1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Home » 1 – Exposed (1950-1954)

1 – Exposed (1950-1954)

1 – Carrot Attack
2 – Accidental Nakedness
3 – Grandpa’s Secret
4 – Peddle Tractor Peril
5 – Grandma and Grandpa’s Farm
6 – Outdoor Relief
7 – Rhubarb Massacre

Exposure can happen to anyone, but tends to cast a spotlight on me (and anyone within my proximity) on a regularly scheduled basis. The posts in this chapter show various forms of exposure from mild to well-done.

Below is an explanation of how I started out:

Complications accompanied my unveiling due to being RH-negative while Mom was RH-positive. Dr. Rhodes announced he doubted Mom and I would make it; he’d do his best to save Mom. He did a good job since we both survived.

Where it all began, sort of.

Where it all began, sort of.

At eighteen months, I weighed eighteen pounds, and I wasn’t short or premature. Extreme skinniness plagued me until my mid-forties when I plumped up to just thin. I’m now well past the just thin point.

David appeared a year-and-a-half after my grand entrance; a welcome relief. His mellowness and my outgoing manner conspired to make me look like a bad seed. While not his fault, I’m not taking the blame, either.

Shortly before I turned four, I was bedridden for six weeks. Dr. Canaday said I had rheumatic fever. Dr. McCann said I had spinal meningitis. Mom thought it was a mild case of polio because I limped slightly that summer. If I didn’t shake, I screamed. When my head was raised, my stiff body was like a board and didn’t bend. The same held true when my feet were raised.

Don’t worry, I got well. This was God’s way of preparing my parents for what lay in store. Not that I remained sickly, but I sort of became more of a trial than a tribulation.

Sick bed at Bochi's, with bib to catch spit out medicine.

Sick bed at Bochi’s, with bib to catch spit out medicine.

My earliest memory (almost four years old) is lying on my Bochi’s sofa in her television room, covered in blankets. This was during my six weeks of bed incarceration. Dad and Mom’s whispers floated in from the kitchen. I knew what they were up to.

I hid under a blanket and burrowed my face into the back of the sofa. Dad held my head and arms while Mom crammed a second teaspoon of medicine through my clenched teeth. The first dose coated the side of my face.

In the spring, I rested outside on Bochi’s glider with a blanket covering my legs. Noisy school kids poured out from Margaret Murphy down the block. Occasionally, a cluster glanced up at me on the porch. I didn’t want them to know I was deficient, so I threw off my blanket as fast as Mom or Bochi replaced it.

I never sat on the sidelines again, though many times it became clear I should.


Now it’s your turn: What is one of your earliest memories?


© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. You were a seriously cute kid. Not nice to be sick though :(. With all the different diagnosis was there a conclusion as to what you really had? My earliest memory (I think) was eating a poisonous plant when mum left me with the babysitter – whoops. Poor girl having to look after me..

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Thanks Coco, I started out kind of cute, but around fifth grade I seriously got whacked by an ugly stick. Took many years to get over it. No concensus of opinion on what ailed me when younger.
      Wow, eating a poisonous plant. I hope you didn’t need to get your stomach pumped!

  2. Thanks for your comment in my blog using me here to yours I look forward to reading much much more.

  3. Yikes! Major typo above! Meant to thank you for leading me to your blog. Never type and reply to other peoples questions as to what you would like for breakfast at the same time.

  4. Val Mills says:

    Oh dear, I do remember being devastated because I had to miss many weeks of school when I was six – chicken pox followed by measles, or was it the other way round. There was a bonus though, my Dad bought me lots of books to read!

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      A double whammy of chicken pox and measles, soothed by books. I recall being given around twenty second-hand Nancy Drew books in the early 1960s. Talk about an early Christmas! I regifted them to the daughter of one of my Mom’s friends, who was in the hospital, same one pictured above. I feel sorry for so many of today’s kids who don’t have a love of reading.

  5. dcardiff says:

    I’m four years older than you. I was plagued with polio in 1947. Long after I returned from hospital parents and kids thought I was still contagious. Not a very good start.

  6. My earliest memory was possibly chasing butterflies with my grandfather in his garden…
    you have a great writing style, looking forward to reading more!

  7. News Cruise 60 says:

    A tough start, Skinny! I’m glad you “got well!” Just keep writing…


    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Thanks, N.C. It’s probably why I considered it only natural that I should be the center of attention.

      • News Cruise 60 says:

        Who better to write about your experiences than yourself! I enjoy learning more about people from them. Guess I still trust more truth than lies are being told…

        Have a super great day, Skinny…


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