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.
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.
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?