Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Capful of Memories

Memories of Saturday mornings on Montezuma Road in the early to mid-1960's come with a soundtrack of calls of "DEWberries!  Niiiiiiiiice, fresh DEWberries!," courtesy of a parade of black women who offered fresh produce for sale, sauntering gracefully up and down the streets of my neighborhood. They called out what they offered in a sing-song fashion that I will never forget. It sings to me of simpler times.

It harkens back to a time when there actually was a milkman who left bottles of milk, eggs, and butter on the front porch and the clank of those glass bottles against the wire carriers that held them; when buying bags of crushed ice was unheard of because you bought a block of ice and chipped it with an ice pick yourself; and when the only clock for which we had use, as kids, were the streetlights. They told us when we had to go home after a day of being outdoors, out of earshot and range of our parents, seeking adventure in drainage ditches (where would you come out if you started at the park on Cloverdale Road and kept walking for a few hours?), or the playground in front of the school that had real metal jungle gyms on which we could hang upside down or fall from onto the hard, cracked earth underneath without a parent ever giving any thought of suing the school system if we'd come home bleeding or broken.

It was the days when front yards came complete with stickers that hurt like hell when you got them stuck in your foot. We had some defense against that, too -- we'd burn the soles of our feet on the hot asphalt over and over until they built up callouses that were impervious not only to those things, but most shards of broken glass as well. We made fun of kids who wore shoes in the summer. If you wore shoes, you were Dill to my Scout.

Oh, dear. I've digressed, haven't I? 

This entire post was inspired by my husband's presentation to me, just a few minutes ago, of a re-purposed ball cap full of these, harvested from our front yard:

DEWberries...... Niiiiiiiiiiiiice, fresh DEWberriessssss.....    

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