35 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. Running away from home on my tricycle with my cousin Boone. I got up Bullhead Road and all the way to Moll’s store (1/2 a mile). Of course Dave Moll ratted us out. Boone and I were never close after that.
    Standard American road story.

  2. JFK shot in Dallas. 5 years old watching Bozo in La Grange, Ill.
    Mom was in the kitchen making lunch, I was in the living room
    watching the boob tube.
    I know there are other not so clear memories, but that one
    sticks out the most. As it should.

  3. Driving around in my godfather’s Grain Belt Beer truck (with his son, same age…three or four) on his distribution route…NW Minnesota…late 1940’s.
    Yes, we were well pacified.

  4. For the first memory, I have a flash scene of an anesthesia mask being put on my face on my 3rd birthday. Yeah, Happy Birthday!! (I still have a scar on my belly from that)
    My next memory after that is watching my shadow as I ran around in a circle in the backyard. This was at least a year later.
    Random scenes are all I remember until I entered first grade at age 6. I can recall all kinds of crap after that.

  5. I remember riding in the family station wagon through tunnels in the mountains. We were on our way from Addison, NY, where I lived the first 3 years of my life, to New Orleans, where I would live most of the next 47. My mother was leaving my father and taking the kids with her. Funny that this is where my memory’s event horizon is — I have no memory of my parents being together.

  6. My mother and sisters lived with my grandparents for a short time right after she got divorced and a taxi used to take me and a couple other kids to kindergarten every day (I have no idea why). We lived a couple miles outside of our little town. Anyway, the cab driver gave me a kaleidoscope for my 5th birthday on the way to school.

  7. I must have been four years old.
    I was outside the crummy house we were renting at the time–near the door was some sort of evergreen tree. And I remember seeing a cocoon hanging from it. Well, shit. I had seen Sesame Street. I knew butterflies came out of cocoons. So I grabbed the thing and squeezed it, ever so gently, to see what it felt like.
    As it turns out, butterflies aren’t the only things that come out of cocoons.
    Large spiders do, as well. And this thing was at least as big as my four-year-old hand.
    So I did what anyone would do. I ran away, screaming like an idiot.
    Thanks for that little stroll down traumatic childhood lane, A. Sheesh.

  8. Laying in a patch of sun, on a quilt, on the floor. Probably been put down for a nap. No clue about age.
    Similar (may be the same) memory: laying on the floor underneath the hanging quilt frame in my grandparents’ old house, listening to the women (mother, grandma, aunts) talk while they quilted, watching the silhouettes of working hands, hearing the needles poke through the taut fabric, tiny dots of sunlight peeking through.

  9. I remember attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.

  10. A huge fountain a friend of my mother’s once took me to when I was a toddler. It wasn’t so much a fountain as it was a waterfall pit, and I can remember standing at the edge of it and watching my mother’s friend as he hopped from ledge to ledge jutting out from the walls of the pit, with water tumbling all about him. Somehow, he stayed dry. Somehow, I never moved. I simply watched, and wondered.
    The fountain is long gone. The memory remains.

  11. Playing on the verandah of our rented house in Akrotiri, Cyprus (my Dad, ex-RAF, was based there), with my sister and the little Greek Cypriot girl from down the road. I was maybe 3; we didn’t speak the same language, but we managed.
    That and the donkey going round and round drawing water at Kolossi castle, and going up Troodos in our old Renault Dauphine and being serached by troops/police.

  12. i’m not sure which is the earliest. both include music. i’m being held high. in a halway with dark woodwork thru a door i see an old teevee obliquely and it’s the monty python theme song.
    or i’m on the front seat of a car. dashboard in front of me. MAYBE great grandma anderson’s house outside. summer i think and ‘i never promised you a rose garden’ on the radio.
    i am guessing i was around 3.

  13. Sorry, mine isn’t all that worth recounting. But Gindy’s above reminded me of a funny one from a friend of my wife.
    She, too, was watching Bozo when Kennedy was shot, along with her mother. When Mommy was crying, she asked what was wrong and obviously did not hear the complete answer through the tears. But hearing what she did, the child began crying too, and sobbing “Bozo’s been shot! Bozo’s been shot!”

  14. I had been told my mother looked so weird because she was “pregnant” but I had no idea what that meant. I was in my high chair, age 22 months, my mother was coming toward me with a bowl of cereal, she slipped on a little water on the floor and fell. I was trapped in the high chair, crying, my big-as-a-house mother on the floor, crying, cereal and milk everywhere. I’ve no idea how it all got resolved — it must have been OK as my sister was born a month later — but I can still hear my mother crying.
    Peace, V.

  15. Getting a hug from my grandfather Pop Pop – I was probably almost 3, and he would hug you so tight you could barely breathe. It was wonderful. I can still feel his scruffy cheek.

