Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Remember When?

ec7a0340f1a0b732 If you're old enough, you surely remember the day JFK was assassinated, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and the Challenger space shuttle exploded.  In fact, you can probably remember exactly what you were doing when those events occurred.

Last Friday night at dinner with friends we were discussing our earliest memories.  Perhaps because we are all old enough that we can remember when we got our first television, most of us didn't have early recollections of historically significant events.  As the oldest in our group, Wayne was three when World War II ended, but he has no memory of that historic event, even though his mother has told him that they went to downtown Louisville, Kentucky, to participate in the celebrations.

For most of us, our earliest memories were more personal.  Susie, for example, remembered when she had her tonsils out.  She recalled getting to eat ice cream—lots of ice cream.

Again because I'm older than television, I remember sitting around the dinner table in the evenings listing to Twenty Questions on the radio.  Twenty Questions was a popular quiz show that originated in the 1940's.  Unknown items were identified as being animal, vegetable or mineral, and the contestants had to ask questions that could be answered only with "yes" or "no" in an attempt to identify the mystery object.

I also fondly recall our family trips to visit Mema, Papa and Sissy in Lewisville, Arkansas.  Mema and Papa were my dad's parents, and Sissy was his older sister.  Daddy grew up in Lewisville, a tiny town in Southwest Arkansas.  The trip from Camden took about an hour.  My brother, sister and I thought it took forever, but we always passed the time by counting horses or playing the alphabet game.

Lewisville pool

My brother Tommy and I enjoy playing with our cousin Charlotte in the pool in our grandparents' backyard.  Notice the clothes hanging on the line.  Just to the right of where this photo stops was a second floor window that Tommy fell out of once. 

In Lewisville, I loved going to the post office, where Papa was postmaster.  He always let me run letters through the cancelation machine, but the most fun was getting to ride with Manuel to take the mail sack to the train station and pick up the incoming mail.

You see, Manuel drove a wagon pulled by a team of a horse, Dixie, and a mule, Shorty.  We would sit right up front with him on the wagon seat, and sometimes he would even let us drive the wagon.

Lewisville Manual

Tommy, Charlotte and I arrive with Manuel at the train station to pick up the incoming mail.  That's Dixie on the left and Shorty on the right. 

A lot has changed since then.  Lewisville is still a tiny town, but Manuel is gone and so are Mema, Papa and Sissy.  But it surely is fun to remember when.  So what are your earliest memories?


arkie said...

What fun memories! Love the pool! We had a three ring round one growing up.

Baumbastic said...

I remember that my grandmother often hung clothes outside. She had an umbrella type pole that stood in her yard. Even though she had a dryer, she would still hang clothes outside. I remember that she had pants leg stretchers to put into blue jeans so that they dried with a crease.

Joyce said...

I remember only having black and white tv with three channels plus PBS. When UHF came out it was a big deal. I remember getting air conditioning in our house. Also a big deal.

I love the picture in the pool...it reminds me of a picture we have of all us kids in a tub on my grandparent's farm. It was really something they used to feed the animals but when we came to visit they'd fill it with water. It would be ice cold but we didn't care.

This was a fun post.

Malvie said...

I remember standing in front of our Admiral black and white "portable" TV (with a ROUND screen!), mad as fire because I was switching the channels and no cartoons! Grannie (who lived with us) asked me what I was doing; I said, "Trying to find cartoons; who's that old bald-headed man!?" to which she replied, "Oh, that's President Eisenhower!"

I was in first grade at Leila P. Cowart Elementary school (wearing my favorite red shirt) when the Principal (a man, of course) came over the loudspeaker and told us President Kennedy had been shot. Our teacher put her head down and cried. We weren't used to that, so we were terrified. They let us out early and I ran all the way home (in saddle oxfords); Mother and Grannie were sitting there crying, watching it on TV.

Dad upgraded to color in 1960 (he must've been feeling rich...). We had a Philco, with "fine tuning". Woe be unto he/she who messed up the "fine tuning"...

I remember the trip from Dallas to Malvern, Arkansas taking 8 hours in the car on US 67 with NO FREEWAYS. I also remember taking the train with Grannie every summer to go to Malvern (that took 8 hours as well) to stay with my grandparents Jones, while Grannie stayed 2 blocks over with her other daughter, "Aunt Sister". I always got a ham sandwich on the train.

My first plane flight was also about 1960; we took a Trans Texas Airways Super Constellation (4 propellers) from Dallas Love Field to Houston International (now Hobby Airport). Mother was in her turquoise silk suit with Jackie Kennedy pillbox and white gloves; I was in a sailor suit (!). We have pictures....and no, you can't see them.....

nanny said...

What great pictures...I love them...
I do remember exactly what I was doing when Moon Landing took place...I was rocking my 4 week old daughter and when she finally went to sleep, I went to bed too! Couldn't wait up until midnight(wasn't it)?
Not my oldest memory, but a vivid one! Great post!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

My earliest memory was from when I was three -- we pulled up into a driveway and my dad said "Girls this is your new home!" We moved from an apartment and thought we had the biggest backyard ever!

Sue said...

what a cute post...I love the picture of the three kids in the pool...was that you with the huge tube sitting in the 4 inches of water...I love old black and white photo's....I have boxes and boxes from when I was growing up...it seems every step I took someone was there to take my picture....Enjoyed this post very much....Sue.

Sue said...

what a cute post...I love the picture of the three kids in the pool...was that you with the huge tube sitting in the 4 inches of water...I love old black and white photo's....I have boxes and boxes from when I was growing up...it seems every step I took someone was there to take my picture....Enjoyed this post very much....Sue.

xinex said...

Oh what fun memories, Kathy! Those pictures are precious.....Christine

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Kathy, I love that picture of the 3 of you on the mail wagon! What wonderful memories! laurie

Belinda said...

At 48 years of age, I remember a milkman in a milk truck delivering bottles of milk to your house. On hot summer days, our milkman would stop and give the kids big chunks of ice from the freezer in the back of his truck. It wasn't solid. It was the consistency of a very hard snowball.

We would sit in the yard and hold the chunk of ice, let it melt and eat it like it was a sweet treat.

It was simple... and it was wonderful.