Growing up in Midland

By: Dianne Whittington   

Looking back on my childhood in Midland, the thing that first comes to mind is the freedom to be independent and to experience life as it happened.  I certainly had rules and expectations that I would hopefully follow them.  The rules changed as I grew older and they were always there to help me get older—not always the way I saw them.  The independence part came early—even before we started 1st grade.  It was leaving the house in early morning, roaming the neighborhood until lunch, leaving again and coming home for dinner.  There was no one organizing the games we played.  Imaginations ran wild and the only limits were to try not break the few rules. The 50’s and 60’s in Midland gave us an ideal time to grow up.  There were not the frantic times of today–no TV, no cell phones, and a slower way of life. I must really be old now as I am beginning to hear myself say what my parents used to say to me when I was 30.  I thought they had become senile. 

Basecamp has made me go back in time and realize how lucky I was to find out about life in the confines of Midland.  Some of those early memories are listed below: 

We never locked our doors—car or house

Going barefoot most every place we walked trying to balance by walking on the curbs

Stubbing toes when we fell off the curbs

Stickers in our socks from walking through vacant lots

Hunting for horned toads

Sand storms

Sometimes snow and incredible ice storm sculptures in the trees and bushes 

Evaporative coolers on top of the house

Blistering sunburns

Water balloon fights

Playing outside from dawn to dusk

Climbing Mulberry trees

Listening to Big John and Sparky Saturday on the radio


Sleeping in the backyard under the stars

Forts made out of blankets and chairs

Paint by numbers kits

Breaking my arm on Todd Aaron’s swing set

Walking to the Village by ourselves to buy Kool aid and dipping sticks, candy cigarettes, & fireballs. We only needed 25 cents for all of the above and got change

Learning to ride a bike with a bell and a basket on wide Midland streets 

Helping hang wet wash on an outside clothesline with clothespins

 Milkmen bringing milk to the house 

Getting into the movies free with a milk carton top

One thing I remember that was NOT in the water was fluoride.  Bottled water was delivered weekly to our house.            

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