I can’t imagine where I lived and what I was doing at the age of 12 would be of interest to anyone but my brother and sister. We often compare or confess memories. I’m generally the one who starts reminiscing, perhaps because I’m the oldest. If you’re a proponent of birth order, I was born in 1940, Mike in 1943 and Martha in 1947. Mom and dad raised 3 only children, if I understand birth order correctly. Whereas, my 3 sons follow oldest, middle and youngest rule.
A 12-year-old Meredith, short, chunky with an unattractive home perm lived on Maple Street in Lebanon, Tennessee. The white cottage had 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. My brother, sister and I shared a bedroom furnished with twin beds. Who cares where you slept when most of our free time was spent outside. Our backyard was the neighborhood baseball diamond.
At various times my Granny Dixon or my Aunt Mary Lou Blunt lived with us. Where did they sleep you ask? I don’t remember, but I do remember feeling loved, safe and well fed.
Mike put a penny in the radio, and I got blamed and punished. We all gathered around the radio to listen to Ma Perkins, Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos and Andy and The Shadow; no television in 1952 in the Dixon household. I walked Mike and Martha to the Capitol theater every Saturday to see Tom Mix, Roy and Dale Rodgers, a variety of cartoons and the News Reels. Mike suffered a broken leg when he ran into the path of an on-coming car. A hospital bed was in the living room with his leg suspended for weeks. I contracted Hepatitis A and turned a lovely shade of yellow; could’ve been before vaccinations were available. I think I enjoyed the time I was quarantined at home. It was a different world. We played until dusk without parents worrying. I remember the smell of grass as I star-gazed. I regret our children can’t enjoy the same safety and naïvety of the 50’s.