Remmick-Hubert Memoirs: Pre School Days continued

Last Updataed: 24 March 2002


Remmick.Home.Site Page 21 / Remmick.Memoirs.Home.Site Page 2- Pre Schol Years

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 "The doubts of day-time and the doubts of  night-time, the curious whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets, if they are not flashes and specks, what are they?
...These became part of the child who went forth every day..."

*Walt Whitman's poem continued in part

My PreSchool Days

I and my trike headed out in the early morning hours to find out who was home, who could or couldn't play and then convince the others to play what I wanted to play that day.

Judy On Trike


           My Playmates...........

Marscha Sanger

James Ishida


James and Marsha
My route was usually northward on S. Washington St. Two Japanese -American families lived on this street. The first door I'd knock upon was  James Ishida who was a year younger than I..On the corner was the second Japanese-American family.  The youngest girl was about my age. She and her parents had been in one of those camps where she and her family had been held during WWII. [I apologize, I've forgotten their names]. 

Lodi had a community of Japanese-Americans since 1885. Mr. Funaki and Mr. Ohoma were the earliest [known] to have arrived.  

The Chinese were there about 1852.

I ask a lot of questions about their imprisonment....  Early in life, I became more aware of the injustices people place on other people

If they couldn't play then I'd head east for Danny Finck's house. The next stop was Margarete Flath's house . She had older brothers who were just old enough they were not interested in our "childish" games" unless they had nothing else to do.  I/we went through the back yard of the Leple's yard where  the best climbing tree of the block stood,  and soon were knocking on Emry Leple's door. He was a year older.  Our parents were good friends and we visited them often. His mother made the best English cookies I've ever eaten.  If no one was home,  I would either go back to the yard at the apartment or pay visits to some of the elderly people. Sometimes their grandchildren would be visiting.

Early summer evenings, the elderly  would often be with their friends , so, I'd sit and listen to their stories of the "Old Country" [Russia] and, too,  the gossip of the day. Many of the women were excellent cooks, but done as good as my mother and her mother [Grandma Hein].

See Those Were The Days by Lillian Hein-Remmick [my mother].  She has recipes and memories of her own youth in Montana.

My folks fed me very well, but back then I had a "hallow leg" that never seem to get enough cookies, coffee cake or ice cream.

My world changed from time to time and would be stretched to other city blocks.

Sometimes,  my mother would walk me across the street and I'd get to visit my best friend Arlin Adams.  We were  the same age and liked the same things [run, play ball, play hopscotch, climb trees and music].

The Adams family were old family friends in Lodi, the Dakotas and the old country.  I believe he's probably a distant cousin through my father's family.

Class 1960 Class 1961 Class 1959
      Arlin Adams

Arlin Adams


Daniel Fink


Margaret Flath


James Ishida

Emry Leple

Emry Leple

I was extremely happy when my cousin Donald Lepp moved from the farm to a  house not far from us.

CousinsDon and IJudy A. Remmick and Donald Lepp

Don was the brother I'd never have.

Don and Arlin would become best friends and Don named his son Arlin in his memory. Arlin died in an accident in his early twenties.

Across the street  [west] was Lodi  [Hale]Park which held the city's first public tennis courts.  The old street lamps doted the side walk .  Also next to the curb were the old horse hitching posts  that consisted of a Black Horse Jockeys holding the large black rings.  They vanished, I assume, became they were "politically incorrect" to have on public property.  I watched the bandstand being built in the park. Afterwards, the Lodi [Tokay] Band played on Saturday evenings or was it Sunday afternoons. The music wasn't classical but it was charming and delightful.  Songs like "Blue Moon"  still spring up in my memory . The band wasn't without it's German influences and the polkas.   If I remember correctly, the bandstand  still stands in the old park.

Across the Elm street [south side] lived the Katzakian boys who's father owned a small grocery store on the next corner  [Washington and Pine].  We were not allowed to cross the street without our parents so we play ball  from one side of the  street to the other for hours and hours. We learned quickly that throwing it straight meant we could play longer. If the ball took the wrong angle, we'd have to  find our Moms to fetch our lost ball/balls  which usually meant we were unable to play anymore that day.

