My cousin Doug has been sending us a picture of all us for the last month very early each morning. Doug in the stair step is sporting a fro. I am the tallest, the oldest, Olson girl. We always took our pictures in age order back then. Lately, I’ve been smiling and remembering when we were all so skinny and our lives consisted of friends, school and each other.
Life really seemed pretty simple looking back at the picture. I notice it….we were all exceptionally skinny, I think it was because we were all encouraged to be so active, all the time, but especially in the summer!
My adorable, younger cousins lived two blocks down from us. I started babysitting for them when I was about twelve years old and it was always so much fun; being paid was a special extra perk. My cousin Barbie loved to cuddle and read books. My cousin Dougie and Glennie loved to wrestle. I always thought that I had a part in Glen’s wrestling successes, a few years later he was a top state wrestler in Illinois.
But the biggest thing that we had in common was our love of the water and the brand new, Niles pool. Most of the time we were allowed to ride our bikes and stop after, to buy the warm salted fries that McDonald’s has always been famous for. A bit of trivia: the first McDonald’s world-wide started in a neighboring town, DesPlaines. Our own McDonald’s. built-in the early sixties, was the best thing going, our fries were ready in a jiffy, and we saved our allowance to buy them at least once a week. We also grew up near a n incredible park just a block away from both of our houses. Our mom’s would make big bags of popcorn for summer movie nights in the park. We got to light punks and saw many of the great Disney classics there every week. Now that was really living!
Our dreams were very big, our cares were very little. The whole summer stretched endlessly before us. We had our families and each other; it was more than enough.
I’m the oldest….so I’ve been in all of the pictures. Day 10 of the picture sending and this the first one that I looked at and said to myself, ” Hey…I look pretty dang good.” I’m not wearing my crazy brown glasses and I actually look okay in those super short, shorts. I showed it to my husband…to see if he ever remembered me looking like that; because I certainly have forgotten. He smiled and said, “va va va voom !” That was early ’70s talk for…”wow, you were really hot“. I forget, was that an 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s term? Oh well, I still understand the vocabulary 🙂