Tub O’ Soda, 10″ x 10″ Oil on gessobord
Original page from Michne Camping Log, 1971
My father kept our camping log all the years we camped. This page has the story of the day I won the “floating mattress!”
It was July 16, 1971. The perfect summer day as I recall. My father was hosting the annual work picnic. I won a green raft that day for my athletic ability in the egg race! It was my biggest claim to fame as a 9 year old. I remember reaching into a tub of iced cold soda with what seemed like every variety ever invented. It was sheer heaven- all the FREE SODA I could drink! Pull the ring tab- wear it on your finger for a bit before carelessly dropping it somewhere in the grass. Take that long first sip…..ahhhhhhhhhh. Life was good.
Who’s Thirsty? 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord
We didn’t have water bottles- there was no sippy box, pouch or fancy energy drink. If you were outside playing, and you were thirsty, you would simply turn on the spigot, bend down a bit, wait for about 10 seconds until the cold water reached the end of the hose, then take a long, long gulp swallowing, swallowing and swallowing. Of course, you would then offer the hose to the next sweaty, out of breath neighborhood friend. If you were on your game that day, you might remember to turn off the hose. Or, your father might step in huge puddle and yell out ” Who left the dam hose on?”
Cherry Kool-Aid, 10″ x 10″ Oil on Gessobord
Making Kool-Aid was hit-or-miss. First, you had to have packet. Chances are, we didn’t have enough sugar to fill the measuring cup. Next, to find the pitcher- (dump out whatever old drink was brewing in that!) After accidentally snorting the unsweetened powder when you opened it, get your spoon, add sugar, stir, then pray that you would have ice in the ice-cube maker! If all was right with the world, you would have the perfect sugary cup of cherry Kool-Aid. All in a summer’s days work!
Remember Saratoga Vichy Water? Well, they also made Saratoga Ginger Ale! Of course, everyone had the Vichy water. My mother had it for every “adult” party. Each time there was a spill, it was “Grab the Vichy water!!” Not gonna lie, we usually had Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I resurrected this bottle from the Round Lake Antique Fest and thought I’d put the little sister of Vichy in the spotlight. What is Vichy water, anyway?
You could always count on a glass dish filled with these little candy treasures at my grandmothers. The bowl was always strategically placed waiting for our little fingers to sneak 3 or 4 at a time! I would load a few in my pockets and eat on the ride home. It was like eating a kaleidoscope! Every color and shape seemed different and more special than the next. The Christmas memories I from being a kids of the 60’s and 70’s stay with me now as I put out the dish for my nieces and nephews to marvel, and hopefully take a few home for their car ride. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Cinnamon Toast with Wonder Bread, 6″ x 6″ on gesso board
If you weren’t feeling too lazy, why not jazz up regular toast with some cinnamon sugar? A few slices of Wonder Bread, some butter if we were lucky, but it was usually margarine, cinnamon and sugar made the summer vacation a bit more exciting! This was a step above cereal as a breakfast alternative. French toast and waffles were next and pancakes- real pancakes made from the box! But cinnamon toast was great anytime. I remember experimenting at a friends with cinnamon sugar! We used confectionary sugar, butter and cinnamon and made a paste. To this day, I remember how that taste. We would eat it by the spoonful. I’ve grown up (some) but still love the taste of perfectly made cinnamon toast.
Catch, 6″ x 6″ Daily Painting
Playing catch was a neighborhood pastime. If you went out by yourself with your glove and ball, sooner or later, someone would show up and want to play. You might ring a doorbell to see if someone wanted to come out, but you would never call. Eventually, there would be enough kids for a game! They would rang in size, age and sex…it didn’t matter, anyone could play on the team. I remember just standing in a grass field and smelling the glove waiting for my chance to show my stuff. All it would take is one catch. One catch. And that was as good as it gets.