Friday, June 5, 2015

Seward's Clear View of the Milky Way

Patricia Tennesen has followed up her previous message to me:
Something people who live in small towns perhaps fail to realize is the beauty of their stars. In San Diego, even in 1962, it was difficult to see many stars at night due to the abundance of city lights. When summer arrived in Seward in 1962, I recall allowing my brother to make the wish on the first star reciting the very well known poem before making his wish. We both looked up at the most bountiful sky we had ever seen and made his wish together. 
He wanted roads for his Tonka trucks and tractors. Good roads that angry little boys could not create and quiet older sisters had tried to create using sticks of wood. He wanted manly roads with hills and bridges, overpasses and underpasses. 
My brother woke me up prior to the chickens the next morning, telling me,  Hurry, get up, we have new roads." 
We ran out before the sun was fully up to see roads carved into our mostly dirt lot including hills and a small creek with a wooded bridge passing over it and fancy curved overpasses. These roads were beyond our wildest dreams and had us asking everyone in the three houses that had been moved onto the site who had built the roads for his toy trucks to drive on. 
No one claimed responsibility. When we asked our father, he denied it. When we asked why the roads had went a particular way which seemed odd to us, he said, "Not sure, maybe zoning laws." We were left to wonder.
I left Seward in 1968. Since then, I never have seen the Milky Way as I saw it many times in Seward. 

I remember lying on my back on the practice-field plateau east of the football field and looking at the sky. The Milky Way stretched out clearly above me -- thousands of stars. 

I don't know if that view still can be seen in Seward. Perhaps there are too many "city lights" there now. That practice field was essentially a place outside of the town. 

And I remember playing with toy trucks when I was in third grade. I'd go over to Toby Beck's house to play with his toy trucks. In a previous post, I wrote:

Toby had a lot of toy trucks. I think he collected them. He always asked for and received more toy trucks on his birthday, Christmas, etc. In general, I thought that playing with toy trucks was rather lame, but his trucks were really cool, because they were Tonkas.
This photograph matches my memory of a typical truck that we played with.

 Vintage Tonka trucks are worth a lot of money now.

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