My Hometown Circleville, Ohio
Growing Up in the 60s
|This is the house where I grew up
I grew up in a small town in Ohio with a population
of 10,000. Circleville is located 23 miles
south of Columbus, Ohio and I think the
population hasn't grown much above 13,000 in 39 years since I left. It is the where the annual
Pumpkin Show is held, which is the largest street carnival in the state perhaps the U.S. I am
proud of the town where I grew up where I lived there for over 21 years of my life. Those 21
years were probably the most memorable years of my life and I often reflect back to that
time. I am retired and now live now in the Dallas, Texas area but I do miss the old home
town but certainly not the cold winters.
Ted Lewis was also born in
Circleville and unlike some other celebrities, he was proud of his small town roots as I am of mine. He was
famous for his top hat and his clarinet and singing the song "Me and My
Shadow" during the vaudeville days. He never
missed an opportunity while on stage or in a movie to plug Circleville, Ohio into his act or movie. So
even though I am not famous like Ted Lewis, I think it would be appropriate here to mention my
roots. I graduated from Circleville High School in 1966. Here is my picture as senior from
Circleville High School and of the high school I attended. Of course it is no longer the high school
but the middle school now.
We always found a way to keep ourselves
entertained in our little environment of Town Street, Circleville, Ohio. Our town was small but as many small
towns, Circleville had its share of memorable characters and ideal hangouts. I recall that we had our
own Barney Fife type of police officer. I
remember his name but I will not divulge it for the sake of his family and his memory. I
think all small towns had their own Barney Fife or at least could relate to
somebody like that.
Growing up in a small town in the 50s and
60s had its advantages which may or may not be evident in many small communities
today. As already mentioned I live around
Dallas, Texas and have lived here now for 14 years. I know my neighbor on my left
and right and across the street. That is it. While growing up in Circleville we knew everybody on
the street where we lived. The families knew the kids and kind of watched out for us and even
snitched to our parents if we weren't in line. What is so different today then yesterday? I
don't have the answer. I just know most people seem so preoccupied with their own lives to care
about anybody else that isn't family. In the 60s, families only needed one income to make ends
meet. ( Click here to check out the
economy and prices during the
60s) Today it is so difficult for an average family to make a
living on one income so both parents work or there is only one parent in the home. As a result of this
social outlets are now limited to the work place and not to the home environment or our
I recall the games we made up and perfected as
we grew up in those fun years. One that comes to mind is foil ball. I know what you are thinking
"what the heck is foil ball?" It is a game patterned around baseball. The ball is actually a
tightly rolled ball of aluminum foil. The teams were one man teams. The bat was a small wooden
one, the souvenir type about 18-24 inches long. I know you have seen them. The ball is pitched from about 15
feet away and thrown as hard as you can. You have three outs. A strike is an out and a foul ball
is a strike of course. A hit ball is a run. Very difficult to hit a pitch. Most games were low
scoring. We started having tournaments with all our friends around the neighborhood. We played this game
well into our teens. My friend Ron's mother would always go berserk because she supplied the foil. The
foil ball had to be replaced quite often as it became battered up. When she wouldn't supply us anymore, we
would rip it off her planters she had wrapped in foil. Of course Ron ended up in the doghouse over
Then there were our wiffle ball games.
Again these were one or two person teams played similar to foil ball but the distance you hit the ball determined
of what kind of hit it was (i.e. single, double, triple or home run). We had teams and tournaments.
Since my home had a driveway with a large street light, my home field games were under the
lights. What imagination we had then! Today kids are so involved in video games and other things
with their friends that does not include getting out moving around and getting the heart rate up.
Here in the neighborhood where I live now, I seldom see pickup games of baseball, football or
basketball as we always had. This may explain the obesity in our children of
Reminiscing back to the 60s I will always
remember a man by the name of Bert Mulhberger. Looking back and thinking about those days I think he may have
been homeless or stayed with relatives or acquaintances. Back then you never even considered anybody being
homeless, although they probably existed. What was strange about this guy is that his old beat-up
black 1949 Pontiac was loaded down with clothes and sports equipment. Every kid who played sandlot
sports knew Bert. He would make his rounds to different parks and locations to get a pickup game of whatever
sport was in season at that time. He just played with the kids. This may be scary by today's
standards but there was nothing pedophile about Bert and I never heard anything bad about him except he could
use a bath now and then. He was very good at playing these sports and was he so quick for a man his
We had an old canning factory in my town
and he would work there during the summer season but always found the time to play. I wonder what happened to
him? I am sure he has passed away by now. Perhaps every small community had its own Bert, but looking back and
thinking how insignificant of a person he appeared, he played a large part in some young boys' lives. I think he
played a large part in mine also.
