My Earliest Memory

My father, me, and my little sister


My first Memory may not be a true memory. As I tell this story you may see why I believe this is a strong possibility.

I must have been around two years old.

The earliest I can remember is the park. I recall playing in park with my mother. I believe that this park was just across from the apartment complex we lived in situated somewhere on the Concho River in San Angelo, Texas. If we are ever happen to be in the area at the same time I might just try to show you where I think this occurred.

We rode the See-Saw
We played on the slide and swings
I remember the Merry-Go-Round

I was happy. I was a child having fun. What more could any ask from a memory. As I sit here typing thinking about that time I get chocked up hoping that my 4yo son is always as happy as I was at that moment.

Eventually we crossed the street and went back to the apartment. I can still almost see in my minds eye a little girl who I thought was the most beautiful girl in the world running on the second floor walkway. She had long strait shiny brown hair. Lovely blue eyes. I don’t recall if I ever played with her or if I even talked to her. I just know I liked her.

The next memory is of moving men coming into the apartment and taking my toys away. I jumped on my riding horse. Do you remember those? The ones with a spring to make it bounce up and down. I stayed on until I was forced to depart my steed. I was not a happy camper.

Next my memories jump to me standing next to my father in the cab of his yellow or maybe orange truck. I don’t know whether it was a Ford or a Chevy, but it had one long seat from door to door. My sister was between my mother and me. I’m unhappy and my father stops at a store and buys me a toy.

I was happy again. Hey I’m a toddler, simple things simple things.

This is where the memory ends.

I have no idea how old I actually was when I was finally left with the couple who adopted me. She was my fathers sister. For clarity anytime I talk about my adoptive parents I will call them mom and dad. I do know I am now in possession of a birth certificate that states they are my birth parents. My father told me that one of his conditions for letting them adopt us was that our last names not be changed and he was pretty furious when this occurred. I do know that he came to visit often and somewhere deep down in the my subconscious I knew who he was long before a neighbor girl spilled the beans about us being adopted when I was seven or eight. I would stare at him. I felt a connection to him. I knew who he was without really knowing.

I have talked to my mom, my grandmother, my father, and a few years ago my mother about how I was left with mom and dad. I have heard four different stories.

My point is nothing happened like I remember. My father and my mother were no longer together at the time I was left with mom and dad for the final time.

My earliest memory a lie…

A lie..?

A dream?

It seems too real and too vivid to be a dream. I remember dreams I’ve had when I was five and six (before I even knew one existed, I was the fourth musketeer…that was a reoccurring dream). Those dreams aren’t as clear and precise as this “memory”. I don’t know how old I was when I consciously became aware of this memory, but it feels like it has always been present.

I finally have found an explanation I am willing to
accept.

My father said that many times before we were left for
good we had been takin over to my aunts to stay while tried to go their separate ways. Maybe I’m remembering one of those occasions times.

Maybe my happiest memory of my birth mother is not a
dream….

My Father and me 2018

My Desk

desk

I have no idea how long this secretary desk was in my families house hold. I don’t remember it in the 70’s but I do know that when we moved from San Angelo to my parents newly built retirement house on Lake Buchanan in Tow, Texas it was moved into my room.

I have very fond memories of this desk.

It was one of three pieces of furniture in my room. It shared very limited wall space with a bed and a dresser. I have no idea what happened to the bed. Correct that I have no idea what happened to the second bed. The first one perished in a fire sometime around my freshman and sophomore years of high school. That’s a tale for another day. The dresser, was recently sold or given away by my sister after it spent many years providing shelter to clothes, nick nack’s, and things that would never have been allowed to keep in the holy reservoir of apparel.

In front of the desk was the same poor pitiful swivel chair I am sitting in at this very moment. For at least 38 years, the same spindle has been broken and if you grab the chair too forcefully, four other spindles will dislodge from their moorings requiring a hammer to return the chair to sitting condition. I have contemplated at least twice in the last week on grabbing my gorilla glue and seeing if I can afford this poor chair 38 more years. I’ll let you know if I attempt said project.

This desk occupied the left corner of my room if you considerer laying aback the non existent headboard of my bed the center of observation. In the summer, open windows and an open door provided a nice lake breeze. In the winter, double panes provided protection from the cold and kept me from freezing because my mother didn’t like me using my one wall heater. (it was her opinion the fireplace in the living room provided plenty of heat for my room a mere 50ft away)

For eight years, I performed many activities in that little corner of my room. Homework. Modeling. Drawing (poorly) Composing poetry. Writing songs. Working on short stories. Rolling stats of characters I was making for the RPG’s Star Frontiers and Knight Hawks. I even remember creating a war game played with dice. This was the desk where I composed two 1st Place VFW Voice of Democracy speeches. I spilt many drinks. (hence the watermarks) I know I drew on it. (the pen and pencil marks have faded but the indentions are still present in the wood) I’m surprised this desk survived.

By far my best memories of this desk are the books my mother displayed on the shelf. I ignored them for two years and then one bored summer day I decided reading wouldn’t be so bad. I went and asked my mother if I could read the books. I guess she thought I was old enough, because the next thing I know I’m immersed in literature no 12yo would normally read. I have never stopped reading since. Alex Haley’s Roots. Wow . Next I remember reading Diane Pearson’s Czardas, about an aristocratic Austrian family from just before WWI to after WWII . Included on the shelf were a few of the Readers Digest condensed books. Do you remember those? They would have three or four condensed novels in each edition. In one was a book by Alan Scholefield, The Great Elephant about a family that lived under the protection of King Chaka of the Zulu nation. Harrold Robbins’ The Adventurer’s was a story of South American Revolution. Joe David Brown’s Paper Moon on con artists in the South during the Depression. I currently have first edition copies every novel but Paper Moon (I have a reprint) in my library so that I may read them again every few years. Without theses Novels, I would not have the love of reading.

In the Summer of ’89 I moved out my mothers house and forgot about the desk. By the time I started to settle down in my 40’s, I began to think fondly of that old desk and wondered what happened to it. My mother passed away in 2002 and it was not among her household items. Two years ago a cousin mentioned that he had a desk my mother gave him and he would bring it next time he came to the reunion. He was under the impression I wanted it. I thought he was talking about my father’s roll top desk and though I had never expressed an interest in it I thought it would be nice to have since the deer rifle my father promised me never made it to my possession. I skipped he next reunion and my cousin left the desk at my brother-in-laws house.

Last October I went to the reunion making sure I took my truck so I could transport the desk back home. It was overjoyed when I saw the desk I never expected to see again waiting for me. It now sits in my bedroom holding some of my prized possessions.

I hope that some day my child will mar this desk as he sits there trying to avoid doing his homework.