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So, Lauren's taking this class...

...a Personality Psychology class in which she has to write an essay analyzing someone, in this case ME!!, according to five of my through-out-the-decades memories. The criteria is that at least one other person must be involved, personal interaction, my age must be included, a caption must be included and each memory shouldn't be more than a couple of paragraphs long. Also, phrases like 'I remember' and 'I wondered' should be used throughout.
               What I realized in doing this is that each person involved would remember my memories differently, that I really only have flashes of visuals along with some bits of dialogue that I try and fill-in to form some kind of a narrative. No one else would do that the same.

Naturally, I thought to  post them :)

One_My age was 8. The other person was my father.
Caption_You Wanna Go Fast or You Wanna Go Slow
bomb shelter
Memory_I was standing next to my father at the end of our driveway watching a crew of men breaking up the across-the-street neighbor’s driveway. Curious, I asked my father why. He explained that the family, very good friends of ours, was building a bomb shelter under it. I understood what that meant; that the shelter was to protect them if the Russians dropped a bomb on San Diego, on our neighborhood, something we all thought could really happen. I remember regular testing of the air raid sirens; I remember air raid drills in school where we’d all duck under our desks, giggling, pretending that doing so would save us if they ever dropped the ‘big’ one.
            I asked him if he thought their bomb shelter would help them. I remember him asking me what I thought they would find when they came out. I told him I didn’t really know. He told me that the land would be poisoned and so would the air. With radiation. The animals would all starve and so, he imagined, would we. Fast or slow, he asked. I don’t remember answering him. I do remember though that he chuckled and said that none of that would matter for our neighbors anyway since they were building the entrance to their bomb shelter in their living room which would be buried when the house collapse on it. As I remember it, he then shook his head and turning, we walked back up our driveway and into our bomb shelter free house.

Two_My age was 18. The other persons were kids in painting class.
Caption_Who Is That Guy?
The guy should be shorter and his painting much much larger, but this is the basic concept.
Memory_We were in the first week of the first semester of a freshman painting class and no one had a clue what they were doing. We needed to be taught how to build stretcher bars, how to stretch and prime canvas, even how to mix paint, just all of it. Everyone was clueless except for one kid who I hadn’t really noticed at first, not until later in the week when the others around me starting talking about him. Who’s that guy? How’s he know what he’s doing? Where the hell’s he from?
            Several kids were asking me, asking each other and why were they talking about him? Well, because while the rest of us were still messing around, he had already built his stretcher bars, had already stretched and primed his canvas and, having already mix his paints, was happily painting away in front of a large sun-filled window. I remember being impressed when for the first time I really looked at him, standing behind the large easel, completely absorbed, singing quietly to himself. A couple of weeks later when one of the girls told me that she thought he like me, I was thrilled because by then I knew his name was David and that I like him too. And I also knew by then that he was Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican which at the time seemed pretty exotic.

Three_My age was 29. The other person was Barbara.
Caption_Getting from Where We Were to Where We Needed to Be
This is not my Madrid Airport, they remodeled after we were there, but still, a cool photo.
Memory_The plane landed at the Madrid Airport and we disembarked expecting to find my friend Esther waiting for us, but no. I called her only to find out that she wouldn’t, for some unremembered reason, be able to pick us up, that we should just get a cab, give the cabbie the piece of paper with the address on it and that all would be well. I remember Barbara and I standing in the middle of the airport wondering what we were supposed to do next because there wasn’t one word of English anywhere and we couldn’t even find anyone who spoke English except where we exchanged our money and they were of little help. We actually felt scared. We finally found where the cabs were waiting and handed the first one our precious piece of paper. Unhappily, he didn’t speak English either, but with a lot of head nodding made us understand that he knew where we wanted to go.
            I remember driving way farther away from Madrid then I thought we should be and getting very nervous. Barbara too. Finally he pulled up in front of a housing complex, as I remember it a large kind of foreboding building. We paid the driver with our exchanged money and he drove away. At first we just stood there slightly panicking because what if we weren’t where we were supposed to be? The door to get into the building was locked and none of the mailbox names looked familiar. Esther was staying with the friend of a friend and I was confused. Frankly, I don’t remember how we got inside or how we found Esther but happily we did.

