|Birth: ||Jan. 20, 1887|
|Death: ||Jun. 30, 1965|
Staying At Grandpa’s
Circa 1957 by Steve Badgley
It was in the fall of 1957 and the great “space race” was on. The Russians had successfully launched a satellite named Sputnik. I remember everybody talking about it and how someday we would put a man in space.
My sister Karen and I were staying at Grandpa Hysell’s house in Syracuse when the Russians sent up this satellite. Our parents were vacationing with the Spencers and we got to stay there for quite a few days. Karen and I also spent some time over at our Aunt Rachel & Uncle Pearl’s house. Aunt Rachel was our Great Aunt on our mother’s side of the family. I remember going over there on Saturday morning and watching “Flash Gordon” on her TV. She had a spotless, clean house with everything in its place. She would fix us a glass of Ovaltine. Ovaltine was used to make chocolate milk. It was the sponsor of “Flash Gordon.” We would also watch the “Buster Brown Show.” The main character was Andy Devine. He had a real gravely voice and I can still hear him say, “Twang your magic twanger Froggy!” He would say that whenever they showed a cartoon. The sponsor was Buster Brown Shoes. The Buster Brown label was a little boy and his dog and it was inside the shoes where your heel goes. The TV commercials showed this little boy and his dog and he would say, “Hi, I’m Buster Brown, I live in a shoe, this is my dog, he lives here too!” We also watched the “Mighty Mouse Cartoon Show” and “Fury” which was a black horse. This was Karen’s favorite show.
One evening we were playing “Tag” & “Hide and Seek” with some of the kids in the neighborhood and it was starting to get dark. One of the kids said we should watch the sky and see if we could see the Sputnik. We watched and waited in the chill night air to catch a glimpse of this marvel. Someone said “There it is!” and when I looked up I saw this blinking light moving across the clear night sky. It looked like a star but was moving at a pretty good rate of speed. I was so excited I started running towards the house shouting, “Grandpa! Grandpa! Come see the Sputnik!” I was yelling pretty loud and Grandpa and Oma both came out. Oma was mad at me for yelling so loud and made me go into the house and sit in a chair. She thought I was upsetting the neighbors by making all that noise. I just wanted my Grandpa to see this amazing sight. She wouldn’t listen to my excuses so I had to take my punishment.
There was a creek that ran beside Grandpa’s house and sometimes Grandpa and I would sit on the porch and watch for rats. Grandpa had a pellet pistol and he would shoot the rats. He was a pretty good shot. He sometimes let me shoot that pistol. It was a lot of fun. I loved to play down in that creek. I would take sticks or a piece of board and make boats and sail them. It flowed through a culvert that went under the street and it was really neat to walk under there and hear the cars go over your head. I would play there every chance I got until Oma found out and made me get out of it. She was afraid a rat would bite me. As soon as she went back into the house, I’d go back.
There were two little boys that lived in the house across the creek. They used to come out and play. There mother was very protective though and they weren’t allowed to play in the creek either. We played there anyway! We used to launch a fleet of enemy “ships” made out of sticks and such and as the current carried them along, we would try to hit them with rocks. We would get up on the little footbridge and drop bombs (rocks) on them. Then as the current carried them under the road, we would scramble up to the street bridge and drop rocks on them again. We had a lot of fun doing that. (I think part of the fun was knowing we weren’t supposed to be playing in the creek.)
There was a little garden near the creek and there was rhubarb growing in it. I had never seen it before. I remember Oma telling me she was going to make some rhubarb pie. I just couldn’t picture a pie being made out of this stuff. She said it tasted like apple pie, but I didn’t believe her. I can’t remember if she made it while I was there or not. If she did, I don’t believe I tasted it. I never did develop a taste for rhubarb pie but I think of Oma whenever I see it or someone mentions it.
I remember Mrs. Cowie. She was Oma’s mother and stayed with Grandpa and Oma. I remember we had to be quiet when we were in the house because, if not, we would wake up Mrs. Cowie. I was kind of scared of her until I actually met her and got to talk to her. She was really a nice lady. She had this cast iron World War1 toy soldier, a doughboy holding his rifle. She would let me play with it sometimes. I had to be very careful with it though. It must have meant a lot to her. She had a son who was in the submarine service in World War 2 and the Japanese sank his submarine. He never came home. I remember hearing Grandpa talk about it and feeling so sad for her. There was this big multi-colored rock that was used as a doorstop. I believe it was in Mrs. Cowie’s room. Oma told me it was a meteorite. It was beautiful and very heavy.
Grandpa had a radio in his car! I remember going on a ride with him and he was playing it. The music was “Big Band” era songs. I was fascinated with that. I don’t think our car had a radio. If it did, Dad never played it. To this day, whenever I hear a Benny Goodman tune or any song from that era, this memory comes back to me.
Story from "The Badgley Family Journal"
Ina Irene McBride Hysell (1891 - 1928)
Oma M Cowie Hysell (1909 - 1998)*
Dorothy Pearl Hysell Badgley (1912 - 2001)*
George William Hysell (1915 - 1920)*
Letart Falls Cemetery
Created by: Steve Badgley
Record added: Jun 19, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8955460