WALKING PATHS of My Childhood

Walking was as natural as breathing. Everything we did included walking paths! As a child, walking became a natural part of daily life but somehow was never something the family photographed. 🙂 Thank goodness for that street photographer that gave us several shots like this one over those early years in Fort Smith!

1945 Downtown Ft. Smith, AR with Me between Mom & Grandmother, brother Jerry at right.

And away from town on various outings, picnics, and family gathering we always were walking through nature, enjoying the great outdoors and finding new paths to explore! It was the best way to grow up! 🙂 Thanks Mom & Dad!

1946 Fishing with cousin “Bubba” and brother Jerry, Supervised by Mom.
1954 as a Boy Scout Hiking throughout South Arkansas as well as at Camp Quapaw here!

Of course I walked to school in both Elementary and Junior High Schools. By 6th Grade I got an old used bicycle to ride and for a year or so (8th-9th Grade) I tried a used motor scooter we got from my Cousin Gene. By 5th or 6th grade I was walking to town to get a haircut or to see Dad at Duggar Department Store (he managed) where I also walked to work one year as the after-school janitor during 8th or 9th Grade. But the most walking was probably the Boy Scout Hikes, some with adult leadership and by Junior High some with just us boys walking down a country road and into a pine forest that we had permission to hike & camp in, spending the night sleeping on pine straw and cooking our own meals. Those were the days! 🙂 My walking paths were increasing! 🙂

In high school I walked to school some but mostly took the city bus as it was quite a good distance. As a bag boy and later checker in the Sipes Supermarket I walked between work and home and as the only one in the family to attend church regularly, I often walked to church, though getting my driver license changed that some when the one and only family car was available. 🙂 And again, walking was so natural that thinking about it or planning for it was not a big deal then. Childhood is meant to include a lot of walking paths and mine certainly did! 🙂

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

– Walt Disney

¡Pura Vida!

More walking links on my Hiking & Camping Page.

6 Replies to “WALKING PATHS of My Childhood”

  1. It’s funny, my partner was raised in the same area, went to the same Boy Scout camp albeit 15 years later. Fishing, hiking, exploring all the mountains like the Washataws and Pettijean. We went there together for a family visit and dug for quartz. A great time!

    1. Deborah, it has been frequent here in Costa Rica that I learn what a “small world” it is! 🙂 Just a couple of weeks ago I heard from a retiree living in a suburb of San Jose who was born in the same little town in South Arkansas as me (Warren). Now your partner lived in or near El Dorado and went to Boy Scout Camp Logoly? Or was it at Camp Quapaw where I spent a summer as a staffer? Both have great memories for me. Yep! A small world. And the Ouachita Mountains are where my parents are buried (Hot Springs). And I graduated from Ouachita University. 🙂

  2. Charlie, I really liked reading about your childhood walks and seeing the photos. My life was very similar in north Louisiana. I always lived close enough to school to walk and Minden did not have a city bus system.

    Leaving tomorrow(Sunday) driving to Shreveport/Bossier City to spend Thanksgiving week with family.

    1. Reagan, Thanks! And though one of those photos was in Fort Smith where my Maternal Grandmother lived and us during “The War,” I really grew up in El Dorado which is almost the same “world” as Shreveport/Bossier City! From our house it was a fourteen-mile walk to the Louisiana border! 🙂 All our “Walking Paths” include lots of memories about growing up. And now my late-in-life “Walking Paths” in Costa Rica are creating a totally different kind of memories! 🙂

  3. I love the pictures Charlie! The street photographer pictures give such a natural look at life in that time period. I’ll always remember all the family picnics and outings we shared with cousins and other family!

    1. Bonnie, I love these early photos too! There is something historic, or “romantic” about the old black & white photos, a “spirit” that newer color photos don’t have. It is interesting how Jerry is distracted by something other than the street photographer while Grandmother seems to be purposefully ignoring the photographer and Mom & I are looking right at him with the expected smiles! 🙂 This was during WWII.

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