  16. Like a lot of y’all, I have some scattershot memories from around the time I was three, and then a fuller picture from the time I started school. Funny how little I recall in between…

  17. I can remember running and laughing with a group of small children (we must have been about three or four), down a long hall, through two big open doors and straight into a church sanctuary. It was dark and everything seemed to be so RED it glowed (red carpeting, red plush cushions on the pews, red, yellows and orabges through the stained glass against the very dark paneling, I think). It scared us so much, the abrupt transition from the white, institutional block walls and green tiled floor of the hall into that deep, gloomy space that smelled as musty as the dust on the pews and as sharp as the tang of the plain beeswax candles, that we immeadiately fell silent and instinctively gathered in a little group, right inside the door. It was like we were under some kind of spell.
    Then our Head Start teacher and the Pastor both burst in, fussing and fuming at us, and we could move again. Most of us promptly started to cry and/or wet our pants.
    I never forgot those few moments in that sacred space. It has stayed with me all of my life and is my most vivid memory before starting school.
    The rest are just little sharp memories of feelings, like when Grandaddy would pick me up and smell like oil, sweat and liquor, or when grandma would lay me on this really slick sofa with uncomfortable pokey fabric for the naps I never took. I vaugely remember getting chased and pecked by a rooster.

  18. What is always interesting to me is when you see kids below a certain age saying or doing something and you think. Why won’t they remember this?
    What is wrong with the brain that they don’t lock this it, but they can do stuff and say stuff. It is very interesting.
    Green Grass. A collie mix dog. A slightly foggy day. Toddler of some age.
    Coloring, on the floor, in a patch of sun. Radio on downstairs.
    Looking up at the sink. Reaching up to try and touch it.
    It’s strange to remember yourself so small that you couldn’t reach a door knob.

  19. Helping my grandmother push my Uncle Earl’s wheelchair from her living room to the kitchen. I was born in 1946 and he died in 1948–he was born in 1912 with what they called Infantile Paralysis back then–so I must have been under 2 years old. I can still remember the wheelchair and feeling the rough hand-woven seat (my grandfather made several chairs for Earl) and smell the bread baking in my grandmother’s wood-burning cook stove after all these years. He was a bright guy. He taught himself to read and write (those were the days before classes for special needs students), and I still have his notebook in which he noted my birth. I wish I could have been able to visit with him. Odd what sticks with a person over the years, isn’t it?

  20. Tripping while running up the stairs and almost biting my own tongue off – I was about 4. I can still remember looking in the hand-mirror at the blood and veins in my mouth.
    I still have a scar half-way across the top and bottom of my tongue (no worries, it’s fully functional).
    What I don’t remember, but my family reminds me of, is that I didn’t cry at all.

  21. It was summer, and my mom had me by the hand after doing some shopping downtown as we waited for the bus. But what arrived was a streetcar, which I’d never before seen, much less ridden on — and the screech of the wheels, the loud thump of the doors opening and the steps unfolding, were almost as memorable as the bright orange of its paint. And the way I could look right out the window from our seat, unlike the high-set windows on the busses — but on the trolley I was looking out through bars (a safety grill), so it felt just like jail!
    I must have been 2-1/2 or so, as I also remembered mom being “fat” — she was about 5 months pregnant with my brother, I later realized. And we were riding one of the last streetcars in Buffalo, NY, which were phased out completely in June 1950. Mom was taking me along on a sentimental journey, saying good-bye to a disappearing facet of her city.
    The weird part of this memory, I found in later years, was that none of the folks of my mom’s generation could corroborate its most vivid element … they never remembered the streetcars being orange — they were always green, they said. But a few years ago I saw a rare color photo of downtown Buffalo in the late 1940s, and all the streetcars were indeed orange … they’d never reverted to pre-WW2 green, apparently, as the company starved its traction budget in favor of a vast new bus fleet.

  22. I can remember lying in my crib and being awake, and being annoyed that my diaper was wet, and pulling on the string of this musical toy I had tied to the corner of my crib to let my mother know I was awake. I was probably just over a year old at the time.
    I think the next memory I have is from when I was about eighteen months old, recognising the letter K on a lit sign that said SCOTIABANK.
    I can’t date a lot of my earlier memories very well, but most of them had to have happened between the ages of about two and four.

  23. Either
    Staring at my right foot through the spokes of my tricycle as the most enormous black and yellow bumble bee in the whole entire world bites my big toe, watching it all happen in slow motion, even feeling the pain in slow motion.
    Standing in the front yard of our house near Waikiki, looking up and watching as an afternoon storm speeds over our house. The sun suddenly lights my mother kneeling in the rose bed while behind her, over the house, I can see sideways rain and the storm continues to rage. I turn my head and there behind me is the most beautiful rainbow in the whole entire world. My mother comes up behind me and holds me tight.

  24. I was sitting on the floor in our living room, right in front of our sofa, and my mother was sitting with my brother on the sofa. It had to have been early morning, because I was sitting in a sunbeam coming in from our east-facing picture window. My mother was reading to us from a book–at the time I had no idea what it was. It was a story about a little man who got lost in a dark tunnel, and he found a ring.
    A little later, she got to the part about the wolves, and I got scared. And there were eagles, and I thought that was cool. I remember climbing as high as I could in the tree in our front yard and wishing the eagles would come and carry me into the air.
    Yeah, I was destined to be a fantasy/SF geek.
    I think there’s a vague memory from earlier than that when I got so tired from running around I collapsed on the living room floor and literally couldn’t get up. But I’m not sure when that was–it might have been after the one about Bilbo.

  25. The parting of the Red Sea;)
    Standing in my parents bedroom and looking at the children going to school across the street. In kindergarten, being pulled by the ear. Hard!

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