Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sweet scents, sights and sounds of childhood

A rose by any other name…

Would still probably not smell like a paper mill. Or something. I was trying to come up with a good introduction for today’s “Smells Like Home” Version of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, and, well, that’s about the best I could do.

ANYWAY, prompted by Monday’s reminiscence about the comforting smells of childhood, Jim Smith (an alias, I’m certain of it) suggested that this week’s T3 deal with not only the smells, but also with the sights and sounds that you remember from your youth.

SO, take a moment and open up your memory vault, then answer these three questions:

1. What smells do you most closely associate with your childhood home or hometown?
2. What landmark do you remember about your hometown that no longer exists?
3. What sounds do you recall distinctly from your childhood?
Take a moment to think about those and either leave a comment below, or a link to your blog.

1. Since it was the kids' chore to rake up the grass clippings (in the days before universal usage of self-propelled, self bagging/mulching lawn behemouths), the scent of freshly mown grass will take me right back. It is a much sweeter smell now, however, since I have absolutely no lawn care duties. The scent of "a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils" takes me immediately to the start of the school year - I loved going back to school.

2. Should I be frightened that I'm old enough to think of several things? The Paradise Theater - a huge, 1920's era movie palace still exists, but has long since ceased showing movies. The Allis-Chalmers factory in downtown West Allis, complete with pedestrian walkway across 70th Street, is more or less gone, although most of the office space for the headquarters has been converted to rental property, and the factory land has been reused for retail, light industrial and office purposes.

3. The one enduring sound from childhood is the long. low moan of a freight train whistle in the middle of the night. We lived only two blocks from the railroad tracks, on the inside of a gentle curve in the line. My attic bedroom sat high enough that the sound wasn't blocked much before it reached me. I still live only two blocks from a set of railroad tracks, but those tracks are down in a hollow, and it is only occassionally I hear the lonesome whistle.

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