Summertime and The Pike State Forest 1960s Style

Back in the 60s when I was a little girl, our family spent a lot of time at the Pike State Forest.   It was shady and cool.  It was close to home for a get away.

My Mammaw Evans and me at the State Forest 1961

It has been a few years since I have been out there.  The last time I was there, those swings and teeter totters were still there.  It was such a challenge to get the right number of kids on the teeter totter to balance it.  How much time did we spend in that endeavor?  And always begging to be pushed in those swings?  And slicking up the slide with the wax paper from the picnic potato chip bags?  You flew down it so fast sometimes you could not catch yourself and landed on your butt in the soft dirt.

Jimmy and Buck on the slide at the State Forest.
Dad, Karla Sue, Bucky and one of the Corn Corn’s on the swings

Does anyone else remember your dad cutting a grapevine and swinging out over the hollers? Dad carving your names into the trees with his pocketknife and just walking around and reading all the names carved into trees?  And swimming in the river? 

My brothers and I coming back up the path from swimming in the river

The park was always full of people.   You would be lucky to find a place sometimes.   My dad had his favorite spots.  The tables used to be scattered in areas all along the road.  We would walk to the fire tower and watch dad climb it.  Sometimes we would go into the woods to the old Corn cemetery.  We always had a picnic.  Sometimes we grilled hamburgers.  Sometimes we roasted hotdogs.  Sometimes we just had a choice of baloney and cheese or cheese and baloney, as dad always said 🙂    Mammaw Evans would make fresh squeezed lemonade in a glass jar. 

Momma grillin some burgers
Mammaw Evans peeling taters, Karla Sue, Momma and us kids
Our family sitting down to eat

If I am wrong here, someone correct me, but I believe the forest and fire tower were part of the CCC camp’s work in the 1930’s following the depression. 

Dad and Bucky up to something
Stevie and I having fun on the swings at the forest

I miss those days.  I’m sure it was hot and bugs bit us and we had poison ivy, but I don’t remember those things.  I only remember the good times we all had being together.


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