Saturday, April 30, 2016

A to Z April Challenge: Z is for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Genealogists and family historians get a lot of satisfaction from chasing their ancestors’ stories. Finding a diary, a message on a postcard, or a photo with a name attached is like the sun coming out after a storm. One day we will be somebody’s ancestor. We need to leave our descendants a little bit of sunshine too. So here is my story told alphabetically, not chronologically: Growing Up in Cradock.

is for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Did anyone ever sleep at a sleepover? When I was in junior high school and maybe even early high school, a sleepover was a major event. Typically it was part of a birthday party but not always. Maybe it was just the crowd I hung with, but at every single one of them, the goal was to stay up all night.

How did we manage to do that? About the time that it was officially “late,” we watched “Shock Theater,” a local television show in which a Dracula-type vampire would rise out of a coffin with his greeting, “Good EEEE-ven-ing.” Then he introduced some classic horror movie featuring Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, the Mummy or somebody along those lines.

After the movie, it was time for prank phone calls. These gags were pretty funny to 12 and 13-year olds but are old hat now. Well, not just old, not even funny. We grabbed the phone book, opened to a random page, and dialed a random number. The gags went like this:
“Is your refrigerator running? Well, you’d better go catch it!” OR
“Do you have Prince Albert in a can? Well, you’d better let him out.”
Yeah, we were a laugh riot.

My sister's sleepover at our house - 9th birthday party 1968

The most fun though was a special phone number supplied by one of the local radio stations. The number connected to something like a pre-Internet chat room. When the number connected, you could hear everybody who was calling and then strike up a conversation. We often exchanged phone numbers with other slumber parties and called each other. Now, this was in the days before cell phones, so it was ONE house phone. Everyone at the party who wanted to talk just had to wait their turn.

Some girls had bad experiences at sleepovers where the girls would do something mean to any girl who fell asleep (like covering their face with shaving cream or freezing water in their bra). Fortunately I never attended such a party. If someone fell asleep, it was allowed.

As for me, I hung in there. But Saturdays were never good as a result. Sometimes Momma would have a long list of things for me to do just so that I could not take a nap. That would teach me! 

Zip, Zoom, or Zigzag over to the A to Z April Challenge Zone for Zillions of Zesty Zingers by Zealous Zanies before they are Zapped.  But the challenge is now over, so it’s time for me to catch some zzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

Now where's that Survivor Badge?

© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

34 comments:

  1. A very tempting Z word, Wendy. I think there'll be plenty of zzzzzz going on over the next few days :) I didn't like going on sleepovers. I was quite an insecure child and needed my home comforts.

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful month of interesting posts, Wendy. It has been a real pleasure to stop by each day and learn more about you. I look forward to keeping in touch.

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    1. My daughter had a friend who was very popular and always had invitations to sleepovers but she would never go. We were all surprised that she went away to college and even got married. HA HA

      Thanks for being such a loyal visitor. I hope to see you again.

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  2. Well you certainly haven't been sleeping on the job while doing the challenge. A very entertaining series of posts. I enjoyed them all.

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    1. That's very kind of you. Thanks. I enjoyed your wildflowers.

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  3. Mostly the sleepovers were at my house... from the time I started school to the time we all get married. We lived in a very small town and same group of friends for many years, we didn't get very many Zzz's either,
    It has been fun following you on your A to Z journey Wendy. Thanks for sharing your memories and evoking mine!

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    1. This has been fun. I've enjoyed getting to know you too. Don't be a stranger!

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  4. Congratulations on another successful A to Z Challenge!

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  5. I really enjoyed your series! Congratulations on finishing and with such a nice use of ZZZZZzz. Funny, I woke up thinking about that survivors badge too :)

    Sometimes I spent the night at my best friends house or she spent the night at mine, but we never had a "sleepover" with a crowd. We just did stuff like help get dinner and tell scary stories before dropping off to sleep.

