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Flip Flops & Army Cots ... A Day at Lake Ray Hubbard with my next door neighbors back in the 1960s

Kids love to go fishing

It was a fact of the 1960's that more families would go visit relatives and spend the entire day and perhaps over night at a local lake, just to get out of the city for a while and give the kids a chance to learn how to fish even if all they managed to catch was sunburn.

A Day at Lake Ray Hubbard with my next door neighbors.

We all got into the neighbor's family station wagon, full of fishing gear and army cots, soda pop and plenty of canned beans, just in case people got hungry when they realized they would not be eating any fish.

The idea of just getting out of the house and going with my friends who were also my next door neighbors was good enough to get me packing for the weekend.

My brother and one sister and I went with our next door neighbors, 3 of the boys and the mom and dad to have some fun at Lake Ray Hubbard. We all brought our army cots. Folding canvas beds that were easy to store and almost as easy to assemble. These were common in the '60s. Fishing was not my cup of tea. I was completely inexperienced, but that didn't seem to matter. When we arrived an hour or so later after driving out to the lake, our neighbor's dad and mom found a nice spot where we could set up camp for a 2 day stay. Their dad was experienced with boating and fishing but we just went along for the ride.

I spent most of my time holding a rod and reel and getting no bites and the same was true for the other boys. But the clean air and blue skies were what getting away was all about. The smell of fresh country air was also different. I noticed that when we got there there was a certain difference in the odor of the area than it was in the city. It was more smelly yet at the same time there wasn't that smell of car exhausts and the sounds of insects and the waves of water at the lake were distinct and easy to make out, unlike the constant roar and noise of traffic of the big city, Dallas.

The only thing we did not prepare ourselves for was eating beans out of cans, and having hot dogs cooked and somewhat burned on sticks in a camp fire. When we came home we did suffer from sunburn. That was the thing. I had a very sensitive condition as I used to live up north in Indiana and down south here in Dallas, TX was hotter, the sun more intense and the result was a very unwelcome sunburn.

Once we got home I spent days watching the skin on my back peel. I should have worn a t-shirt but I was just enjoying being somewhere that was as far away from the city as possible and even though none of us caught any fish with the exception of their dad. He did catch a cat fish. We had beans and hot dogs and BBQ chips and home made potato salad and soda pop. If only I had thought to bring my Frisbee.

Image Credit » Black Pen original artwork by Anthony Davis, the author of this article.

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VinceSummers wrote on July 14, 2017, 12:47 PM

My idea of a pleasant getaway is to listen about the other guy's pleasant getaway, while I chill at home.

MegL wrote on July 14, 2017, 1:23 PM

Those were the days! I liked going camping with the Guides (Girl Scouts) and school. I got many a sunburn. Petrol was cheap in those days and there was no internet, so outdoors was cheap, fun and healthy and you learned useful skills.

MegL wrote on July 14, 2017, 1:24 PM

LOL. That's now, what about when you were younger?

lookatdesktop wrote on July 14, 2017, 1:39 PM

I like it better when I am thinking about the old days while I also remain in my comfortable air conditioned man cave at home. :)

lookatdesktop wrote on July 14, 2017, 1:42 PM

I hated putting on petroleum jelly on a burn. But butter was even worse. It has been a long time since I experienced extreme sunburn. Our president gets a lot of sun in at the golf course and I bet he has trouble with sunburns a lot more than I ever did. One of the reasons I don't golf, just because it is too expensive but moreover due to the constant sun exposure. I would not do too well on the sandy beach. Back in those days I went around without a shirt in summer and boy did I get a lot of sun burns from that, until I got wise and started wearing a nice white cotton t-shirt.