Most of what happened in second grade when I was seven years old is a blur. However, when I look at the faces of my classmates, I have to wonder where they live, if any of them served in Vietnam, what work they accomplished, and if they had or are they having a positive influence on others?
I don’t even remember how I got to school. We didn’t live more than 8-9 blocks from this school. Our home was located on the corner of “Parkside and Julian.” In good weather we could probably walk there in 10 minutes. It might have been less, as I recall being able to walk through an area that is now filled with homes. That would have been a short cut.
The Blessing of Location
I probably didn’t appreciate it when I was seven years old but growing up in Naperville was a blessing. The schools were excellent. The neighborhoods were safe and relatively crime free. I was never afraid, but my parents locked the doors because they grew up in Chicago.
I rode my bike just about anywhere in the entire town. That meant I could get to the marvelous quarry that was transformed into Centennial Pool. It was easy to go downtown to the Ben Franklin 5 and 10 store to buy a toy or a huge Hershey milk chocolate candy bar for 10 cents. It was safe to bike to a friend’s house without any serious concern for my safety. This was made possible because my parents chose Naperville for the first part of my early years.
We didn’t move to Wisconsin until I was in the middle of my freshman year of high school. That also became a blessing in many ways. However, at the time, it was distressing and difficult. Sometimes the change that happens in the moment seems hard, but later you may see the benefits.
Thank You Mom and Dad
The wise decisions that my mother and father made during my youth were far greater than I could have imagined. We could have lived in Chicago, but my parents chose Naperville. Now that I have seen more of the tough side of the cities in the USA and around the world, I realize our tiny house in Naperville was a palace and a fortress. Thank you, Clyde Winquist and Shirley Winquist. Your wisdom in simple things like choosing a place to live was so good.
Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
If you don’t recognize me in the class picture, look for a blonde boy. Here is a hint…