Memories of Burlington

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, I remember visiting my grandparents, Clarie and Bea Barnes, at their home northwest of Burlington. The house was set very far back off the road, and there was a long gravel driveway leading up to the house. The front lawn seemed absolutely huge to my eyes at the time. It was more than big enough to contain the pickup football games that my older cousins would always play. There was a large Willow tree in the yard – the only one I had ever seen in my young life. Nearby, there was a rhubarb plant that was always good for laughs – watching other family members make sour faces at the raw taste of the stalk!

To the right of the driveway sat a very nice unattached garage. It was there that I watched my Grandpa Clarie demonstrate his new found hobby – an electric spinning wood lathe. At first he would make the typical things – spindles, table legs, etc. But then he got good enough to make bowls, spheres – almost any shape you could imagine.

One day, one of the pickup trucks on the property needed a battery jumpstart and my dad, Garnett Carter, used our vehicle to help get it going. But somehow a spark burned my dad’s finger or hand. Grandma Bea went into the house and got her Aole Vera plant. She broke open a leaf and rubbed the liquid on the burn. My dad said he felt better. To my young eyes, it was Magic! My grandmother had magic plants!

I also remember a large LP tank in the backyard, with the big “T” on the side (for Tenbrook Sales.) And there was a woods behind their property where we would go mushroom hunting. Then, my grandmother would batter those babies up and fry em in a pan. Yum!

I also remember her baking cookies there and my being astonished at how soft they were!

In their basement, you could always have a good time playing with the billiard table.

At the kitchen table, I remember my cousins and I singing a silly version of “Rudoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” one christmas and recording it on a small portable cassette tape recorder. What fun!

In the “den”, there was a wood burning fireplace, and we held our annual Christmas exchange there many times. I also remember having it in the “front room” a time or two. But I remember my Uncle Danny taking 8mm FILM home videos in the Den during christmas. The light that sat on top of it was SO BRIGHT it nearly blinded you.

Years later, I still remember the exact layout of the house and can navigate through it in my mind. It was a wondrous part of my childhood. I have thought about the times we shared there many times since.

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2 Comments on “Memories of Burlington”

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