Another thing I remember is that we always rode bikes, walked or took the bus places. We were never chaperoned or driven anywhere. One of my friends named Beth had a pony that she boarded about 5 miles away. We'd pack lunch, and ride our bikes out to the stables and spent the whole day on horseback until it was time to ride our bikes home.
Beth was a great friend to have – despite the fact that my mom was having an affair with her dad. She lived in a house on the street behind ours, and she had tons of animals. There always seemed to be a constant litter of kittens at her house. Beth also had a dog named Hilda that, despite never having pups of her own, had a crazy maternal streak. She would catch one of the kittens and carry it around gently in her mouth. Hilda would gently pin the kitten down and grooming it using her small front teeth, which we called her ‘flea teeth’ until the kitten managed to wiggle away from her. It would run off meowing with wet, cow-licked fur.