When school let out for the summer, Rena and I always vowed we would still keep in touch and do things together. The fun times with Rena during those hot summer days are unforgettable.
Rena and I did not exactly live next door to each other. I lived on 4th West and she lived on 4th East in Kaysville. The half way mark was Main Street. Most of the time we rode our faithful bicycles and met each other at Frost Drug. We parked our bikes in the old iron bike rack located between the drug store and Kaysville Theatre. We went inside for a “nickel” coke. It was there on those old silver bar stools with the red leather tops that we would twirl around, drink our coke and plan out our “adventure of the day”.
At one of our planning sessions, Rena decided we would buy some candy. Back then we had an entire array of “penny candy” we could choose from,located right behind the bar stools. We decided on Cinnamon Bears. We each bought about 20 cents worth. Rena got the idea to line them up on the counter and give them all a name. We laughed and made up all these stupid names for our bears. Then Rena said “Hey I’m going to eat Clyde’s ear off” and she did. It took us a while, but we managed to devour each Cinnamon Bear part one by one – first a bite of ear, leg, or an occasional head. We laughed until tears ran down our cheeks. The only one not finding amusement was Mrs. Frost scowling at us from behind the long counter. Did we care? No, we were paying customers.
A favorite adventure spot was Sander’s Hollow. It was located a few blocks north of the Clover Club Potato Chip factory. There were all kinds of trees, plants, flowers and a nice little stream at the bottom. We usually packed a picnic lunch and spent the entire day, enjoying nature and the sounds of the water running over the rocks. Nearby in a large field lived a bull with a gold ring in it’s nose. We liked to tease him, but I don’t know what we would have done if he ever took us up on our offer. As it was we managed to step in his poop piles and get scratched by the barbed wire fence. This was all part of the fun.
Bike riding in West Kaysville was another fun past time. We would head down 2nd North, past the railroad tracks, then past Linda Galbraith’s house. After that it was mostly fields, the houses being few and far between. I remember we peddled our bikes as fast as we could until it would be time to stop along the roadside to take a short break. The hot sun beat down on our backs. It was total peace and quiet all around. We could hear the faint sound of the wind blowing, lots of meadow larks churping and occasionally a cow mooing in the distance. It was a wonderous place. There was a feeling, a calmness that always came over me. It was a peacefulness I have not since experienced. I have no words to describe the closeness Rena and I had when we were down in that little part of our world.
Sleepovers were so fun at Rena’s house. She had the most awesome antique furniture in her bedroom. She had a huge dark wooden bed. the headboard was very tall and ornate. The Bowring’s loved cats, they owned lots of cats. One in particular was called Millicent. We loved to dress her in doll clothes while she hissed and scratched at us.
When it was good weather we liked to sleep out in her backyard. Even though we were true boy haters, we always made a big production so her neighbor Scott Flint and his friend Zack Thorderson would know we would be available to goof around all night. There were several incidents that involved throwing dirt clods. Even though we claimed to hate it, we secretly loved all the attention.
Nights spent at Rena’s grandma Bonnemort’s were always special. Her grandma’s house looked like an old Victorian castle. On the 2nd floor was a round screened room. I loved to pretend to be a damsel in distress waiting for my knight in shining armor to come and rescue me. Rena wanted no part of that. She thought it was absolute nonsense to ever want a boy to get anywhere near her.
Bonnemort Home, Kaysville
Rena’s grandma Bonnemort had a huge bathroom. I remember the toilet had this really neat railing around it and it was up high off the ground. I was so into this fantasy of this house being a castle, it was only natural I thought this was one of the royal “thrones”.
Her grandma was a delightful lady. We liked to sit next to her at night while she told us stories. She was crippled and couldn’t walk, so Rena and I helped her a lot.