Let’s get OFF POLITICS and NASTINESS for a change!

WHAT IS A FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF YOURS?   I think we’d all be interested…let’s talk about wonderful, happy things!

For some reason, this comes to mind: One of my friends born in West Virginia reads my blog but only comments via emails to me in private!  I remember her grandma and mother were told that she’d die as soon as she was born;  very tiny, no hope.  Grandma and Mom both warmed up the little house, made a ‘bed’ in the drawer of a dresser and put little baby cozily in the drawer…….kept her warm, etc.  Baby survived, had lovely daughters, and became a friend to me……..THAT is a nice story I’m not sure she’ll remember telling me, but it’s a favorite memory of HER childhood 🙂

Regarding MY memories?  I was raised with very happily married parents and a lot of sisters…all younger than I. (Mal knows my family;  his sister and her hubby were BEST friends with my folks and she credited ME with their being able to adopt back in the day because she submitted a photo of her hugging me as a kind of “and kids LOVE me” lobby!  And they got their first child….I loved her, she loved me…died 2 years ago or so)…ANYWAY, ..

MY FAVORITE MEMORIES included my GRANDPARENTS!  I LUCKED OUT……loving, giving, sweet, encouraging, unconditional, good cooks…….OY, could I GO ON!?  I”ll tell more in “COMMENTS”, but that’s my FAVORITE memory…being at their house myself 🙂




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14 Responses to MEMORIES:

  1. bocopro says:

    Aaahhhh . . . . memories. Where old guys can go when their eyes and their knees give out and be Superman again. Where corners are rounded, edges are smoother, water is wetter, sunshine is brighter, girls jitterbug in saddle oxfords, belly-aches are short-lived, no electronic gurus, no gummint big brother, and damn the saturated fat . . . cheeseburgers are GOOD!

    I’ve seen MUCH more than I truly remember, subconsciously editing out the unpleasant, but generally I think we all tend to remember more than we’ve actually seen.

    Bio-father in state pen, for bein a jerk. Mother workin 9 to 5 for my food ‘n’ grub ‘n’ needful stuff . . . thought for years she was my sister, or another aunt. Grandparents who’d already raised 8 kids, survived the Great Depression, and had life distilled down to homilies, aphorisms, and metaphors.

    Uncles who returned from Europe and the Pacific, imbued with the painful but profound wisdom of war and hardship and tragic suffering . . . patient, tolerant, pragmatic, but philosophical all the same.

    Big house half a mile from town . . . big truck patch . . . big gravel pit to fish in . . . big family . . . big list of chores — slaughtering hogs, pluckin chickens, cleanin brooder houses, hoein weeds, learnin to spell ‘n’ write ‘n’ increase vocab before 1st grade.

    They come back at night when the room is cold, when I’ve pulled the blankets up over my head and formed that little tunnel to breathe through; when I’ve snuggled that extra pillow up against my chest and put my mind on autopilot. Instantly I’m transported back to a time when I could run effortlessly, for hours, in leather-soled shoes with hard rubber heels, do at least 100 situps and 40 or so pullups and enough pushups to burn off three cheeseburgers dripping with animal fat and smothered with salt and cheese and barely break a sweat.

    The girls – the Debbies and Sallies and Judies and Charlottes and Kays –how slender they were, how seductive they could make themselves without Oscar de la Renta or Lancombe or Estee Lauder, how mysterious their smiles and their innocent but all-important secrets, how they could slink and strut and completely destroy adolescent boys without even knowing about Liz Clairborne or Maggie Sweet or J. R. Crew. The heady aroma of not-particularly-good perfume and spearmint gum together with inexpensive but effective shampoo was a lethal combination, elevating my blood pressure to dangerous peaks, causing various organs in my chest to attempt escapes, and putting those jungle-rhythm tom-toms to work in my head.

    I live again the outrageous boasts, the preposterous plans, the insane antics with the Bills and Steves and Alans and Roys and Everetts, draining the hoses at gas stations after they had closed so we could cruise a few more times past the girls’ houses, saving our precious coins for sodas and burgers and fries at the Sugar Bowl or the Town & Country drive-in restaurant on the edge of town where we circled like young Apache renegades, trying to make those ancient engines pop the tires and seriously impress everyone in earshot. I grew up in a little place exactly like all the ones thousands of other kids grew up in during the 50s, the genesis of the American Graffiti subculture. Those little towns were interchangeable, indistinguishable, and absolutely unique to Middle America. Unimaginable freedom linked inextricably to unfathomable angst. Memories I never want to lose and where I’ll gleefully live when those eyes and knees abandon ship.