Four_My age was 40. The other person was a co-worker
Caption_And Whose Little Kitty Are You?
This tabby has too much white on her face and doesn't have green eyes, but otherwise is similar to my Erte, who I do have photos of but not from when we first got her :(
Memory_I was already working when my co-worker arrived announcing that she had found a stray kitten that anyone could have if they wanted her, that she was out in the car and if no one took her, my co-worker was taking her to the pound. I don’t remember if I was the only one to go see her, but I do remember that I fell instantly in love with the squalling little thing and claimed first dibs. I rushed back inside to call my husband, David, explaining the situation. His initial response was no way! So, I started pleading and persuading and please please pleasing until he finally gave in.
            My co-worker and I realized that the kitten couldn’t stay in the car; it would get too hot so, we brought her inside, putting her into a large-ish storage room/ office where she’d be safe since I occupied a very open cubicle. I remember that every chance I got I played with her after having to dig her out from her hiding spot behind some boxes. I especially remember the drive home which was treacherous since I didn’t have a carrier and the silly kitten kept crawling under my feet as I sped down the highway, but we arrived home safe.

Five_My age was 48. The other person was Regina.
Caption_So Your Kid Likes Snoopy. Cool!
The first photo is of the building that housed the museum when we visited, it's now the gift shop. The second photo is the new museum which opened a few years later.
Memory_I remember sitting on the little concrete bench that skirted the flower bed in front of Mrs. Thomas’ classroom door, Lauren’s first grade teacher. I was waiting for the kids to settle down inside so I could begin one of my three-times-a week volunteering days helping them learn to read. I don’t remember exactly, but it was probably the second or third week of school. A woman came out and sat near me commenting on Lauren’s Snoopy shirt, asking if she liked him. I told her that she did very much to the point of collecting all things Snoopy, old and new. She introduced herself, telling me name was Regina and commenting on how her parents lived up in Santa Rosa very near to the Charles Schultz museum. I told her that I didn’t even know there was a Charles Schultz museum and mentioned how much I would love to take Lauren there one day.
            A couple of days later, same time, same place, Regina mentioned that she and her two children, Joanna who was in Lauren’s class and James who hadn’t yet started school, were going to visit her parents the weekend after next and asked if we would like to come along. I remember jumping at the chance especially since Lauren and Joanna were starting to become friends and I thought this would be a good way to encourage that.




( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC)
This was a great project Lauren had to do, and it sounds like it really brought back some interesting, and very memorable moments in your life!

Thank you for sharing this.
May. 4th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)
It truly did, I just wonder as to the accuracy, but well, they are my memories so, it's all good. Although I do see Barbara for lunch next week and I may just ask her how she remembers the Madrid Airport and the drive to where Esther was staying. Might be interesting.

Lauren now has to take these memories and a questionnaire I filled out and write some sort of essay. I can't wait to read that!!

And you're more then welcome.
May. 3rd, 2013 03:20 am (UTC)
What a great project! and interesting memories you chose.

What I realized in doing this is that each person involved would remember my memories differently....

That's so true. I've tried going right home after a deliberate observation, writing it up, then returning to the scene to see how accurate my observation was. Even though this all took place within 24 hours, my write up was not completely accurate. Memories are tricky things. FanSee

Edited at 2013-05-03 03:20 am (UTC)
May. 4th, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
Re: Memories
Right you are, just bit and pieces here and there we stitch together to make some sense of it. Although I do know that some people have a much better memory than I do, still, I wonder at the true accuracy of what even they remember.

I like the project you do, doing it regularly would help train your memory, I bet, sort of like how Sean's dad trained him while he was growing up on Psych, sort of like how Sherlock is just naturally. I think I'll 'give it a go' :D (I'm reading a Sherlock/ John Highschool AU. Can't you tell?)
May. 3rd, 2013 03:44 am (UTC)
too much today. I'm still on the verge of tears and don't know if it's the day I had and/or need more to eat.

