Series Part 3 – Extracts from Dickeyville Days Memoirs

By Tricia Colgan Barrett

Memories from Tricia Colgan Barrett

Although I was a member of the younger group, I have so many memories, but here are a few:

  • The Spring House on Wetheredsville Road-best water ever!
  • Playing Kick the Can until the sunset, and even sometimes after dark…until that whistle blew!
  • Building forts behind our houses.
  • Christmas caroling on Christmas Eve
  • Gamma Pi

As I sit here in Okinawa, Japan visiting our 3rd out of 5 grandkids, and enjoying every minute. I find myself in the hush of the evening reading wonderful memories that include my childhood.  I am hopeful that most kids growing up find good memories of their young years.  But somehow, I feel we were so lucky, so blessed, to have grown up in such a unique environment.  I question is it our age that finds us in such a melancholy mood? Blissfully thinking of a time so genuine, so simple in comparison to today’s lifestyle.  Or, is it the sheer anticipation of gathering once again after so many years that bring back such wonderful memories?  Or yet could it be that we lived a truly charmed childhood, nestled in the banks of the Gwynns Falls ?  I’m going with charmed!!!

When we were first asked to put our memories to print, I simply mentioned them in note.  But with all the wonderful detailed accounts I feel the need to add more.

As we moved through the years I remember being rather young, yet still taking it upon myself to go visit my parents’ friends.  I would go to the Spranklins, the Roemers, and the Mackalls.  Why I’m not sure. It was just something I did. Walking the “dam lane” and saying hi to the sisters that lived in the little house on the corner of “dam lane”.  They were kinda of scary….  But to have the freedom to just walk the neighborhood at such a young age of 6 or 7 years old was not something that was strange.

As we grew older so did our skills at creating bit of harmless havoc on Halloween.  I think as a whole we moved a car or two, put pins in door bells, and toothpaste and toilet papering cars were a few highlights.  Then, there were a few “hammerheads” in some mailboxes….. Fully knowing the statute of limitations has past, my lips remain sealed. Having lost the farm to the Wakefield apartments, they became a major target.  Tying adjacent apartment doors together and ringing the door bells was one of our favorites.  But, looking back probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Thank heavens for those “koodie” shots we gave one another! They probably protected us from irate apartment dwellers.

Walking up to Leakin Park just to take a walk or go sit under the big tree was a fond memory.  Some of us would [lie] there for hours enjoying the summer coolness its enormous branches provided, with dapples of sunlight shimmering through. Dragging our sleds up to suicide hill to embark on hours of sliding fun not to mention a few broken arms and or bruised bums by the end of any sledding season. I can remember in our early teens on those long summer days walking to Westview or walking to the bowling lanes on Security Blvd. We must have been the generation of walkers!!

Yes, Gamma Pi, Camp Glenkirk, the Peace Rally, tutoring little ones on Saturday mornings at Hopkins, playing Kick the Can.  Trying to gather enough money to buy a pizza from the little shop in Franklintown.  Hours upon hours of gathering times at the Hallman’s house.  Just being kids…..for the most part.  The 4th of July!!! Oh what memories.  I remember when Hurricane Agnes came through and the dam gave way. Neighbors all rallied, kids too, to help shovel what seemed like tons (and perhaps was)

of mud out of the little homes along the bend in the stream below the dam.  I also remember the Michelob warehouse in Daniels Mills getting flooded as well.  Someone’s brother blew out the transmission in his parent’s station wagon making numerous runs to the warehouse to gather cases of beer. He did have the permission of the watchman as the beer was then unsellable.  Apparently not undrinkable though.

I need to end this ….But I can’t help feeling that we have created a fabric that will forever be bonded by the threads we have woven together through our shared memories. tcb

By Tricia Colgan Barrett

Editor’s note: Please check back each Sunday to the Dickeyville Village blog to read extracts from the Dickeyville Days memoirs – a compilation of memories from previous Dickeyville denizens reflecting on a childhood spent growing up in the village during the 1940s, 50s, & 60s.  We hope you enjoy their stroll down memory lane.