    Man . . . do I ever want a DO-OVER!!


  2. Kid says:

    Z, Uncanny., I started writing this last night as a potential blog post, but I’ll just send it out here…

    As I stood motionless with a hose to water the lawn
    a Hummingbird came by thinking I was a fountain statue
    and took a drink from the water stream.
    That seems so long ago.
    It was.

    In the public swimming pool as a young man
    a beautiful girl came by and nestled into my outstretched arms
    and I waded around the pool carrying her innocently.

    A butthead lifeguard yelled at us to leave as
    Red Rubber Ball by Cyrkle came through the speakers.
    We left.
    That seems so long ago.
    It was.

    But, my favorite memories were everything up until 9/11/2001

    Liked by 1 person

  3. geeez2014 says:

    Bocopro! You’re last line about a “DO OVER”….you mean to DO it over, or to DO it differently?
    I’d love to know. You describe so beautifully so many memories……
    Matter of fact, I had a dear girlfriend, dead now, who thought her bio mom was her big sister…I believe she thought that until the day of her bio mom’s premature funeral, when someone let it slip.
    Thank you for describing such ‘little’ things like the smell of gum and perfume…amazing. I could say more, but….let me just say it was terrific to read.

    Kid, your line about 9/11 brought tears to my eyes because THAT IS SO TRUE. SO true. Your memories, too, put us RIGHT THERE with you……..such sweet, innocent times. And I do remember that song! Matter of fact, on FB, someone got me into a music-lovers group and I believe they mentioned that song just yesterday!

    A 9/11 memory of mine is walking with my husband in Paris, on our way back to our apartment, passing a florist which only sells roses….each day, they pour rose petals outside on the sidewalk……it’s pretty and we were feeling so happy; gorgeous weather, roses…..and I said to Mr. Z “Honey, imagine a world without roses?”
    We got home, I put TV on, and saw the 2nd plane hit the tower… was a few weeks later I remembered what I’d said about roses and I believe we ARE now living in a world without roses.


  4. geeez2014 says:

    Just heard Sen Hatch talking about Kavanaugh in the hearing…he said he heard he likes to eat pasta with catsup……….which is a memory of MINE, though not a childhood memory! I do that when I’m hungry and don’t feel like making a sauce…and I LOVE IT with some parmesan sprinkled on top!
    Of course, the Leftist media will now use it “Senator Hatch thinks eating catsup on pasta is grounds to approve Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court judge!”. wait for it.


  5. bocopro says:

    Do Over:

    Well, when you assess a job, or a career, or a life . . . seems to me it comes down to what ratio you’re willing to accept. Nothing’s gonna be perfect, 100%.

    So, if a career was, let’s say — 60% good, satisfactory, rewarding, comfortable and 40% unsatisfying, unprofitable, unpleasant, is that O.K.?

    I look back on my life as about 75/25 good to bad, maybe even 80/20. Sure I had some bad days, some embarrassing moments, some setbacks . . . who doesn’t? But in the final tally it’s been a helluva lot better than what most people live through.

    Can’t believe that just because someone has unlimited funds or a beautiful house or political power he’s gonna automatically be happy, healthy, satisfied. In fact, some people would NEVER be satisfied with money, property, power . . . always wanting more, usually because someone else has something they don’t have.

    Don’t believe that multi-millionaire actors, athletes, politicians, royalty are any happier than I am. I started out as a common country boy with nothin but good early training and reasonably good health.

    Wound up with a career which gives me great medical benefits, good income, a beautiful wife, no kids dead or in jail, a master’s degree and second career in teaching (which gives me a second income), a house that’s paid for, no debts to anyone, and reserve funds in the bank. Still have some teeth, still mow my own lawn, still ambulatory, still clear-headed . . . . . hell, it just don’t git no better’n’at.

    Yeah . . . I wanna do it all over again, same childhood, same friends, same home town, same career, same wife — and if allowed to make changes, only three:

    No smoking
    Fewer refined sugars and saturated fats
    Take better care of my teeth

    Other than that, rewind and replay.


  6. Baysider says:

    My auntie would drive out from Long Beach to visit at Christmas and she and mom would bake those very special goodies (some of which she never shared the recipes for). But it was cool weather, we were off from school, and the house smelled great! A highlight of all those Christmases was the year it SNOWED as we were leaving our school Christmas assembly — seeing big flakes float down through the 40-foot palm trees was magical.

