Janey Way Memories #145: Sleeping Out

When I logged onto my Facebook account a few weeks ago, I discovered a picture of my granddaughters, Gabrielle and Madeline, sitting in a tent, eating s’mores. I said to myself, “how cool, they’re camping out.” Sure enough, when I saw their mother next day, I said, “were the girls camping out?” She laughed and said, “Yes.”

This reminded me of the summer during the 1950s on Janey Way, when we slept out often. Back then, when the temperatures hit 100 or higher, we went running to mom and dad and asked to sleep out in our backyard. They rarely said no. We had no central air in our house at that time, so sleeping out offered a nice way to beat the heat.

So, by 9 p.m., as the sun set, you would see us lined up in sleeping bags across our backyard.

We never slept much though. We played cards by flashlight, told stories and jokes, and laughed infectiously. We made so much noise; I wonder how my parents ever slept. Every once in a while, my dad opened up the window and said, “You boys quiet down out there. That always kept us quiet for a while.”
Sometimes we snuck out of the yard to go down the street to scare the girls sleeping in another backyard. I am sure they expected us, so I doubt they were frightened.
Other times, we pooled our financial resources then walked over to Shakey’s Pizza on 56th and J to buy a large pepperoni pizza. Pizza always tasted so good, late at night.
Soon though, our eyelids got heavy and we settled into a peaceful sleep. With the Delta breeze blowing over our heads, we slept the night away.
When morning came, the sun shining down on our faces woke us up. Then after drinking a cup of hot chocolate, we were off and running for another carefree summer day. Maybe we would play basketball, maybe we would go to Glenn Hall Park pool to swim. It was summertime, and we had nothing to do but have fun.
Now, my granddaughters are sleeping out, and all I have left, is my lazy and hazy Janey Way memories.

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