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  6. Thoroughly enjoyed your A to Z posts Wendy. They were fun, stirred up plenty of my own memories and super clever.

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    1. It's funny - reading others' responses stirred up new memories for me. I kept thinking, "I should have said that. I wish I had remembered that."

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  7. We had a few sleepovers growing up and in my teens, but I remember we eventually ended up going to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, mainly because of boredom :) However, my son and his friends would make it through the whole night without sleeping but they had video games, movies, etc.

    Great theme you had! Enjoyed reading about your growing up days!

    Congrats on finishing!

    betty

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    1. Looking back, sleepovers really were boring after a few hours, but I don't think we were willing to admit it.

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  8. How inventive you were for the letter Z. Thank you for your continued support and comments during this year's challenge. We survive it and can now take a rest!

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    1. I'm not sure what to do next! I need to get back to regular blogging about ancestors but I haven't decided on what.

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  9. Once again, you are my hero. One of these years I'll give A to Z a try.

    We had lots of sleepovers as kids but I was never, ever allowed to have them at my house. I sure understood why once I became a mother to two girls - not only do the girls not sleep but neither do the parents!

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    1. That's right - it was a tough night for parents. I totally forgot that.

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  10. Wendy,
    I really enjoyed every one of your entries...what a great trip down Cradock's memory lane. I feel like I've just returned from a long visit there!
    I am going to share all of this with my brother and two sisters so they can also enjoy the trip!
    Glad I stumbled on to this blog!
    Jan

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    1. Jan, I appreciate the visits. Growing up in Cradock was the best, wasn't it? Tell your sisters and brother HELLO from me.

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  11. What a great finale Wendy! Now you can have a sleep-in unless those chores have piled up ;)

    I used to have occasional sleepovers with one or max two friends but our daughters had a few group sleepovers including one when they frightened the daylights out of each other with ghost stories and all needed hot milo and cuddles and calming.

    I've never heard of the random gag calls.

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    1. Oh, the scary stories. I never had one to tell. But I can picture a group going off the deep end at a party. Poor parents.

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  12. Really enjoyed your posts. I only went to a few slumber parties and I'm afraid there were a few tricks played, fortunately not by me or to me! Have a terrific weekend!

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    1. The tricks take the fun out of it, I think. I wouldn't have enjoyed worrying about what might happen. Thanks for the visit.

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  13. Ah Wendy - we had very similar childhoods...loved sleepovers but Deb is correct...the parents don't get much sleep either....I remember beds being short-sheeted but I think that was boarding school.

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    1. Oh yes - short sheeting. Gosh, I had forgotten that. That's actually pretty funny.

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  14. I never went to sleepover parties, but I spent a lot of nights with this cousin or that one. Those times were fun. :)

    My siblings and I watched "Shock Theater", too, but it came on in our area on Saturday afternoons. I loved that show!

    Did you girls ever get in trouble for the prank calls? It sounds like you had a blast. :)

    I've enjoyed reading your post. Congratulations for surviving this challenge. It has been fun!

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    1. We never got in real trouble. We angered some people who yelled at us for calling in the middle of the night, and a few threatened to call the police, but how would the police actually find us? Thanks for reading and commenting. It has been fun, hasn't it?

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  15. Well done for keeping up the pace, Wendy, I don't know how you do it and such an interesting series too - In years to come, I'm sure your grandchildren and their children will be very appreciative of your efforts.

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    1. Thanks Dara. My life hasn't been exceptional or even that interesting, but these simple memories seem to have sparked other people's memories. What has been interesting to me is how similar everyone's experiences have been.

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  16. We had sleepovers one place or another almost every weekend, and they were such good fun
    Debbie

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    1. I thought they were fun too, but I do recall being very VERY tired afterwards. Thanks for the visit!

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  17. Well done on finishing the challenge! Thank you also for being a regular visitor to my blog. I appreciate it!

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    1. I appreciate your visits too.

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