It was the summer of 1972 and we had to act fast. Our Barbie obsession was in full swing. Dori spied an ad on the back of a Frosted Mini Wheats box. Send 10 box tops and $3.00 to get your very own Miss America doll. Limited time only. Tiara, sash and red fur trimmed cape included. Luckily, our parents owned a small grocery store so we had access to the goods. We ate and ate. It wasn't even our favorite cereal! We ate and ate. We liked Super Sugar Crisp, now called Honey Smacks because that sounds healthier. We ate and ate some more until we had a total of 20 box tops. Teamwork. The wait was excrutiating. When they finally arrived, they were beautiful! Our hard work paid off. We played with those dolls until they were ratty looking, or should I say mine was ratty looking. Dori always had the upper hand, keeping her dolls pristine much longer than I ever managed to.
When we were kids, we made our fun at home. I have four siblings. Built-in playmates for life. Captain Kangaroo, Barbie weddings, re-enactments of the Beverly Hillbillies with a tricked out Radio Flyer as Jed's truck and Tim in the role of Jethro, dogs, dogs, and more dogs. Abandoned chicken coops were our "apartments" and cherry cokes our beverage of choice down at the drugstore where Opal Cole, a sweet lady who favored polyester double knit slacks and cat eye glasses, would allow us to make our own fountain drinks pumping in thick sweet cherry syrup. The good life.
Happy. Simple. Childhood.