So, the plan for today was to reminisce childhood winters and all the snowy adventures the Amos Boys had back in the day. But, with the exception of Duane perilously sliding under an oncoming car with his sled; or Bruce riding down the Beech Street hill on sheet metal from an old furnace; or Jerry hitching rides from the back bumper of cars while skiing on his feet; these guys don’t have many snowy sagas to tell. In fact, they didn’t even get snow days off from school.
“Most students in Lansing walked to school and a foot of snow would not be a problem,” says Jerry.
What the guys do reminisce a lot of is running around the neighborhood and hanging out with friends. They remember playing ball in the street. Or kick-the-can. Or bicycle tag at night (one of their friends even painted his bike an advantageous black).
“That was our entertainment. We didn’t have all the things kids have today,” says Bruce. “There was nothing to do in the house.”
And yet, interestingly, it sounds like the Amos house was the place to be.
“We never had any grass in our front yard because all the kids congregated at our house,” says Duane. “No grass, just hard dirt. Our mom always worked, but the other kids’ moms were home. So everyone came to our front yard.”
“And in the house, sometimes, for wrestling matches,” adds Jerry. “We had a big jam pile there one time. About six guys were wrestling each other and they fell onto the couch and broke the feet off.”
Another time their friend Dick Ritchie’s sister, Delores, angrily chased him through their house. As she swiped at him with a mop, she shattered a chandelier.
Oh, man. Think of the Amos Boys’ poor mother when she came home from work.
Perhaps we should go back to talking about snow.
Maybe living in Lansing didn’t give the Amos Boys a lot of snowy memories. But interestingly, they all grew up and raised their families in the country. We, their children, spent a lot of time ice skating, tobogganing, and snurfing (a precursor to snowboarding, don’tcha know).
The memories that stand out most, however, are of Uncle Jerry pulling us cousins through the snowy fields on a wooden skid with his tractor.
Those were fun times, weren’t they?