This was pretty much the extent of the downtown area when I lived in Lebo. The large building on the corner was Bailey's IGA. Next to that was the post office, Doc Hunter's office, then Allegre's drug store.
On a summer's day you would find bicycles propped up outside the doors of the drug store and the IGA as we trooped in and out buying soft drinks and candy. Barefoot. I don't think any kid under age 10 wore shoes in the summer months. In or out of any store.
Until the large park was built in the early 1970's we would play all over town. In and out of houses, our own and our friends and relatives. My grandparents moved into town from the farm in 1975 and even after moving into town they never locked their doors, nor did my aunt and uncle who lived on the other side of town.
When a house was being built next door, we played on the building site. After a big storm came through around about 1974/5, we built forts out of all the fallen branches that were stacked 3 or more feet high and several feet deep along a 10 foot stretch. I remember being absolutely devastated when the County came through and hauled all those tree branches away.
Another favourite place to play was the little stream near our home where we could catch crawdads. Once caught, we could take them down to the local bait shop and get about 5 cents each for them. This was good money when we could get a large handful of candy for a dollar. And sit at the back of the drug store and read comic books while eating it. People may eat them, but back then they were fish bait.
After Jones Park was built, we would be there in the summer. This was the beginning of the skateboard craze and every kid had one. Forget playing tennis or basketball. We were too busy riding our skateboards there. Skateboard parks with ramps and such wouldn't exist for at least another decade.
Sometimes we'd go play around the old city jail. Unfortunately, someone was thinking and locked the door, but we'd climb on and around it, and speculate on whether or not someone could climb the water tower sitting next to the jail. None of us ever did that either.
In the evenings and all day on Saturdays would be baseball and softball games. Come autumn and winter the high school football team would be playing on the field. The whole town would be at the field on a Friday night to watch the varsity team play.
Every 4th of July the City would put on a major celebration at the park with baseball and softball games during the day, special events at the swimming pool, finishing up with a large fireworks display.
When the swimming pool was built, we would go out as a school group and watch them digging and pouring concrete. After that, in the summer you could find us at the pool. Or bouncing between the pool and watching a baseball game.
We'd leave home in the morning, slip home long enough for lunch, then back out again until dark. Don't think we could get away with anything though. This is a small town. I used to swear that news could travel from one side of town by mouth to the other faster than the telephone lines could carry it.
Didn't matter who you were, everybody knew who you were and who your parents and grandparents, and second and third cousins twice removed were.