January 2, 1964 – A Journal Memory

3 kids-1964

3 kids-1964 (624x800)

Throughout the years while I was raising my four kids (beginning in 1954), I kept a journal where I periodically made notes about holidays, school, vacations, etc.  As an occasion arises where I think one of my journal entries would be pertinent, I’m going to post it just as I wrote or typed it back in the day (except for an explanatory note or correction of a typo).  

The children will be known here by the nicknames their grandfather used when they were toddlers:  The oldest daughter will be Newsie (because she was as good as a newspaper for finding out the latest happenings), the oldest son is Bar (because he called Grandpa’s truck Bar and Grandpa called him Bar), the youngest son is Jackson, and the youngest daughter is Shanty (as in Shanty-Boat).

In January, 1964, we were a family of five: mother, father, 9-year-old daughter Newsie, 7-year-old son Bar, and 3-year-old son Jackson.  We lived in a 1922 two-story home in the Oakley suburb of Cincinnati with a nice backyard for the kids to play in.  Jackson was prone to the croup and didn’t get to go out and play in the big snow that greeted us on the first day of January, 1964.

Maple Drive greeted 1964 wearing a thick blanket of white as seven inches of snow covered Cincinnati early on New Year’s Day.  The street is rutted deeply with tread marks and the cars are all wearing top-pieces of snow which occasionally tilt rakishly on the side as the sun grows warmer.  Most of the walks are neatly shoveled and salted so the kids troop gleefully across lawns and up the middle of the roads.  Our kids got an extra two days of vacation due to the snow and showed their appreciation by wallowing in it all day.  As a surprise for Jackson and me, Newsie and Bar fashioned a plump snowman with all the trimmings—limb arms, rock eyes and buttons, plaid scarf and Bar’s green leather cap.  Jackson can look through the dining room window and see friend snowman staring back at him from the yard, which is pocked with footmarks of various sizes.”

L – January 2, 1964

Jackson had six more years to be the baby before another daughter came along and I love to read in my notes where the two older children went out of their way to surprise and please their little brother.  Happy memories of almost 50 years ago.

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

If you’re looking for an easy item to add to your New Year’s Eve snack table, this might be just right.   Make it early in the day to allow for a 3-4 hour chilling period.  Or make it days ahead of time and store at room temperature in a closed container.  It’s my favorite peanut butter fudge because the peanut butter flavor really comes through.


  • Servings: Depends on size of squares
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  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • 14 oz. can Eagle Brand condensed milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1-½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ to 1 cup of salted peanuts

Line two 8 inch plates with foil and butter the foil.

Have the peanut butter and peanuts measured and at hand.

In a large saucepan over low heat, place peanut butter chips, condensed milk and salt.  Stir constantly until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.

Pour half of the mixture onto a prepared plate.  Mix ½ cup peanuts into the remaining fudge and pour onto the other prepared plate.

Cover with foil and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until the top of the fudge feels solid to the touch.

Remove foil and cut into squares.

Of course, you could make the entire mixture with peanuts by using the full one cup or eliminate the peanuts entirely for a creamy plain peanut butter fudge.

Once fudge is set, it can be kept at room temperature in a covered container.