Project 52 – Six Years Old, in California

1970_09 Second Grade

Six weeks ago, on my 52nd birthday, I started Project 52 — each week for a year, I’m going to reflect on one year of my life. So this week I’m talking about June 1970 to June 1971, the year I was six years old.

I’ve already got some of the perspective I hoped to get from doing this project. You see, I firmly believe that the years actually do go by more quickly as you age. When you’re six years old, one year is a sixth of your life, so you experience it as a huge amount of time. (What do you have to compare time to except what you’ve experienced?) When you’re 52 years old, one year is only 1/52nd of your life, so you experience it as going by much more quickly.

I’m already surprised by what a short, short time I lived in Washington State! I was only there for four years! But at the time, it seemed like forever. Because for me it was all I could remember, so it was forever.

And I was not happy about moving to California. It seemed so very hot! And dry! And brown!

Here I am with my sister Becky in front of the house we rented in Carson. (I didn’t know at the time that we were only renting it. I only knew we’d moved.)

1970_08 Naffa House

We lived on a cul-de-sac in Carson. We still played with the neighbor kids. (I’d forgotten how many neighbor kids we played with until I saw a picture in Washington. After we moved to Wilmington, we didn’t get to know our neighbors.)

I like that in this next picture, I have my dolls in the swing. One is the doll I got the Christmas before. (I wish I remembered her name!) I think the other doll is Newborn Thumbelina.

1970_08 Swinging

Like I said, California was hot! We did fill up the wading pool often.

1970_08 Swimsuits

That year Ricky turned 9 in October, Becky was 7, I was 6, Wendy turned 3 in October, and Randy was 1 (2 in February) and running all over the place. (He walked well before he was a year old.)

I love that I’m swinging my doll again. I did love dolls!

1970_08 Swinging with Randy

We walked to school in Carson, a few blocks to 232nd Place School. I started first grade with Mrs. Onaga in the fall. They had me go to the second grade classroom with Mrs. Sizelove for reading after awhile — and after a couple months, they moved me into second grade. My Mom says I already had a best friend waiting for me. I don’t remember when I met her, but I do know that in 2nd and 3rd grades I had a wonderful best friend, Karen Iwata.

This was my first friendship that was a real friendship. We both played with each other at recess. We went to each other’s houses.

Now Ricky was in fourth grade, Becky in third grade, and I was in second grade. We all got there in different ways, but we were now just one grade apart.

Living in California, we went to see our Grandma Hatch in Phoenix more often than we had before. Here I am with Ricky and Randy climbing Grandma’s “mountain” in the back of her house.

1970_09 Grandmas Mountain

And here we girls are by the fireplace.

1970_09 Fireplace

Oh! I remembered another thing to talk about. After some church-shopping, which I hated, we started attending University Bible Church in Westwood. It was a small church in a beautiful old building on Wilshire Boulevard. Quite a few UCLA students went there.

So that was when we met Garth and Celeste Johnson and Jennifer Qualey. Some other kids came to that church at various times, but those were the regulars. And us. Mrs. Johnson was the girls’ Sunday school teacher for several years.

I mentioned I was a rule follower? My Mom taught us early on to take notes during sermons. I still do that. (Hey, it’s easier to pay attention.) I still remember some of the topics Pastor Whorrall preached about, though my favorites were when he’d do a Chalk Talk — He was also an artist. We went to every service offered, Sunday School and Sunday evening service and Wednesday night. I do have a lot of good memories of that church.

And so another year went by….

This week, I’ll be in California, so I hope to stock up on more photos of upcoming years. Next week’s post will probably not happen on Tuesday, since I’ll be flying home that day.

One Response to “Project 52 – Six Years Old, in California”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I totally remember Grandma’s mountain! And I remember we were all trying to pick thorns off the cactus, and I got pricked. I must have been around 4 or 5 when that happened. I think it wasn’t long after that that she passed away.

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