It seems almost fashionable to lament your childhood. I become uncharacteristically quiet when the contest for worst childhood begins. When the expectant looks come my way, I just smile. And then I tell them. I tell them about swimming all day until dark, about playing kick the can. They don’t believe me when I tell them about how we all “tick-tacked” for most of October and sometimes into November.
I grew up in Holsopple and it was the best childhood anyone could have. We could walk down the street at any time and not worry about being attacked. We would sleep on the porch almost every night in the summer. I knew everyone and they knew me. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. It’s hard to get away with stuff as a kid when everyone knows you! But it’s a safe place to be as well.
Then I “grew up” and moved away. I have been all over the US. It took me five years to learn I had to lock my doors, yes even in the daytime! I learned not to pick up hitchhikers or trust someone who "said" they were with the water company. Luckily I also learned not to be suspicious, only cautious. Once again I live in a small town. But I lock my doors, even in the daytime.
The Johnstown area is not perfect. But no place is perfect. What a wonderful place to grow up. If you can stay in the area, your children will thank you for it. Why don’t you go outside right now and teach them how to play “kick the can”!!
Karen K. Ring