Today’s prompt is, “What is the earliest memory you have?”
I have many. Here’s a list:
- Seeing my dad pull up in his cream-colored station wagon when he got home from the newspaper.
- Stubbing my toe and marveling at how the wound was a perfect brick red-colored circle.
- Picking up pinching beetles for fun and marveling at their sheen.
- My mom exercising throughout the house as she did chores. This is perhaps my earliest memory because she was back at work by the time I was in kindergarten. And not long after that, she ran for alderman. Didn’t win, but I am still so proud.
- Having rotating art on the living room walls. Back then you could “borrow” a painting from the library.
- My sister Rani performing as a grammarian dog in a play at Walker Elementary School. She and my mom sewed it and I also remember the roar of the huge sewing machine.
- My mom saying “God bless America” when she was frustrated (still hilarious).
- Singing “I’m a Rhinestone Cowgirl” into a handheld tape recorder while Glen Campbell’s song played either from the radio, a record player or 8 track. I think Rani was sending her friend Laura (who lived in Texas) a recorded letter. This predates mixed tapes and voice mail. Back then I think my sister would record a message onto a tape and then mail it to her friend.
- My sister Rani blow-drying my hair followed by my grandma saying I looked like Farrah Fawcett but pronouncing it Faroo Fuh-rah. It’s worth noting that my very Italian grandma also liked the song Funiculi Funicula.
- My brother David giving me that final push when I learned how to ride a bike. It’s worth noting that this was on Camp Avenue which means he had to keep me steady all the way around the block.
- My sister Rani getting makeup secretly delivered to her in the mail. I believe she even sent cash (coins even!) to purchase it!
- Ozark airplanes at the local airport that delivered our Morrison, Colorado loved ones to us (and sometimes us to them).
- My sister Phyllis’s spellbinding performance in Clod Clown by Phyllis Ross. I can still hear her singing the title song:
Everyone calls me the Clod Clown and I can't blame them cuz every time I sit down, I fall down every time I stand up, I fall down and then when I walk up and down the stairs I trip and fall and break my neck
My sister went on to write another groundbreaking song entitled, “Guess What America Is Eating Tonight?” If you’re wondering what the answer is, here’s a hint: She wrote and performed this song while popping popcorn.
Guess what America is eating tonight Something light that you make at night And when you eat it your pants won't get tight
All of these memories (and so many more) have obviously heavily influenced who I am today. I’ll write more about the “art” aspect of my childhood on the Rockford Fringe page later tonight. I had to write this quickly today. Thank you for reading!