Thursday, June 11, 2009

Internet Magic Fridays

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters including our Campus Times. She will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.

You Can Go Home Again

I’ve been thinking a lot about Northwest Iowa this week. That’s because I will be going there next week – to my old home town. I can hardly wait!

I have been known to say that I had a “Leave it to Beaver” childhood. By the way, when you click on the link below, you’ll see that Jerry Mathers, child star of that old TV show, is listed by Wikipedia as a “Notable Resident” of Rock Rapids, Iowa.

Jerry’s dad, Norm Mathers, was a coach at the local high school in the early 1950’s before moving the family to California.

I did have an ideal childhood in Rock Rapids. My mother went there to teach high school in the early ‘30’s . When she first went to interview for the position, she was invited to the home of the then school board president, Alpheus Hezekiah Lockwood. She was sitting for the interview in his living room when “Alphy’s” son Dewitt came bounding down the stairs in tennis attire ready for a game. The rest is history, as they say. My dad, Dewitt, used to say he later sat behind my mother in church and admired the long brown braids wrapped around her head, wondering what it would be like to unbraid her hair…well, you get the idea. He asked her for a date and Dewitt and “Tucky” were married in 1934 – smack in the middle of the depression.

But by the late 40’s and early to mid 50’s, when I was at my most impressionable age, life was good. We never locked our doors, we played outside all over town and came home at night when the 6:00 whistle blew, we walked on the railroad tracks downtown to the local movie (10 cents up to age 12, then 25 cents age 12 and up). We “goofed around” (as opposed to “hanging out” which kids do today).

My dad was the local undertaker. Well, actually my grandfather (Alphy) was a licensed mortician. My dad was the “funeral director.” They had a furniture store and funeral home on Main Street.

So, what’s all this got to do with the Internet, and what would interest YOU about this story? Well, everything has something to do with the Internet sooner or later. In preparing for my trip, gathering information, and connecting with my friends, I have used the Internet many times:

1. Travel arrangements. To book my airline ticket. I am flying to Des Moines to stay one night with Rosemary, my dear friend since 3rd grade (when her dad moved their family to Rock Rapids from Milwaukee, Wisconsin). From the first day I met Rosemary at school, we became fast friends. She was the Homecoming Queen, and I will love her forever. The next day, Rosemary and I will drive to Rock Rapids for Heritage Days (the all-high school reunion).

2. Information. I keep up with Heritage Days activities at the Rock Rapids website.

For the Heritage Days Events Schedule, click on the link on the left hand side.

In Rock Rapids, we will stay with Alice Marie, another lifelong friend. Alice Marie’s mother and my mother taught together in Rock Rapids, married our dads, and had to resign their positions because married teachers could not teach! Alice Marie and I were born a few years later, and have been friends ever since. She married her high school sweetheart, Arnold, and they have lived and farmed near Rock Rapids all these years. She are Arnold are the best hosts in the world. They open their hearts and their home every year for returning high school alumni.

3. Connections. Through email. Of course we all keep up with each other’s travel schedules (and lives, for that matter) through email – the ultimate Internet activity. My sister is celebrating her 50th high school class reunion this year, and she and her husband will be “camping” down from Wisconsin for that celebration. She and I worked on her high school memory book together – you guessed it, by email!

And Facebook! By keeping track of each other’s posts and pictures, we “see” the activities of family and friends on a routine basis.

So you see? You can go home again, and you need the Internet to get the trip together.

Wherever you are from, you can go home again by keeping in touch through the Internet. Just Google your local newspaper and catch up on the “news.”

Come back next Friday, and I’ll tell you more about my trip!

Jane Booras is Editor of the Campus Times Newsletter for Computer School for Seniors (


Anonymous said...


This is fun. I remember visiting my cousins in Billings, Montana when I was about 12 - we walked on the railroad tracks, went to the movie on Main Street, played outside until dark and my Uncle owned the local funeral home. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

For me it brings back memories of St. Joseph, Missouri. Playing hide and seek at night and chasing fireflys! Mimi