We lived there for 6 years in the 60's because my dad loved worked for US Steel. He loved to travel, better pay and benefits, and gave me a really different childhood! Most girls played with dolls?make up? Dress up? I grew up climbing 75' mango trees to escapes from guests because I was painfully shy and enjoying running around outside all day as we had no t.v. or air conditioning. We did have Legos, cards, baby birds, dogs, pigs, a donkey, a macaw and fish at various times. Sometimes we snuck down to where the edge of the jungle was to play but you definitely kept an eye out for boas and poisonous snakes. We did go to the local clubhouse for swimming but more often than not played in the rain. When you were old enough you took horseback riding lessons until you were good enough to go out riding in the jungle or plains for 3-4 hours on Sat. You learned fast the hard way how to stay on your horse no matter what! If you didn't stay on, then you either ran smack into a huge downed tree, fell off a galloping horse onto hard ground or possible cactus or prickly tree/bushes or into a river. The horses were big, liked to test you, and consistently challenged you to see if they could throw or beat you off the saddle while full on galloping. No control meant big trouble and a wimpy horse the next several weeks. We often raced for several miles in the deep jungle. Huge felled trees were not uncommon. On rare occasions we had to race to beat the train when we heard it because we were on the wrong side of the tracks.
Wow, HBH, what wonderful childhood memories! I'd love to hear more any time you want to share. Very interesting to someone that had a normal, routine U.S. childhood.