On the corner of Elm. St. and N. Central Ave. [the opposite end of my block] and diagonal across the street was another store. Whitmers, if I remember. Next to the store on the Elm St. side was living  a family with children who had a tetherball in their front yard. I'd stand on my corner watching all the kids striking the tetherball, back and forth... Everyone  jumped up and down as they cheered the winner.. .. The person who won the game could keep playing until they lost. And this sparked my interest. It wasn't long and I found ways of crossing the street without getting into trouble with my parents.  Most of the kids on their  block were older. I  remember Mary Ellen Hunter, who was a tall drink of water,  and it was tuft getting the ball over her head.   Perhaps Mary Ellen can remember the names of the others....

Life in the small valley town wasn't exciting..., however, it was a great place to grow-up.

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Judy At Nur.Sch. Many of my future classmates attended the same nursery school as I did. It was in the old WWII bungalows [structures resemble a tin can cut in half] on Lodi Avenue.  The reason I mention this year is because many of us fell that year to polio which was an epidemic that was raging across the USA. This brings back the memories of  horror of the huge iron lungs that kept many alive.   Most of us would survive but many did not. Many among the survivors suffered permanent defects
My case was different because it had not affected by legs. My paralysis affected by throat area which included my vocal cords.  I had lost my voice and had to learn to speak, again.  Never , again, could I speak as well.  Back then we didn't have therapists to help us.  We were sent home and we recovered with the help of our parents and family. I was lucky because no one would guess that I had suffered polio.  When I returned to nursery school many of my friends had not returned. One was Ronald Markle. I worried all  that day if my missing friends would be returning.  I had seen the news clips in the movie theatre and there was mention that many children had died. I couldn't help but wonder about the fate of some of my missing friends.  Had they  died? The first question I asked my mother was about Ron.  The good news: Ron had survived .  The bad news: Ron would never be running races with me, again.
Ron Markle Ron Markle Ron Markle would be part of my graduation class from Lodi HS in 1960

Those of us who survived viewed the world differently than our classmates who hadn't suffered polio.  We were more serious [mature] and had learned why it was important to stop and smell the roses.

I was glad when life became dull and  boring, again.

About three blocks west were/are the railroad tracks. [I don't think the tracks divided our town into a wrong side vs the right side].

I still love the sound of the distant train whistle, the clicking and clacking of wheels over the tracks, and, the it's enormous power.  We had a small train station  with red tile roof and adobe walls like the old California missions....

During the WWII,  my mother and I rode the train all the way to New Orleans, Louisiana where  my Dad was stationed before leaving to board his ship, the USS New Jersey. A Life Magazine photographer captured me  on this train on film as we traveled this route.

Along the Lodi tracks were side tracks where train cars were loaded with the local produce from packing sheds, canneries and winerys. No one could be mistaken as to what fruit or vegetable was in season. My greatest dislike was tomato season. The cannery workers had to dip tomatoes in hot water and the waste water, that was still steaming, ran through the sewers. The terrible smell and steam rose out of every passage way as it ran under the streets until it cooled and vanished to wherever waste water vanished in those days.

Great excitement occurred when the ice man arrived on a day  when it was one hundred and four degrees in the shade.  We didn't have a refrigerator, we had an ice box, and ice had to be delivered in a truck. I do remember large blocks of ice which the ice man had to break into smaller blocks with a huge pick. The chips of ice created by this man were treasures to be swept up and used on our faces, wrists then they were popped into our mouths to melt.

It was so hot that we left footprints in the soften asphalt of the street. Several times , I fried eggs on our hot sidewalks

      "And the apple-trees cover'd with blossoms and the fruit afterward, and woodberries, and the commonest weeds by the road,
 And the drunkard staggering home from the ....tavern whence  he had lately risen....
...These became part of the child who went forth every day."
*There Was  A Child Went Forth by Walt Whitman


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