Buttons and Bows

During the years we lived on C Street, Daddy developed a new hobby. He decided to raise parakeets in our basement. He read up on how to do it, built the cages and the nesting boxes and bought a pair of green parakeets.
We named them Buttons and Bows which was a popular song written in 1947. Since they were for the purpose of breeding, I could not bother them nor play with them. Bows did lay eggs and it was fascinating seeing her sitting on the nest, watching the eggs hatch and the babies grow.
Dad read that parakeets would breed better if there were more than one pair around so he added at least a couple of more pairs. However, something went wrong and the parakeets became ill. Dad gave up the enterprise.


We did have one pet parakeet when we lived on C Street. His name was Otto Goosmeier. Mom would clip his wings so we could let him out of the cage periodically. I taught him tricks like walking up a toy ladder, sitting on my finger, or giving me a kiss. I never could teach him to talk like some parakeets will.


When Rob and Cindy were little, I decided we should have a parakeet. We named him Jackie. He was quite a character. Robbie liked to tease him. Jackie repaid him by biting the small hairs at the back of his neck when he landed on Robbie's shoulder. Jackie did learn to talk but had a very limited vocabulary. "Pretty Boy Jackie" was his best line. He could also mimic a baby crying. His other phrase is too colorful for this website page.

I remember vividly the day Jackie died. He hadn't been himself for quite awhile. On this day it was so nice outside, I had as many windows open as possible. There was a light breeze blowing. Jackie seemed to like hearing the birds singing outside his window. As I was working in the kitchen, the birds seemed to be singing even louder and sweeter. When I went into the bedroom, Jackie was dead. It seems only logical to me his little spirit had joined the birds singing outside of his window.

Feeding the Finches

While living in Pleasant Dale, Mom and Dad decided to put up a Finch Feeder just outside their dining room glass doors above the deck. The Finch is fun to watch. They would show up sometime during the winter; however, they were very plain in coloring. As soon as a couple of them discovered the feeder, many would join them. As spring approached, they developed the beautiful yellows of the Finch. When I would join Mom and Dad for coffee at the dining room table, we would just sit and watch them flutter to the feeder, eat for a little bit and then quickly fly away.

Bob and His Pigeons

As a young boy, Bob raised pigeons. To get these pigeons, he and his friends would go uptown to the viaduct which went over the railroad yards on O Street in Lincoln. To catch the pigeons, they would climb around under the bridge high over the railroad tracks. Survival of a child is called Guardian Angels. I am sure his mother never knew just where these pigeons actually came from.
Spending money was scarce for Bob. When he needed a bicycle, he traded one of his prize pigeons for a used bicycle.