I was just recently thinking of my
childhood friend Ron, as I quite often do. We grew up together from young boys to young men. I was
at his home more than mine and his parents were like second parents to me. I graduated in 1966 and he in
1967. We were always close. He went into the Navy and I chose the Army. I made the United States Army my
career and retired in 1994. He continues to work today and lives in a community around Columbus.
As we entered adulthood we went our
separate ways. Both of us got married and started families. We communicated for awhile and now our
contact is nearly non-existent. I try to make it a point to call or see him when I go home to
Ohio. It seems like friends we make today very seldom matches the friendships we developed when we were
kids. Although these friendships fade like an old photo, no friends I have today compare to those I had when I was
growing up. Gee I miss the 60s, the friendships, the laugher and crazy fun. Who doesn't?
Read some more of my adventures and memories of the 60s by
My fondest memories of summers past growing up in the small town of
Circleville, Ohio was cruisin' the town. I guess from everybody's perspective it could be their home
town as well. I bet all small towns in the U.S. are all pretty much the same.
Jade East Adventure
We wore our best jeans or dress pants, a pressed shirt and polished
shoes. Which leads me to the icon of the 60s that no guy could do without and no lady could resist and
that was Jade East Cologne. The girls just went wild over it. I believe it was a toxic agent that
released the hormones in the girls. At least that is what I thought and the buddies I hung out with
The 60s Tradition of Eating Together as a Family
The most memorable tradition of growing up in the 1960s was our eating
together as a family around our large dining room table. That tradition has entirely disappeared in
Blown Perfect Game
Thinking back to that time when baseball was America' favorite past time,
(I now think football may have taken that lead) Sometimes we played several games a day and often
played until it was too dark to actually see the ball. That is how much we enjoyed the game of
baseball. When we weren't playing on weekends we listened to Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese calling the
game of the week on TV.
Great Pumpkin Caper
It was a dark moonless night as we cruised in Jim's 1950 black Chevy.
This car wasn't the best looking machine around but it always made it to where we were going. Since the
statue of limitations has expired, I can now provide details of the Great Pumpkin Caper.
The Haunted Bridge Near Yellowbud
When I was a sophomore or junior in high school in Circleville, Ohio. I
recall the legend of a haunted bridge near a place called Yellowbud close to Williamsport, Ohio.
Union Street, Circleville, Ohio crosses my mind so often as I look back
to the sixties. My friend Ron and I use to practically live on that street during our teen years. The
street was loaded with many lovely girls from high school with whom we hung out. The 60s music we
listened to is showcased here.
Union Street Peeping Toms
This is a continuing episode of Ron and my Union Street Chronicles from
Growing up in the 1960s I probably did some crazy stuff but nothing could
compare to the road trip Ron, Edwin and I took to Waverly Ohio in 1965 to see those lovely girls we had
met a few months before. Besides Edwin's wheel flying off the car with us traveling about 70 MPH,
staying at one of the girl's homes while their parents were away and of course the highway patrol
looking for us, it was pretty much uneventful. Right!
What Ever Happened to The Cool Jocks?
Driving down the main drag with the radio blaring and listening to the
top music of the day was quite a memory! What characterized those great days of the 60s was the cool
disc jockeys that jammed the airways during that era. Whatever happend to them?
Cream Ice Cream
During the 60s with the arrival of the dog days of summer, came the
clanging of the bell and the music of the ice cream truck arriving in the neighborhood. Kids all over
the area stopped in their track and ran home to get their dime to purchase a treat from the frozen
Just recently while enjoying a great pizza here in Texas, my mind began
wandering back to Circleville, Ohio, where in my teens, my friends and I frequented the oldest pizza
establishment in town. Vick's Pizza.