Area grown-ups remember their favorite things
Dr. Mary E. Money of Hagerstown with her favorite childhood toy her blue Schwinn bicycle. At right is a trike that was a hand me down from her older brother. (By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer / December 22, 2012)
“And I had this fancy little kind of chickens. And I’d put these pop beads around them. The beads would hang together and the chickens looked fabulous with them on.”
Brightman grew up in the little town of Laurens, N.Y., near Cooperstown, N.Y. With her father being a park ranger, her mother a homemaker and “a creek in the backyard with native brookies (trout), we were basically the Walton folk,” she said, referring to a 1970s TV show about a 1930s mountain family.
“We had maple trees. We made maple syrup. We canned. Very good memories,” Brightman said. “We all learned to ski. Yeah, my aunt and uncle had a dairy farm up in that region. In those days, young kids, they were considered to be part of the (work) team.”
But as a little girl growing up, part of her own playtime fun became to play with Teddy and the chickens — in their Pop Bead regalia — along the road that passed by her family home.
As she played, “cars would go past. You could hear their brakes squeal. And the cars would back up,” Brightman said laughing. “They didn’t know what they were looking at. You could almost see the questions” by their expressions.
“And,” she said, laughing, “life’s been all downhill from there.”
Mike Ross, president
Franklin County Area Development Corp.
At age 11 or 12, Mike Ross was the oldest of three boys that Christmas morning in rural Pennsylvania in the 1960s when they all got a big surprise.
“We lived on a farm at the time. And my parents came in and announced we had to go to the barn. The snow — truly, there was a real snowstorm with snow about waist-deep — and we were taken aback to see a pony over there for us,” the 58-year-old Ross recalled.
“That would have been my favorite Christmas as a kid. Getting a pony was my favorite,” said Ross, who has been president of the nonprofit business recruitment Franklin County Area Development Corp. since 1986.
The pony, whose name was Scout, was a brownish color with a lighter mane, Ross said.
The family lived on a 130-acre farm in the little town of Orwigsburg, Pa., about 25 miles north of Reading, Pa., and roughly 120 miles northeast of Chambersburg.
At the time, the family didn’t farm the land, but Ross’ father, who was a school teacher and wrestling coach, “got this idea. He must have watched too much ‘Green Acres,’” Ross said, referring to the 1960s weekly TV comedy show about farm livin’.
“So we had some chickens, some steers for our food supply... So the horse was just for recreation,” Ross said. “All three of us (brothers) rode it.”
The family had Scout for about six years.
Dr. Mary Money, physician
specializing in internal medicine