It is possible--they were killed in 1934 which would have made him never know!

Anonymous said...

He told me that too. Man oh man have I been working on a story on those lines. I don't know if I ever told you, but my M.I.L had family that ran with them. In fact one is buried at El Reno where he finished off his life in jail. And Grandad Pat also told about a night he spent on the river when he heard what he presumed was the mafia drowning someone in the river.

Paulette said...

Love the story and I'm waiting for more!