Wednesday, June 13, 2007

13 Random Childhood Facts

Camille Crawford tagged me to participate in this meme started by John Gillespie.

Hmmm....13 facts about my childhood?
  1. My experience in public, in performance, began in Grade 2. I sang a song at a school event, like a Christmas concert or something. The first time I sang over a microphone. I knew even then there was something special about that. I literally felt the electricity. No, it wasn't a shock from the mic.
  2. I've said this before. I read War & Peace at the age of 12. It's where I first heard of Freemasonry.
  3. I remember the pedal car I got for my fifth birthday. It was like a fancy Oldsmobile, hot pink and black.
  4. I'm a lousy swimmer because I took swimming lessons when I was a kid and ended up in the middle of the pool one day when we were practising drown-proofing. You're not supposed to really travel when you're doing that "raise your head and breathe" thing, but somehow I did. I got very tired and had a lot of trouble making it back to the side of the pool. I nearly drowned doing drown-proofing. Never been much of a swimmer since.
  5. I got the strap unjustly in Grade 5. Maybe that was the beginning of a certain disrespect for authority.
  6. I remember the fireflies in Mansfield Ohio where we used to visit relatives. My grandfather would pack us in the old Chrysler at 4 am or so and drive straight through. Fireflies were a delight, and unknown to me in Lunchbucket. The streets in Mansfield also had something I'd never seen...some of them were paved with bricks.
  7. One night at a wedding, a hochzeit at the German club, I stood in front of the bandstand all night, pretending I was playing the trumpet.
  8. Same German club. Christmas was a mixed blessing, because Santa Claus, the German version, carried a BIG staff. You never knew whether he was going to give you candy or a smack on the butt.
  9. I remember the sense of freedom and joy I had when one day my grandfather (who, along with my grandmother, took care of me during summers cuz my parents both worked) gave me permission to ride my bike anywhere I wanted in the whole city!
  10. It took me a long time to learn how to ride a bike. (And then, the first time I rode around the block without the training wheels, I hit an old lady.)
  11. Catlic spool boy: I trained hard and earnestly to be an altar boy. This was in the days when you still had to do the stuff in Latin. The very first day I was to assist at Mass, 7 o'clock in the bloody morning (!) I was excited and nervous. I was also all alone. The experienced kid who was supposed to be my partner never showed up. It was not a happy first Mass.
  12. Catlic spool boy 2: I have a cousin who as a youngster was so obsessed with becoming a priest that he in fact had his own chapel (this is like at age 10-12) with an altar and all the trappings and he would say Mass (and take up the collection.) He turned out to be rather unstable and was turned down for the seminary. Not much of a surprise there, I guess.
  13. I loved to read (and still do)...anything I could get my hands on. From classics to comics. I even read the articles in Playboy.
That's it! That was fun. And isn't it amazing how a few random facts can practically sum up parts of your life, eh?

Now I suppose I must tag somebody.'re it: Awannabe, Anna at Box1715, and Christy at Hint of Poetry. OK?


S. Camille said...

Fireflies, bricked streets and an aspiring altar boy... nice picture. The best image though is the GERMAN version of Santa Claus. Nothing like that has ever entered my mind.

Thanks Larry!


Anonymous said...

"I even read the articles in Playboy."

Really? - Now why do I find that hard to believe??!! LMAO

Thanks for the tag. Will get to this shortly!

Take care, Larry;

John said...

Great recollections Larry. I am reminded of a friend who went to Bible college for 6 months, I assume with the intention of graduating to some manner of church leadership, although he wasn't a Catholic, returned a little disillusioned, and forever whet my curiosity with the following description of his room-mate: “He was a bit strange. I would say something, and he wouldn't reply, but then several minutes later suddenly would.” At the time of telling that really seemed the most curious thing, but now, as conversations routinely float over, or maybe under my head, I am not so sure...

Anonymous said...

I miss those fireflies from my childhood - they were so thick - unexpected flashes in the dark. You couldn't predict where they'd a-light... we'd chase after them - try to capture them in jars - but I can't remember ever actually getting one. For that, I am grateful. The memory of fireflies, and the not-catching!

Help! I've written and I can't get up!