Chester Chatter: The days of child’s play

By Ruthie Douglas
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

As kids, our favorite thing to play in our neighborhood was cowboys and Indians.

We began by choosing to either be a cowboy or an Indian.

The sidewalks, backyards and nearby woods were our battlefield. Someone would give a war cry and away we went. We made the noise of galloping hooves, horses whinnying, snorting and stomping. One person was chosen to be Roy Rogers and someone else to be his sidekick Gabby Hays. Those cowboys huddled together to plan how to capture the Indians.

Sticks served as guns and empty paper towel rolls became telescopes. Our script was formed as we played. Often, we made a mess scattered around the neighborhood. When we chose roles, I always wanted to be Dale Evans, but some how I was always overlooked.

We played all afternoon and had so much fun, and always ended our battles with a handshake. Do today’s kids play like this now?

Scenes and heard here and there

Several members of the American Legion Post 67 spent the weekend in Burlington at the Legion Summer Convention.

On a recent perfectly lovely summer evening, my daughter Jeanie, son-in-law Joe and I drove up into the hills of the town of Belmont. We were on a mission to view the field of peonies. What a treat with hundreds of flowers in many colors spread across the landscape. We stopped at the Belmont General Store for a bite to eat and to view Star Lake.

How great is it to have wonderful friends like mine. Pat Budnick sent a car over to drive me to Music in the Meadow for Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday. Her daughter Tina drove me around in a golf cart that Benny and Kim provided. I enjoyed a great lunch and wonderful music. Thank you all so much.

Congratulations to Pat and Music in the Meadow. The event raised more than $15,000 for the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure! Amazing!

  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: Buster Henry was the butcher at the IGA, where Misty Valley Books is. (Congratulations to Warren Mackensen for answering correctly.)
  • This week’s trivia question: Name the three remaining stone schools houses in Chester.

Street Talk

Have you been bitten by a tick this summer … or ever?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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  1. Great memories, Ruthie. I share them as Pearl St. had its own gang of cowboys and Indians. Fun.

    As for ticks, I am known as a tick magnet. I have been bitten several times this year. Even though I check every time I am outside, I’ve missed the ones on my back until they got their disease injected. I was ill at home with what I thought was flu for four days when Daughter Sue, RN insisted I go to the ER as my mind started going bonkers. (more than usual) I was there 4 days and had anaplasmosis, a tick borne disease. Two weeks after getting home I was bitten again and was given a dose of doxycycline at the ER. This is not a fun disease and I should have gone to the doctor sooner. Now I listen to Sue more! Just a warning to others who’ve been lucky to avoid tick bites. BE SEEN and BE SURE!!!

    Great folks at the ER but, if it happens again, I hope the clinic is open! We are SO lucky to have Springfield Hospital and I guess my husband and I are trying to help!!!

  2. Rosa-Lee Gould says:

    Just want to say that the Chester Chatter column has been a favorite since I started reading them. Cowboys & Indians was one of many games played in the neighborhood when I grew up & the reference brought back welcome memories. My opinion is that many children have to have an electronic device in their hands but am happy that there are still many that enjoy playing outside.

  3. Ruthie, We use to play cowboys and Indians up on the mountain in front of the farm I grew up in. There was a beautiful grove of hemlocks and that was the stage coach stop. My sister was the stage coach driver, my brother had a wood rifle and road ‘shotgun” and I was the passenger with my dolls. We would spend hours up there with our dogs. Such fond memories. Love reading your articles of fun times gone by.