    And I remember the night in my little room where I turned out my light, knew who I belonged to, bowed my head and gave myself to Christ.

    This one tiptoes into politics, but it was a milestone memory as I was moving out of the part of childhood that is shrouded in innocence and becoming aware of the greater world around. When Oswald was killed my grandpa (who had been a southern deputy sheriff in his youth and had EXPERIENCE in transporting hot potato prisoners safely) calmly explained how it was a complete set up to get Oswald killed. He went into remarkable detail, and from that conversation forward I looked at the world with more critical eyes.


  7. Mal says:

    With me, it was the day we moved from the house I was born in, a tiny 2 br. 1 bath frame on a busy L.A. boulevard behind which my father had started his business, into a home they had built in another area, a 2 story 3.200 sq. ft. with den and wet bar, etc. That was a big impressive move for an 11- year old kid.
    Another is the day we first bombed Tokyo because after Pearl was bombed, all we heard about was how we were getting our butts kicked all over the Pacific. We needed that ’cause we all were mad as Hell and wanted some butt, but weren’t getting it. It seems that was the turning point and everyone was more optimistic.


  8. geeez2014 says:

    Bocopro…I love what you wrote and thank you for the ‘redo!’….you had a good life…you deserve it!

    Baysider, love your story about Christmas………
    And I don’t know what your grandpa knew about transporting hot prisoners but it sure makes sense that this was a total put-up….the photograph is even suspect…shooter to the side….full frontal of Oswald taking the bullet. Remember Jack Ruby was terminally ill…not much to lose.

    Mal, I LOVE these stories! I can imagine how nice it was to live in that nice big house…and how it felt that we got a chance at vanquishing our enemy!
    Did you know Dad had very bad rheumatic fever 3 times as a teen? He went to enlist during College at Renssalear (RPI) and the docs told him he couldn’t go because of his heart. He told me it embarrassed him greatly that people saw him appearing totally healthy but actually totally unable to go……….it hurts me still to think about…


  9. My favorite childhood memory is going out, with my dog Spot, to pick wild strawberries in my uncle’s field. My uncle lived two acres across from us. I came down with poison ivy every time, but I ate all those sweet strawberries. Mom didn’t expect me to bring any back. 😉

    Back in those days, Northern Virginia was quite rural: tractors all over the roads in the spring for spring plowing, and mowers and bailers all over the roads during summer and fall harvests of alfalfa. A relaxing pace of life back in those days — before we became an edge city.


  10. I remember living in my grandma’s house until my dad could buy his own house. My grandma (Oma) was a German woman about 5 feet tall, but was tough and loving. Made great food with my mom. I missed her when she died. We moved into a post WWI housing plat where all the houses looked the same. The plat was filled with kids, mostly Catholic and we all went to school and played sports together. I had an early morning paper route to make money. My childhood was like Leave it to Beaver.

    All the parents helped raise everyone’s kids so it was hard to get into trouble. My first grown up thing was to enlist in the military. This was during Vietnam and got a trip there. Talk about growing up. I went on the police after that and teaching after that. I was fortunate to grow up with parents who loved me unconditionally. Sometimes after I did stupid things. It was a great childhood and I owe my parents everything. Some of us were fortunate.


  11. geeez2014 says:

    Law And Order…I LOVE how nice your childhood was….lots of love, lots of safety, lots of unconditional love… can’t get better than that… and it’s what our kids are missing today.
    I grew up on a dead-end street where all the parents knew and liked each other…you got in trouble by ANY of the moms on the street if they saw you doing something mean or dangerous! That was a good thing. We knew they loved our families, we loved theirs. Good stuff. ..I agree with you. Makes it hard to get in trouble!

    AOW….love the strawberry story and can see you as a kid out in the open air, loving the whole day! When I was 2, we went to my dad’s summer house in Grafton, NY… was BLUEBERRIES there…still is! My folks would take a little bucket and fill it, but I was taking them out as fast as they threw them in…sadly, they finally noticed! I don’t remember it, too little, but I enjoyed hearing them tell it and I DO still LOVE blueberries!


  12. Kid says:

    Law’s comment reminds me. We also lived in a neighborhood that had a ‘Mom network’. It was hard to do something that wasn’t reported back to the ‘warden’. Of course the Mom’s were home during the day and those were different types of neighborhoods. I can’t see that happening today.


  13. geeez2014 says:

    Kid, would that moms were home again…what a huge difference it makes.


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