Chester Chatter: A winter to remember other winters

By Ruthie Douglas
©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Like so many others, I am experiencing a winter that is so different than previous ones. I have plenty of time to sit around, read,watch TV and recall times that were special to me.

One such memory is back in my childhood. I was a tomboy of sorts, long before it was considered OK. I liked to play softball, rollerskate, swim and especially climb trees. But if you were a girl, all those events took place wearing a dress.  Girls were not allowed to wear slacks in school. But at certain sporting events — such as after-school basketball games — it was OK.

Walking to school on cold winter days, my sister and I wore slack underneath our dresses. Once at school, we took them off and hung them in our lockers.

Not so long ago, I measured our walk to school in my car. We lived in Springfield, at the top of South Street hill and our school was on Park Street. That was a mile and a half walk. When I was in the 7th grade, my  classroom was set up in the basement of the then-crowded Park Street School. Riverside School had yet to be open.

I have many tales those basement classes, with that noisy furnace banging out the heat and eating lunch down there since the cafeteria was so far away and visiting with the janitor.

Scene and heard

Happy birthday to Delaney Mager, who is studying to be an LPN.

Robin Haskell Whelan, whose husband’s family owned the National Survey in Chester, has died.

It was Jan. 11, 1976 when my farmhouse burned down. It was a super cold Sunday. I will never forget that day. Our firefighters worked like the devil to save it but it was not to be.

Sunday, the halo around the Sun over Magic Mountain means that bad weather and snow are coming. The photo of the halo appeared on TV.

I am not alone in feeling this: My heart is broken over the attack on our Capitol. I have found myself crying for our beautiful country since Wednesday.

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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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