In the late 1940s and early 50s, there was no such thing as cellphones or iPads, no internet, or any other media device. We depended solely on each other and got a little news here and there via family or friends. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by family and I do mean surrounded. My parents along with their four children, which included me, lived in a duplex next to our aunt and uncle and around the corner lived our cousins and around their corner lived more cousins. A few blocks down lived our grandparents so get togethers took place on a regular basis and were filled with love and laughter.

Our property backed up to a railroad track and some of my brothers and sisters’ fun times would be when we heard a train coming we’d run as fast as our little feet would carry us out to the fence so we could wave at the conductor and then wave at the man in the caboose. My cousins’ house also ran alongside the train tracks so if we were visiting with them we’d all run out in anticipation of getting to wave at the train as it passed by and I remember the conductor always waved and so did the man in the caboose and we’d talk about it. We would always go on and on about that, so we made our own fun and enjoyed each other’s company. Later on, as we grew up, we’d ice skate in our own homemade ice rinks.

The moral of this story is to make sure you have fun and make memories wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Keep in mind that you can live in a negative world or choose to be happy, so surround yourself with those that make your day happy and a day to remember.

Be loving, kind and be grateful!

—Helen Valcaniant,
Imlay City