What is your earliest memory? How far back can you really remember events, people, places without having the prompt of a photo or story that’s been told?
6202 East 96th Street, Kansas City, MO.
Out of the blue, I remembered my childhood home address the other day. So, I looked it up on Zillow and found it. Yep, that’s it. Built in 1957. Except, when I lived there, the dark blue/black was redwood and the door was not as decorative. There were yucca plants lining the front of the house. I know this because I remember getting pricked by them. I lived in this house from the day I was brought home from the hospital in 1958 until the end of second grade when we built a new house and moved further out into the ‘burbs and into a different school district.
Things I remember about this house:
1. Details about the floor plan layout of the inside. We had really cool windows below the large picture windows in the family room. These rectangular windows opened apart from the others. Think awning windows close to the floor.
2. My dad lifting me up to look out of one of those itty bitty rectangular windows you see on the front of the house on Christmas Eves. He did this because in the distance there was a signal tower with a red light on the top. He told me it was Rudolph and I should get to bed ASAP! Since I was too young to see out of the window any other time, I never knew the red light was the signal tower.
3. My mom hanging laundry in the basement during the winter months. We didn’t have a clothes dryer. She hung the laundry outside during nice weather.
4. Watching the Wizard of Oz on a black and white television.
5. Sitting in the basement during a tornado warning.
6. The family car was a station wagon.
7. Waiting impatiently at the end of the driveway waiting for relatives who were driving in from out of state for a visit.
Things I remember about the surrounding area:
1. My cousins lived down the street, around the corner and up a block or two.
2. My best friend, Cindy, lived across the street.
3. My other bestie, Beverly, lived at the bottom of the street.
4. Singing in the children’s choir at church during Christmas in a little white cape with a huge red bow.
5. I went to kindergarten at a school called Burk School (needed some help with that one from Mom). I think my teacher’s name was Mrs. Tripp. I remember “nap time” laying on a blanket on the floor and small milk cartons in a frig.
6. My pediatrician was Dr. (Julius) Kantor.
So, in my six decades of living, my earliest memory is probably somewhere around age 4 or 5 years old. What’s yours?