We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
After reading blogs by Jenny Hansen and Sharla Lovelace about “Where I’m From,” I decided to write my own.
For openers, I’m from a time before you were born. If that statement isn’t true, you’re old.
When I was born, Hitler was terrorizing the world, with help from Hirohito and Mussolini. Few people used airlines, we rode trains from place to place, and no one had televisions.
I am from Daddy Ringtail and Amos & Andy on the radio, Grapette, Fleer’s Double Bubble (with a comic strip in each package), and Nash (left) and Studebaker (right) automobiles.
I’m from several moves before my dad got out of the army at the end of WW II and settled in Fort Worth to open his pediatric practice. I’m from homes whose only airconditioning consisted of huge attic fans that sucked outside air through open windows.
I’m from the trees in the yard we kids would climb and the vacant lot next to our house where several of us neighborhood boys played football.
I’m from gathering at my grandmother’s house along with my mother’s siblings and their families for Christmas and other holidays and from a kitchen full of women working on meals while the men played dominoes and we kids made life
miserable interesting for all of them—and from eating a whole pan of cinnamon rolls my grandmother set aside and undercooked for my dad and me, one of several pans she got up at 4:00 am to set out to rise.
I am from heading out to the small-town golf course with my dad and my uncles when we had family gatherings and then returning for my grandmother’s wonderful fried chicken and homemade rolls and the pecan pies my other grandmother made when she joined our gathering.
I’m from annual visits among my first cousins, a practice our mothers carefully engendered even though they had to deal with a 300 mile geographic separation—and from riding trains to Big Spring, Texas, by myself starting at age five to go to some of these visits. Actually, I rode to Wichita Falls younger than that on trains my grandfather was working on.
I’m from attending a Methodist Church every time the doors were open, even though the pastor who served throughout my school years wouldn’t have known Jesus if He’d walked in the door and from seriously questioning Christianity throughout my teen and early adult years because of this.
I’m from a father who was never really comfortable expressing love and a mother who couldn’t refrain from expressing it—from warm, enveloping hugs from her and more distance from him, although I never doubted his love for me.
I’m from a maternal grandfather who would hold me and play with me on his bed although he was dying from heart trouble and a paternal grandfather who knew and loved—and was loved by—every neighbor for blocks around but who could never stand up to my overbearing paternal grandmother.
I’m from going around and drinking from everyone’s coffee cups after people left the table and from pulling up a chair to watch as my parents played bridge with their favorite partners.
I’m from riding my bicycle to the golf course with my golf bag on my shoulder nearly every summer day and loving the smell of the freshly mown grass and walking through the spray from the irrigation sprinklers to cool off.
I’m from hearing every teacher I ever had tell me I should be more like my big sister who never misbehaved and always did her homework and made A’s (love you anyhow, Barb) and from a little sister and brother who were always pains in the rear (although I’m sure I never was).
I’m from riding city buses alone and wandering around the neighborhood with no fears of child predators and from building tents from card tables and blankets and from sleeping outside in the backyard on palettes and trying to scare one another with ghost stories.
I’m from the days when cars were pretty and didn’t all look alike—the ’57 Chevrolet Impala, the ’59 Ford Thunderbird, the ’58 Cadillac deVille (most beautiful car ever made).
I’m from stopping at Lone Star Drive-in for their wonderful greasy french fries after a movie—or just cruising through to see who was there.
I think I’m from a bygone era.
This is fun. Leave a comment with some reference to your own youth. I’d love to hear from you.
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We’re from many of the same places, David. Great post!
Thanks, Pat. Are you sure you were born long enough ago to say that?
Yes, and I’m from a lot of the same places, people, and experiences as you ….. maybe plus and minus a few. I’m from Sunday afternoons with my friend Martha, being journalists writing our own newspapers. I’m from the love of Auntie Mac, who comforted me in a way that no one else could … in my early adolescence. I’m from playing jacks on our porch or on the sidewalk, and sometimes on the kitchen floor, I’m from coming home from school and making a mayonnaise sandwich … nothing but white bread and mayonnaise. I’m not from playing golf, and I’m not from being a real car admirer, though I loved having the use of a car at times. Geez, Bro, thanks … this was fun.
I didn’t remember that you made mayonnaise sandwiches, too. Maybe I learned that from you. Hmmm. Thanks, Sis.
Great piece, David.
Thanks, Sheri. Do one of these yourself.
David, this is lovely. I live picturing you on your bike. And the love from the women in your life. I love your love of cars.
I planned to do this exercise and then my computer crashed, leaving me with irretrievable files. I’m in mourning, but I will eventually do this exercise. Because these are so darn inspiring. Like you.
You have seen so much. You are a treasure!
Thanks, Renee. I’d love to read yours whenever you do them.
LOVE these stories about the good ole’ days, David. And, yes, I was old enough to remember when we got our first television.
They’d been on the market for decades, but we were too poor to own one. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Thanks, Gloria. I know you’re enough younger than I am that TV probably had been on the market for decades when you got yours.
Lots of great memories from that bygone era. Especially enjoyed today’s blog.
Thanks, sweetheart. One advantage of marrying a contemporary is that we can share so many common memories – and torment our grandkids by breaking out in song together.