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myLife – I

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As I promsied earlier, I am going to start bloging about my life.  Here goes.

The 70s

I was born, at a very early age, in a sleepy little bedroom community on the outskirts of Sacramento.  My father owned a plumbing supply store and my mother was a nurse turned stay at home mom.  My older brother preceded my arrival by several years and he was none too happy about having to share momma, or so I’m told.  My mother and brother were always very close, so my intrusion into their circle was bound to be disruptive. 

My first real memory is from when I was between two and three.  We were all in the backyard and my brother was hunting paper turkeys with a toy archery set.  I remember him wearing a pilgrims hat and that the turkeys were set in big juniper bushes. 

My second memory is from little later in life.  I am not  sure how old I was, but I think it was between three and four.  I was in our next door neighbors yard and I walked up to a big white German Sheppard.  His name was Tyson.  I said ‘I love you, Tyson!’ and he proceeded to reward my affections by removing most of my scalp.  I rolled around on the grass yelling, ‘Fireman! Fireman!’ because I seemed to know that is was you were supposed to do.  A quick trip to the ER, a hundred or so stitches and some plastic surgery, and I was as good as new.  One particularly odd experience was that I remember watching myself run to my mom in the hospital.  It was like I perched where a security camera would be and I could watch the whole thing.  I am fairly sure I was not running anywhere afterwards.

Next I remember riding the bus to kindergarten.  Every morning I would walk about ¼ mile to my bus stop on the corner Star and Camellia.  As a parent, I could never imagine sending my five year old son that far on his own.  Times have certainly changed.  Our bus driver was an older African American man who liked to joke about stopping at Kentucky Fried Chicken whenever we dropped some off on Kentucky Street.  It was not until years later that I found out it was Kentucky Street, so the joke never made sense to me until then.

I went John Holst elementary, which is now closed.  My teacher was Mrs. Nightingale .  We did circle time and learned shapes.  For some reason I vividly remember learning about ovals.  On our birthday we got to choose two or three friends to go to the school kitchen to help make carrot cake.  Each kid got to drop one stick of butter into the pan. 

After kindergarten, my parents decided to put me in a transitional grade instead of sending me straight to first grade.  My teacher was Mrs. Flemming.  Every year for our birthday, she would put on an obnoxious amount of lip stick and gives a big kiss on the cheek.  Again, I could only image what people would do these days if that happened at school. 

One day, Mrs. Flemming needed to write a note home.  Being an adult, she wrote it in cursive.  I tried to read the note on the way home, but was unable to since I could not read cursive.  I concluded that cursive was a code that adults used when then wanted to communicate with each other but not have the kids understand the message. 

That year I also created a silhouette of my head by shining an overhead projector light on the wall and having Mrs. Flemming trace the shadow.  The picture was then transferred to a piece of black on construction paper and x-acto  knifed and put on a piece of baked clay with a  clay flower.  The picture had a very nice cowlick, which I cut off a few years later.  Looking back, I wish I had kept it.  It added character.  Especially since Sammy sports one of his own now. 

Now that I have kids who are old enough to remember what happens to them, I am always careful to make sure they are memories worth having.  Not that they are all good memories, but memories that will shape and guide them through life. 

Next month I’ll blog about the 80s. 

And so it goes.



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