This is not the greatest photo, it’s a current shot from Google Street View, but the first thing I can clearly recall from my ridiculous life happened in that yard. During the summer of 1964 my parents, who were roughly 22 years old at the time, rented the upstairs apartment behind the green house there. I was less than 2 years old, and my mother was pregnant with my brother Tim. This is on 15th Street in Dunbar, and it was a lot less dumpy and demoralizing back then.
In any case, I can remember being on the sidewalk that runs beside the house, with an unknown girl who was wearing a dress. We had plastic cups filled with Kool-Aid (I’m almost certain it was grape), and we were pouring it on the concrete, making designs. And a woman — not my mother — yelled for us to stop. “You’ll draw ants!” she screamed, in a decidedly unfriendly tone. And that’s pretty much the entire memory. Nothing too traumatic, or anything. Wonder why it’s stuck with me for so long? I was about one and a half years old when it happened.
I asked my mother about it today, and she said the people who lived in the green house had a little girl who was slightly older than me. Also, my mother had a friend with a daughter who was born on the same day as me, who was at the apartment a lot. It could’ve been either of them.
And… the woman who lived in the ground floor apartment, underneath us, was always bitching and moaning about something. She was the type to holler at a couple of toddlers in the yard, I’m told. “So, it certainly could’ve happened,” my mother said. Which kinda irritated me… “Oh, it happened,” I assured her. If I were to make up a story, it would be a lot better than that one, I can assure you.
I also remember moving into our new house on 21st Street, in 1965. I recall my parents painting all of the interior walls, and the smell of the project. And there was a woman wearing cat-eye glasses, and a big sun hat going from room to room, ooing and awwing at the transformation. My mother has no idea who that woman could’ve been. But there was such a woman. I know it, for a fact. Some of my memories are hazy, but the two I mention here are not.
What was your earliest memory? How old were you? Was it something inconsequential like mine, or a big deal of some sort? Please use the comments to tell us about it.
And this is a quickie, but I’ll be back soon, my friends.
Have yourselves a great day!