Seniors & Aging

Senior expressions: ‘A Kids’ Wonderland of Fun,’ by Kerry Chappell

My family moved here the week of Christmas 1963. As we entered Bellingham, we drove down Holly Street to see the Christmas swags hanging over the street above us crossing from building to building. My sister and brother and I woke up to a beautiful neighborhood called “Elizabeth Park.”

As we stepped out to see our new home, we walked down to the corner and saw the tip of Mount Baker and the sun rising over this wonderful place we would grow up in called Bellingham, Washington. I was 7 and my sister was 6 and my brother was 5.

We had a great childhood growing up here in the ’60s and ’70s, playing in all the awesome parks and creeks, catching crawdads, water skippers and tadpoles, and bike riding in all the alleyways between the houses in all the cool neighborhoods.

The people of Bellingham were friendly and kind. As kids we would go up and down these alleyways picking fruit that was hanging over or in the empty lots; plums, raspberries, cherries, etc. Spring and summer were a kids’ wonderland of fun.

I remember the winters of ’67 and ’71. I think it snowed three to four feet at one point. We had the opportunity to go up to Mount Baker to ski as a child. Going up “the road” that led to the river that led to our awesome backyard volcano you could play on was one of my most cherished memories growing up here. I loved all the mountains and trees.

The schools were great; we attended Roeder Grade School, Whatcom Middle and Bellingham High. These were truly precious times growing up here in our town and county.