Cracker Jack and Related Memories–Part IV: A Childhood Story– Part IV: Church picnic grounds were magic places for kids who didn’t get off the farm much. Sure, there were lots of adults around, but they were always consumed by each other. Old ladies gossiped about the way young ladies were raising their kids; young ladies complained about their kids, husbands, and interfering old ladies; old men told jokes, stories, and half-truths about the good old days; and young men worried out loud about enough rain for the corn and soybean crops. Not one of those adults seemed to worry about us kids!  That left every one of us over the age of 5 to freely roam the church picnic grounds at will. No helicopter parents in those days; it was complete freedom in an exciting environment. There were booths for toys, ice cream, candy snacks, soda pop, and Cracker Jack. There were booths for pony rides, and games of various sorts including pitching nickels into glassware and prizes for standing a coke bottle with a stick, string, and washer around the bottle neck. The hamburger booth infused a pleasant aroma across the grounds, which was sometimes mixed with a sweet smell coming from the cotton candy stand. The cost of partaking in any of these activities was rarely more than 25 cents, but those nickels and quarters did add up for worthy charitable causes. The big money maker, however, was the quilt raffle at one dollar a ticket. At any given picnic there were a number of quilts raffled off. And these were really beauties! Moms, Aunts and Grandmothers labored over these quilts, mostly during the winter months. Then they proudly displayed them at the quilting booth to be raffled off to lucky ticket holders. So how could a homemade quilt, a labor of love and thing of beauty, conjure up a terrible memory for this 8-year-old? To be continued.