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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

memory - 1

Memory is defined as the mental capacity or faculty of retaining or recalling facts, events, impressions, or previous experiences and it has always amazed me the things that stick in memory and things that seem to fly away or bury themselves so deeply that they can’t surface again. Occasionally when one of the old bits of memory surface, it will bring one or two others with it – often unrelated to the original – and more often very unimportant.

To the best of my recollection and the records that I have, our family moved to Augusta, Georgia in November of 1949. I joined a third grade class already in progress at John Milledge School – I don’t remember if it was called an elementary or a grammar school. We resided at 534 Hickman Road and our phone number was RE3-2498, later simplified to 733-2498 – how do I still remember that? Most of the memories of my growing up were formed in and around that location.

My younger brother and I shared the same small room during those years of growing up. When we first moved there, this room was the kitchen but it was way too small. Dad did some changing around of rooms and appliances and us guys wound up with this small room because you can put boys most anywhere. We had bunk beds for most of that time and for many years they were stacked, mainly because of the lack of space if they were placed side-by-side.

The walls of this room had some rough places and even holes in the walls where appliances and cabinets were taken out. The walls were just roughly patched with sheetrock for many years and I don’t remember it being repainted – at least not until after I was in the army. When I was approaching teens, we did put the upper bunk down on the floor and there was only space between them to have a very tiny night stand of sorts.

In one of the shop classes I had in Junior High (Middle School now) I made a crystal radio and the nightstand was its place of honor. The radio antenna was a small wire attached from the house to the sycamore tree out back and came in to the radio through the window screen. When I should have been asleep, I would sometimes have my earphones on listening to whatever the airwaves sent me.

This scientific wonder didn’t last too long, being hand-made by the amateur that I was, and was replaced by an old AM radio that had been in the family for years. It was pretty well beat up and the dials were not working properly, so the case had been taken off to be able to tune the radio with bare knob stems. This was a tube type radio and these exposed vacuum tubes got very hot. My brother was a rough sleeper and one night he managed to get his foam rubber pillow over on the tubes of the radio that had been left on. I awoke choking in a smoke filled room, fortunately the window was open – no air conditioning – or else neither of us would have likely survived.

We coughed up black particles for a couple of days and didn’t realize then how close to our demise we actually were. Looking back, I am thankful for no air conditioning back then and am thankful for it today. That is close to the scripture that talks about giving thanks to God in all situations. ec


Blogger Bonita said...

I hope you take more strolls like this down memory lane. They tend to be the sweetest. This post reminds me of a wall between my brother's bedroom and mine at our cabin. We drilled a little pencil-wide hole in it, and passed messages in the night. Just curling them up and poking them through, then having them pulled through was a magnificent exchange! We'd read the messages with a flashlight.

3/28/2007 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

I liked your message passing method, it seems that the smallest things make the largest memories at times. Then one memory will lead to another and so forth. And since we are the only one to remember some things, they would be lost if not spoken or written by us. ec

3/28/2007 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kila said...

I enjoyed that journey back in time with you.

I have boys sharing a small bedroom. I feel bad that they don't have their own space to get away from each other. Was that a big problem for you and your brother?

I still remember my phone number and address from when I was under 10. I have a hard time remembering the current one though, haha.

3/29/2007 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr. Eddie ~~ It sure was a close shave with the burning pillow. I am
nervous of candles because they can start fires. It is funny (strange) how we remember the early years of our lives more clearly than our middle years.Where we lived and when etc. Maybe we got too busy raising kids and getting through those middle years. Or maybe, being kids, our memories were younger, fresher and in better condition. Thanks for your visit, glad you enjoyed my post. Take care, I can relate to your smile every time you see your recent work!!Cheers,Merle

3/29/2007 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Sometimes I wonder how we survived some of our childhood stunts and then I look at the kids today and I realize we were so much safer.

I enjoyed reading your memories ec.

3/29/2007 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Kila - Thanks - the only problem with my brother and I sharing a room is usually we would get in trouble for laughing when Dad was taking a nap - it seemed that everything was funnier then.

Merle - It is odd that I can remember things then and have trouble with things from last week. That is probably the reason too, our minds weren't so cluttered up as they are now.

Brenda - Looking back, it seemed to be a much more innocent time. Though things did happen, it didn't seem as much as now. ec

3/29/2007 11:20:00 PM  

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