Saturday, November 3, 2007

More Stories From an Unconventional Girlhood...

For most of my childhood my grandparents lived in an old copper mining town. Jerome is a ghost town 5000 ft straight up a mountain in Northern Arizona and for one perfect year I lived with them.

There were no schools in Jerome so my brother and I took a school bus down the winding mountain roads. At first it was frightening but after a few weeks I had learned to read rather than look out the windows. Jerome also had no radio or tv station reception. It was simply too high up. Books were the best entertainment around.

Although the schools had been shut down for years the town still had a library. A magical library with mahogany shelves and card catalogs that smelled of beeswax. There was a sweet librarian who sat behind the huge carved desk two days a week and tried to get the town kids (all eight of us) hooked on reading. Although the library's collection was permanently stuck in 1950 I found plenty to read in the K section.. Carolyn Keene was my author of choice. The summer I was eleven I read every Nancy Drew I could get my hands on. These weren't the abridged and modernized Nancy Drew's but the original copies complete with recipes and fashion advice. I fantasized about spectator pumps, tweed jackets, and blue organdy prom dresses.

I suffered acute culture shock when I moved back to 1976 and a California Jr. High School the following year. Everyone was wearing bell bottom jeans, disco t-shirts and saying "dy-no-mite!" It was very weird. I guess sixth grade was a fashion formative year and I missed out on something important living way up in the mountains. I never did figure out how to dress normally and I still have a wicked pump fetish. Thanks Nancy.


Mrs. G. said...

I was all about Nancy Drew in my early reading days. I was a voracious reader and even plowed through the all the Hardy Boys' books.. But my greatest love was for this little neighborhood sleuth by the name of Trixie Beldon...she was sort of a working class Nancy Drew. Oh, and I might have had a shirt that said Dy-No-Mite...sad, but true.

Karen MEG said...

I think I read all the Nancy Drew books and quite a few of the Trixie Beldon too.
I think we're showing our age, ladies.
Loved this post. You are such an interesting lady Gina! Keep 'em coming!

Leeann said...

I loved Trixie Belden! How about Caddie Woodlawn? Anyone read about her? And :::hanging my head here::: I was way into the Bobbsey Twins for a while there.
Can I redeem myself with the fact my high school bedroom walls were covered with Bruce Springsteen?


Mary Alice said...

I found your blog through Mrs G. Just had to comment on this post about your childhood. I lived in a town that was similiar in Northern Cal..2 hours from the nearest stoplight..300 people, no TV reception. I wrote about it in my blog some time ago. I spent lots and lots of time with Nancy, Trixie, The Hardy Boys, Emily from the Runaway Imagination. It was great. Nice to see someone else that spent lots of time with books and was confused by fashion and popular slang!