Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Clubhouse Summer

Suldog posted his summer memories, and brought back one of mine.

Summer was when we had nothing to do and all day to do it. We were out from morning to after dark, roaming the neighborhood on bikes, or playing. Tag, kick the can, or other, less wholesome things like ring 'n run. Bad kidlets!

We swam. Some days, we'd get in the pool at 7am and, except for meal and potty breaks, stay in until 10pm.

Then, there was the summer we built the clubhouse. There were 10 of us, boys and girls, and there was construction going on a few streets over, new housing. So we decided to build, too.

We gathered materials from the scrap piles of the houses being built, and worked on it every day. How my mother tolerated the pounding of nails all through the day i'm not sure.

Our drawn up plans included windows, doors with latches, and stairs. Also, the furniture. By the time we finished, it was 3 stories, the top just shy of our own second floor roof peak. It was in the alley strip between the fence and the house, on the side where there was asphalt.

We even tar papered the roof and had carpet. It was our masterpiece, and we were very proud of it.

My dad, however, was worried about the liability if it ever fell. He wondered if our carpentry skills were up to the task we had set ourselves. As an ob/gyn, he understood liability better than most non lawyers, and knew he could easily be a target.

So he had an engineer friend check it out. The man climbed all through it and said it was sturdier than some houses he had seen, and it was. In fact, the engineer's exact words were that it would take 2 adults 3 days to tear it down. When it was finally time for it to go, my dad hired 3 workers, and it took them two days. We had built it to last.

So that's where i learned to measure wood, cut by hand until there were blisters, piece together bits to make things fit, and get a nail in straight.

My kids have built a few clubhouses out in the grove of trees across the street by the park. Nothing so extensive, but it has reminded me of one other thing.

That was the summer several of the dads around the neighborhood complained about never being able to find their tools.

No wonder i can never find my tools. The kids take them. Apples don't fall far, do they?

Ah, sweet memory.

Today is:

Banana Split Day

Chemistry Set Volcano Day -- beat summer boredom, make a chemistry set volcano!

Crayfish Premier -- Sweden (crayfish may be sold and served in restaurants, the day after the season opens)

Day of Wandering -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of San Lorenzo -- San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

Horse Racing Festival -- Nagchu, Tibet (through the 16th)

Independence Day -- Ecuador

Lazy Day -- internet generated, since it's so hot, though, make it a lazy day!

Lucerne Festival of Summer -- Lucerne, Switzerland (through Sept. 18, over 100 events)

National S'mores Day

Opalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar, festival of Ops (date approximate, there were several celebrations of Ops through August and September)

Puck Fair -- Killorglin, Ireland (one of Ireland's 3 oldest fairs, with a wild goat caught and crowned the Puck, and let go on the 3rd day, Aug. 12)

Prison Justice Day -- Canada (prisoners fast and refuse to work in memory of those who have died in prison of murder, suicide, or neglect)

St. Lawrence of Rome's Day

Anniversaries Today

Missouri becomes the 24th US state, 1821
The Smithsonian Institution is chartered, 1846

Birthdays Today

Antonio Banderas, 1960
Rosanna Arquette, 1959
Schim Schimmel, 1954
Ian Anderson, 1947
Bobby Hatfield, 1940
Rocky Colavito, 1933
Jimmy Dean, 1928
Eddie Fisher, 1928
Rhonda Fleming, 1923
Leo Fender, 1909
George Crockett, 1909
Norma Shearer, 1902
Henri Nestle', 1890
Herbert Hoover, 1874

Today in History:

Nineveh is destroyed and Sinsharishkun, King of the Assyrian Empire is killed, BC 612
Temple at Jerusalem is burned, 70
Ferdinand Magellan sets out with 5 ships to circumnavigate the globe, 1519
The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London is laid, 1675
Word of the US Declaration of Independence reaches London, 1776
Mozart completes "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", 1787
First ascent of Finsteraarhorn, the highest summit of the Bernese Alps, 1829
Candid Camera makes its television debut after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone, 1948
The Magellan space probe reaches Venus, 1990
The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK – 38.5*C (101.3*F) in Kent; it is the first time the UK has recorded a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 2003


  1. What a wonderful story. That must have been some clubhouse.

  2. Mimi - Your posts are so chock full of interesting stuff! I will have a banana split tonight in honor of Leo Fender! As for your clubhouse story, it is somewhat similar to the one I mentioned to you. Ours was so well built, it stood for seven or eight years, finally torn down when a new landlord decided to sell the house and wanted to emphasize the yard size and not the building in the yard! It had two adjoining large rooms, separate front and back hinged and bolt-locked doors, porthole windows with hatches, built-in 8-track player and speakers (this was a while back!) and such amenities as storage cabinets and racks for bunks/sleeping bags. We also tar papered the entire structure, insulated the walls, etc., and it was a full day job for two to tear it down. I wish I had some photos of it, but I'm not sure any exist. Thanks for the linky love!

  3. Leah, we had lots of fun.

    Sully, compared to you, we were amateurs; amazing! Glad to link to such a great blog any day.

  4. Wow. My "house" wouldn't have even passed muster as a front porch compared to what you described... Sounds like you had fun, tho.

    As far as the chemistry set volcano day, uh... Make sure any coloring added for effect, orange yellow, red...

    Is not permanant. Ahem.


  5. Cat, thanks for the tip. And yes, we did have fun.