Take a delightful romp back through time and see the world through the eyes of your inner child. Revisit the world in the years following the end of the Second World War, to the children of this country’s “Greatest Generation,” when innocence, wonder, and awe were alive and well. Go back to the days of two pieces of candy for a penny, the introduction of the Hula-Hoop, and Red Ryder BB guns, the gift that every little boy dreamed of finding beneath the Christmas tree. The world of the baby boomer was a simpler place and time, a time when telephone service meant that you were a part of a “party line,” a handshake was better than a signed contract. It was a time when the family sat together to eat their meals and share their dreams and accomplishments, as well as their failures.
There was a sweetness to life during those decades. This book offers the reader an intimate look into the daily lives of those who lived the wonder. Recall the memories of many historical events and people. Let the child in you free to explore and reconnect with the values and people of those magical years before the birth of computers, cell phones, and television. Your vacation back in time will be one that you will always remember. Be ready to laugh and cry, but most of all, be prepared to revisit your youth and your dreams. Yesterday awaits. The sock monkey will be your guide.
"Snapshot # 8 - 1951
The Shadow Knows
It is late. Bubba turned off his light a few minutes ago. We are supposed to be in our beds fast asleep. We aren't. I hope we don't get caught and get into trouble. I am sitting on the floor in the middle of Bubba's room. My bed awaits in the next room, but, I am not particularly interested in retreating. Bubba has found his old radio and has turned the knob. A lot of strange, crackling noises pierce the silence. I am certain that we are going to get caught and Mama and Daddy will take Bubba's radio away from him, but Bubba manages to get the sound down to a mere whisper. He is still trying to find the station he wants. I feel so happy and special because Bubba is letting me share this with him. I am just a very little girl, three years old. I love being with Bubba, but, I don't want to make any noise so I am concentrating on being very quiet and still.
Bubba has tiptoed back and is sitting close beside me. I hear the spooky creaking of an opening door and my right hand flies immediately to Bubba's left hand and I squeeze it tight. The next sound that whispers in the darkness is a voice that I have never heard. A question is asked: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" There is another creaking door, a muffled scream, then the same strange voice tells us that "the Shadow knows". I am frightened out of my wits. This is truly scary and both Bubba and I are totally in the dark. A monster could snatch us and Mama and Daddy wouldn't even know that we were missing until we missed breakfast in the morning. My eyes must have been as big as dinner plates as they traveled around Bubba's room looking for red monster eyes. Even my big brother jumped when we heard another scream. He squeezed my hand even tighter in the darkness........Bubba finally let his braveness surface. He helped me get up from the floor and we tiptoed into my bedroom. He watched me climb into my bed and then he went into his room to go to sleep.
I could not sleep. I was in the dark but I could see things moving outside my dormer window. Sometimes, it looked like a big animal with even bigger teeth. I pulled the covers over my head and tried to make myself disappear so that if the monsters looked into my window, they would not know that I was there. That didn't work. I got out of my bed and crawled under it. Of course, if there were two monsters, they could be on either side of the bed and I would be trapped! I finally tiptoed into Bubba's room and found his bunk bed. I whispered his name but he did not hear me, he was fast asleep. He would not know the monsters got me until he woke in the morning. Where would I be safe? Finally, I knew what I had to do.
I tiptoed down the stairs, opened Mama and Daddy's bedroom door an inch at a time until there was enough room for me to slip through. I tiptoed to Daddy's side of the bed and curled myself into a tiny ball and went to sleep beside the bed. When Daddy almost stepped on me the next morning, he wanted to know why I wasn't upstairs in my bed. There was no way I was going to tell him about The Shadow, so I told him I had a very bad dream about monsters. He told me that monsters were not real and that I should not be afraid of a bad dream.
I was terrified of the dark and I wished I were half as brave as Bubba. He had no problem sleeping upstairs alone. I could not go back downstairs to sleep. I finally tiptoed into Bubba's room and woke him. I told him I was afraid to go to sleep in my bedroom because there were monsters at my window. Bubba just got out of bed an helped me get up into it and scoot against the wall. He told me that he would protect me. He then put his six year old arm around me and I fell asleep immediately. I wasn't afraid with Bubba to protect me......I think he got tired of my punching him and disturbing his sleep.
Bubba was brilliant! He took me into my room and climbed up on my bed. He had a long length of string which he tied to the short chain on the ceiling light. He stretched out on my bed and demonstrated just how this safety feature would dispel all of my fears of being in the dark. He tied a loop in the end of the string and put it around his wrist. If I had a bad dream or thought that I saw monsters, all I had to do was jerk the string attached to my arm! The design was flawless. Bubba was the reason I could sleep in my own bed in my own room. Of course, there were many nights when the neighbors must have wondered if I was practicing Morse Code. And, there were nights when I would jerk the string and go to check on Bubba. I did not want the monsters to go after him. That string remained on my ceiling light until we moved into the "dream house" Mama and Daddy built in Hendersonville in 1959. I was eleven and Baby Sis was seven, but I still needed to be able to turn on that light when we were in bed upstairs.
I am a little girl and I am terribly afraid of the dark."
Catherine Connor was born on January 3, 1948. When she arrived, things were very simple and straightforward. It was a time when neighbors were almost like members of the family. It was a relatively peaceful time between World War II and the Korean War.
Since her modest appearance, she has spent almost fifty years as a Medical Technologist, as a Researcher hoping to help find cures for cancer and recurrent myocardial infarctions. She has also spent time supervising medical laboratories at large and small hospitals, small clinics, specialty clinics and reference laboratories. She was honored to be offered a position to set up a specialty laboratory from Johns Hopkins to follow chemotherapy treatments and efficiency at Vanderbilt, an offer she could not accept due to her son's rare genetic medical problems.
Since a small child, she has always kept journals. Many of the memories in this first volume of The Sock Monkey Tales – Volume I – Innocence were detailed in those many journals. She has many diverse hobbies: Reading (Historical novels, mysteries, psychological thrillers and autobiographies), Gardening, Painting (Oils and Watercolors), Music, Writing (Prose and Poetry) and gourmet cooking. She particularly enjoys having her friends and “adopted” children join her for gourmet dinners.
She is a native of Tennessee. While her career has taken her from Mississippi to Michigan and places between, she has always loved living in Middle Tennessee. She was blessed with one son who also loves to write Children's Books about Nature. She and her son live in the home built by her parents in 1959. To her, it is a piece of Heaven on Earth. Her dear neighbors from her childhood are still living next door.
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