Lake Sylvan
    The original lake was 2 to 3 times bigger then it is now (after being dug out in 1988).  Shortly after the lake was built a young man drowned, trying to swim across the lake. I can remember sitting on the North bank watching boats drag for the body.  Later there was a lifeguard on duty most of the time, with Sam McGorman and Maurice Hunt were two that I can remember. There were Red Cross swimming lessons then as now.  
    It seems the lake began to gradually fill in every time high water would occur. We could feel a layer of mud
beginning to form on the bottom.  I would guess that most swimming had stopped by the late 1940s. However, when we were kids it was a wonderful place to swim.  In the years that followed the lake filled in more and more until it was basically a slew filled with reeds. In 1988 Kockelman Construction offered to dig out the area to a depth of 4 ft. for a price of $14,000. This was done and it is felt that because of 3 dams built west of town, the sediment problem should be under control. I feel Kockelman’s did this for civic pride because they certainly lost money on the project. 
 
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~Excerpt…  Full Story here...
©Darold Snortum 2007
 
 
Kids Play
    I'm probably wrong, but I have the feeling that when we were kids we had more fun then kids do now days. The main reason being play wasn't organized like it is now. We could pretty much do what we wanted when we wanted. I can remember warm summer days, lying on my back on the grass, hearing chickens clucking in the background, doing nothing but looking at the different shaped clouds. I wonder if kids now ever do that?  We did have plenty to do though when we felt like it. 
    Neighborhood softball games in the evening, just hating to see it get dark. We'd play double or triple work-up. Two or three players keep batting until one is put out. The out player moves out to right field and every one moves up a position until they get to bat. Do they still do that--I don't know. Our field was railroad property where Nordquist furniture now stands [currently Outland Renewable Energy LLC]. 
 
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©Darold Snortum 2007
 
 
Kids Play II
 
   There were three distinct spring areas. Always a good cold drink trickling into the creek. Exploring and building small dams were part of the fun. We had to find many excuses for coming home with wet clothes and shoes. We were always trying to build a raft but usually ended up with wet feet. Never could find enough logs to do a good job but we had fun trying.
    It was always exciting to stand close to the railroad track and watch the freight trains, steam locomotives, go by. It took a number of years before we dared to stand under the bridge while the train was going over.
 
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©Darold Snortum 2007
 
 
 
Kids Play III
 
   I've got to admit that we were probably as hung up on radio shows after school as kids are on TV today.  As we got a little older, we would sprawl on the carpet by the radio and be intrigued by shows like " The Lux Radio Theatre, The FBI in Peace and War, Suspense, Edger Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly" and many, many more. A good imagination easily took the place of video. I also remember listening to many boxing matches, especially Joe Lewis fights.
    You still see premiums offered on products, cereal, candy, etc. Now, most premiums are available with a proof of purchase and a sum of money. Years ago, most promotions were free with a substantial number of box tops or candy wrappers. Sometimes there would be a short cut method with fewer box tops and a little cash. However, if you had patience and pestered your folks to buy the product (and willingly ate the product) you could get quality prizes.  Post cereals, Mars, Baby Ruth, Planters Peanuts were some of the prominent products. We always kept our eyes to the ground as we walked, looking for candy wrappers. 
 
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©Darold Snortum 2007