January 9, 2007

Earliest Memory

Posted in reflection, stories at 6:01 am by jimazing

What better way to start telling my story than to tell you my earliest memory.  My family lived in Charleston, SC very close to where the I-526 Mark Clark Expressway is now.  My mom and dad had purchased a little house that had a screened porch on the back, a fenced in backyard and a huge oak tree that I liked to play around.

There were several children on the street that played together.  We probably did this a lot, but one day we were in the front yard of my home running and playing ring-around-a-rosie and I wondered if I would remember that.  I must have overheard some adults talking about their early memories and I wondered if I would be old enough to remember that.  I decided that I was old enough and that this would be my first memory.  That probably says a lot about the way I think.

What was your earliest memory?


  1. Paul said,

    I find that I can’t tell whether my “earliest memories” are real memories or whether they are false memories that I imagine based on photos and stories that Mom has told me. I have vague memories of animals (especially rabbits) out back of our house in Boone and of playing on furniture that Dad was making.

  2. Danae said,

    Hey mine is of Boone too! My first memory is looking at a stroller experiencing the strange sensation of bouncing and falling forward. It actually kind of hurt! Yes, it is of me falling down the staircase into the basement with my stroller!

  3. erin said,

    I remember getting my picture taken in front of the fireplace at Dantzler Drive. I was 2 and it you made us all wear matching dresses that were itchy. My back was really hot and the photographer put me right next to it. I was jealous because either Mel, Kat or Nae got to sit on the carpet and further away from the heat. I remember crying about it and everyone trying to get me not to b/c it was picture time. I probably remember this b/c you got the picture developed and I saw it as I grew up and was constantly reminded.

    My second memory is like your 1st memory. I was looking in a drawer for some gloves to match my dress for the annual Easter picture and I realized that I could remember things on purpose. So I decided that this would be my 1st memory. I guess being 2 1/2, I wasn’t smart enough to figure out it was my 2nd memory.

  4. jimazing said,

    These stories are terrific. They are part of who we are. Keep them coming…

    Paul,Thanks for sharing your memory. I remember your folks had goats for a while. They milked the goats for their own consumption. I thought that was really cool. I miss your dad.

    Danae, I remember your falling down those steps. I saw it coming as you were pushing a little toy shopping cart towards the stairs. These stairs went down into our basement and we had a baby gate in front of them so you wouldn’t fall. For some reason it was not in place that time. It was one of those moments where time seems to slow down. I saw it coming and there was no way I could stop it. What made it worse was watching you go the whole way down. You held onto the shopping cart handle and that kept you from bumping your head too badly. I am so thankful you weren’t hurt.

    Erin, I am responsible for the fire. I am sorry it burned your back. I thought it would make the photo look really cool to have a real fire behind you and your sisters. We have a video of them doing the photo session and you were quite miserable after your back started getting hot. By that time it was too late to ditch the fire. As I recall, the photo we chose was the first one we took. After that, we couldn’t get you to look pleasant (since you were not feeling pleasant). As to your being “smart enough” to know that your memory of the gloves was your second memory… I think we can let that pass. :o)

  5. jimazing said,

    Today, I went to my very first ever Martin Luther King Jr Party! A neighbor invited some of her neighbors and family to her home. It was a real blast meeting people, hearing stories. I was thumbing through a book called Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives. Given the fact that I had recently posted this topic, I was struck by this quote of a man named Martin Jackson of Texas:

    “My earliest recollection is the day my old boss presented me to his son, Joe, as his property. I was about five years old and my new master was only two…”

    Imagine your first memory being that you were enslaved to another. That you were someone’s property. That your master was two years your junior (at five years of age). My memory of running in the front yard would have been Martin’s wildest dream.

  6. Dave Anderson said,

    My earliest memory was sometime around two years. My parents owned and operated a restaurant, which was next door to our little home. Often my mother would have to go to work in the restaurant and she would put me in my crib in their bedroom and go next door to work. I woke up one afternoon from my nap and stood up in my crib and began to cry. My brother heard me and came in and said, “What’s wrong with my little bubba?” It is a precious memory to me and one which I cherish to this day.

  7. Jeanie said,

    I was almost five years old and my mom was rubbing calamine lotion over me because I had the chicken pox. I looked out the window and saw my dad building a sandbox for me. I was sad because I couldn’t play in it because I was so sick. I just wanted to go outside and play.

    I had both the chicken pox and the red measles while my mom was pregnant with my sister.

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