Canaan Years - Books, Rented Movies, and a Player Piano

We still didn't have a television, but that was fine. We had plenty of other things to keep us busy.

One was a little one-room library almost across the street from the parsonage. I discovered Grace Livingston Hill books. There one one whole shelf of her books. (For those who don't know, these are wholesome romance books, written in the early 1900's. Yes, they were usually about a rich girl who wishes for a simple life and a strong farm boy who rescues her from a dangerous predicament, but I liked them. All of them mentioned faith in God, and many of them gave a simple salvation message. ) I read every one of them, at least once.

There were plenty of quiet nooks around the parsonage where a person could read in peace. I remember reading Quo Vadis, The Robe, Green Mansions, The Hobbit, Jane Eyre, The Hiding Place, anything from Twain or Dickens, and many, many more...

Our family often read books together as part of our family devotions. We usually read biographies of missionaries, but sometimes read other books. I had recently finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows and suggested we read it as a family. I remember when we got to the end of the book, we were all crying over the dogs when someone came to the door. It was hard to explain that nothing was wrong; we were just reading a book.

Our youth group often passed around some good books. I remember one year, we all read Christy, by Catherine Marshall. We had long discussions as to who we thought she married, since the books leaves you hanging at the end. (I love those kind of endings.) The discussions became so intense, that one of the boys said that he'd read it to settle the argument. (I think she married the doctor.)

For a special treat, my father rented a movie for my brother's birthday. (Back then, the movies were DVD's or even VHS. They came on big reels, and you had a rent a projector too.) We invited a bunch of people over and watched The Prince and the Pauper and a short movie "Ti-Jean, the Lumberjack" of a Canadian tall-tale character. (It was funny to watch that one backwards.)

Just before we moved from New York, my father bought an old player piano with some rolls. He repaired the bellows as best he could, but it still took endurance to play a whole song. It was through that old player piano that I learned many old tunes, like "The White Cliffs of Dover", "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", and "By the Light of the Silvery Moon." My brother was the only one who could make it all the way through "The William Tell Overture."

Who needed TV?


Joanne Sher said...

Sound like wonderful, wonderful times.

Rita Garcia said...

Thanks, Vonnie, for sharing these delightful memories. It brought to mind many of my own precious memories. We didn't have a TV either.

Anonymous said...

Nice memories! Thanks for

Sherri Ward said...

Love this bit of nostalgia! It's nice to get a sense of how others grew up and what they remember.


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