Saturday, February 15, 2014

Some of My Childhood Memories ~ Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver, author of Genea-Musings, has provided a wonderful opportunity for us to share some of our childhood memories for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF). The idea was inspired by Judy Russell's Keynote address at RootsTech 2014. Judy Russell is the author of The Legal Genealogist blog.

In Judy's keynote address, she asked the audience six questions about their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. With this exercise, she showed how quickly stories about our ancestors are forgotten or not known at all.

For today's SNGF, Randy has asked us to answer Judy's six questions from her keynote address. But, instead of answering these questions about our ancestors, we are to answer them about our own childhood. What a great idea!

So, here are the questions:

1)  What was your first illness as a child?
2)  What was the first funeral you attended?
3)  What was your favorite book as a child?
4)  What was your favorite class in elementary school?
5)  What was your favorite toy as a child?
6)  Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn?

And, here are my answers:

1) I don't remember what my first illness was, but I know that I had mumps when I was 10 years old. I had it on both sides of my face. I also had chickenpox. I believe I had chickenpox sometime after I had mumps, which meant I was an older child when I had it. My two brothers and I had chickenpox at the same time. I had it pretty bad. I even had blisters in my throat. Yes, it was pretty miserable.

2) I'm not sure about the first funeral I attended, but I do have a memory of getting up early to travel up to Oregon to attend the funeral of my Aunt Pamela. I was 11 years old at the time. We lived in California, so this was going to be a long car ride. My Aunt Pamela tragically passed away of leukemia at only 24 years of age. She was my father's sister.

3) I had a few favorite books when I was a child. I remember that my father brought these books home when a school was giving them away. I still have these books today. They are "The Horse That Takes The Milk Around," The Crooked Colt," "Blaze And Thunderbolt," and "Miss Suzy."

Some Favorite Childhood Books

The illustrations in "The Horse That Takes The Milk Around" are so cute.

The Horse That Takes The Milk Around

This is one of the pages from "The Crooked Colt."

The Crooked Colt

4) Unfortunately, I don't remember if I had a favorite class or grade in elementary school.

5) Some of my favorite toys as a child were toy horses. I used to collect model horses to put on a shelf in my room. I believe I had some Breyer horses in that collection as well. And, I didn't just collect horses. I also had Barbie dolls and even some Matchbox cars too. My two brothers and I used to play cars on a cloth car town. We still have it to this day. Here it is -

Cloth Car Town

It had a house, an airport, a gas station, a grocery store, a church, a hospital, a fire station, a train station, a barn, and a lake called Emerald Lake. And it even had a train track that went around the town. These were stitched onto the blue cloth background. My brothers and I had so much fun playing cars on this car town when we were little kids. I also had a collection of marbles. I liked the pretty ones. These are some of the marbles from my collection. I kept a few of my childhood toys so I could show them to my children.


6) I did learn how to swim. I don't remember exactly where I learned though. I do remember going to a local community college to either attend swimming classes or to just swim during free swim time there. Perhaps I went to both the classes and the free swim times.

I hope my children and grandchildren will enjoy reading this post and learning about some of my childhood memories.

Thanks Randy Seaver for this week's SNGF prompt which provided an opportunity to travel down memory lane. It's been fun!

Thanks for reading!


© 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved


  1. Jana - This is a fun post! It's neat to learn more about our friends. Did your mom make your cloth town? So cute! Thanks, I enjoyed this!

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Thank you! Regarding the cloth car town, I asked my mom about it, and she's not sure where she got it. But I'm so glad we still have it. It's certainly a family heirloom now. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. That was fun. I wish I had known about this prompt earlier. (I wonder if kids were ever confused by the idea of horses delivering milk.)

    1. Thanks Wendy! It was actually fun to write this post. And you're too funny with your question about kids being confused by horses delivering milk. =)

      And hey, who says it's too late to participate in this prompt? Go for it! And if you do write your own post, you can just add it in the comments on Randy's SNGF post. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Love this post, Jana ... and the pictures! I see a bit of a horse theme emerging with your favorite childhood books.

    1. Hi Laura,

      Thank you! Oh yes, there was definitely a horse theme with those childhood books. =) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Jana, great post. I love the books & have a few of my own. I know how attached a child can become to a book & its illustrations!

    1. Hi Colleen,

      Thank you! Ah, it's great that you have some of your own childhood books too! They really are special to have and hand down to future generations. Thanks for stopping by!




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