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
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.