I'll read it tomorrow.

M Lyn

Thanks for telling me about the lack of a link in a previous post.

Edited at 2013-05-03 03:45 am (UTC)
May. 3rd, 2013 11:56 pm (UTC)
'Thanks for telling me about the lack of a link in a previous post.'
no problem and sorry you're out of sorts. Hope you're feeling more in control now. Take care :)
May. 4th, 2013 12:34 am (UTC)
Just got home a little bit ago. Am so tired. Any exercise seems to wipe me out or relaxes me; don't know which.

Seems like I've been out of sorts lately. Something important is to stay out of the grocery store or driving during rush hour. Lady said I almost hit her and know I didn't. I'm wondering if there is something wrong with me. Didn't get to talk to her she just stalked off after telling me, "I dont' appreciate your cutting me off and almost hitting me." I got too close and realized it after I turned into a parking place.

No way to apologize.

I let that kind of thing bother me.

Otherwise, the day has been good. My PT finally found the cervical bone to work around that really made the tight muscles let go.

Nap time.

M Lyn
May. 3rd, 2013 06:55 am (UTC)
Yeesh, what a horrible view of the world to grow up with for an 8-year-old. I can't help thinking kids that age should be a little more sheltered from stuff like that, in order to grow up with a little more balanced and healthy, less paranoid, view of things. Then it was the cold war, today it's Islamic terrorism. I almost get the feeling that many Americans are so preoccupied with instilled fear that they never question why (or with what methods) their government keeps them in a perpetual state of terror. :(
May. 3rd, 2013 11:49 pm (UTC)
Partly, it was because we lived in San Diego, a serious navel town full of battleships and defense contractors just across the Pacific from The Soviets. My husband, growing up in Brooklyn, didn't have quite the same experience as me. For instance, the whole Cuban Missile Crisis he missed completely. Since my dad worked first in defense and then for NASA, I was more 'involved' because he was. I asked and my dad wasn't about to sugarcoat the situation.

We did have a whole decade there -1991 to 2001 that held out a different kind of promise. And then BAM!! Still, I think you may be right about the instilled fear idea. Problem is that there really was a Cold War, problem is there really are terrorists. I'm an idealistic cynic, we'll all get to a good place one day but we will fuck it up every way we can before we finally do.

I read a headline in The Daily Beast which said and I paraphrase that Americans need to realize that our government's foreign policy has consequences. They were talking about The Boston Marathon bombing but really, that statement applies to so much more.
May. 4th, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
Americans need to realize that our government's foreign policy has consequences.

It does, sure, but I also think the government itself resorts to pretty horrific measures to ensure ongoing public support of their policies and agendas. I don't believe for a minute that 9/11 was the work of terrorists, for example, and I'm really not one of those whacked-out conspiracy theorists. But if people are afraid, they rally to those who claim to offer protection, and don't question things adequately. Not everyone, but most people.
May. 4th, 2013 12:37 am (UTC)
It's not all the government, either. Advertising, some churches, and not sure it't instilled if that means brainwashed.

Interesting times.

May. 4th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Sure it is. I mean, even news media that's supposed to be neutral actually dictates what opinions we form to a large extent, IMO. I don't want to say brainwashed, that's a loaded word. Influenced, maybe. We are in Europe too, it's not that different here, we just don't have the nutty churches chiming in - lol.
May. 3rd, 2013 09:17 am (UTC)
I found that first memory incredibly powerful. Your father seemed to have sussed the situation out a lot better than your neighbours...I wonder what has became of their shelter?
May. 3rd, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you! If nothing else my dad was a realist and, at the time, he worked in defense so he clearly understood the situation. We moved from that neighborhood a year or so later, which is how I know what age I was, so what they did with their death trap I couldn't say.
(Deleted comment)
May. 5th, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
It is a pretty interesting project, Lauren always has something to tell me about what she's learning in class. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my five little memories. They were fun for me to remember.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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