My first childhood memories

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?

13 thoughts on “My first childhood memories

  1. Wow, lots of amazing detail.
    I remember sitting outside with my grandpa, I remember he walked with a stick (he had a stroke), Going to kindergarten, laying on my belly writing my name in a book, repeating it with a child’s lisp over and over, I can still hear myself saying it in that childish way even now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 9034 Holly, KC, MO.
    It wasn’t my first childhood home, but it’s the first address I recall … Probably because we moved there when I was four and my parents probably made me memorize it in case I got lost walking to kindergarten. We did that back then, as you know. Mine was Boone School, a good half mile or more away. Imagine a kindergartener these days walking alone to school on busy 89th Street, crossing four-lane Wornall Road. I’m pretty sure some governmental agency would be called and I’d have spent my childhood in someone else’s care. I was a very happy boy, and that would have made me sad.

    I watched my mother cry in the kitchen of that house, transfixed at the black and white broadcast imagery of JFK’s assassination. I remember the bolt of lightening that lit up the world and split our Mimosa tree down the center just 20 feet out the front window. And, the sour taste of the tiny crabapples we’d pick beside our driveway. I could only eat two or three before I got a belly ache.

    And the enormous field in the ravine behind out house where countless forts were constructed of tall grasses and defended with foam-filled cattail swords. As will happen in wars and other acts of violence, there was, eventually, an arms race and swords escalated to mud-clods, with bruises that would follow the soldiers home. My memory of that battlefield ends with a crack to the head via a mud clod carrying a stone warhead that sent me home bloody and terrified, and that was the end of that.

    I’ve driven by there a time or two. The field is full of banks and office buildings, and I could fit that house in my back pocket. Seemed a lot bigger then..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember where you used to live too! I also remember after we moved to the house on Summit, I rode my bike to Red Bridge Elementary in 6th grade….and to the YMCA pool in the summer. Even though it was only about a mile and a half, I remember crossing Wornall Rd. Doubt if any of that would happen in this day and age. I have more memories of that area. 😀

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  3. Do you know what’s something Lisa? I can remember the address AND phone number of the home we first lived in as a family. Several years ago, I shared a post on my blog with a photo of my mother, brother, sister, and I standing right in front of that house. Isn’t it something how much detail about a house that we recall, considering it was so long ago? And the memories of things happening in certain rooms.

    Love the look of your home on 96th Street. I love the shape.

    “4. Watching the Wizard of Oz on a black and white television.”

    OMG….ME TOO!!!

    My memory goes back to 4-5 years old as well. But I also remember things even further back. Like perhaps 2-3.

    FUN post, my friend! Hope you’re having a fab weekend! X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Difficult to say. There’s a picture of me in a large plastic pumpkin at the Catskill Game Farm when I was about 3 and a half. So do I remember being there, or the photo of being there?

    Liked by 1 person

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