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Thursday, December 29, 2016

My earliest memories.

The earliest really distinct memories I have go back to about 1969, or maybe late 1968.  I would have been two and a half to three years old.  My parents lived in a house on Romara Drive, then a few miles outside Winston-Salem off of Jonestown Road.  The house was a little brick ranch with a carport on the left side.

They tell me I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.  I have no recollection of that event, but I do have a few fragmentary memories of that time:  playing with kittens behind the carport and discovering, from a bad rash I developed that I was allergic to them, and the time we stopped and looked at a large snapping turtle we found in the road one day, or watching Tom & Jerry cartoons one morning - must've been Saturday - with my dad.  He always like Tom & Jerry the best; said it was pure entertainment, whatever that means.

I can remember my mother rocking me in a big, white, probably leather chair, reading to me before bed, and I remember moving day, 1969, when we moved to the Hickory Tree Road place where some combination of us would remain, in one house or the other, until 2015.  I remember getting into the covered back of my grandpa's truck that day, and getting my finger smashed when the door closed.

But my earliest really distinct memory is of lying awake in my crib one night.  I remember hearing the Doc Severinsen Orchestra playing the theme of The Tonight Show, and Ed McMahon's unmistakable voice saying, "Heeeerrrre's, Johnny!"  A little later, I remember hearing my dad literally rolling in the floor with laughter at some hilarity.
Severinsen, Carson, and McMahon

I have a few other memories associated with that time and place.  One in particular having to do with potty training.  Apparently, one night I was asked or expected to sit on the potty chair in the living room.  These were the days before video recording or being able to stop playback of a program on television, so I guess the idea was to have me crap in the front room so as not to miss whatever they were watching.

Well, I was having none of that.  I couldn't tell them then, I guess, but I remember being ashamed having to pull off my pants and sit on the bathroom thing in the living room.  Nobody else did there business in there, so why did I have to. It was embarrassing and humiliating - to a three year old nonetheless - and I balked and resisted.  The first of many loud disputes between two of the hardest heads ever to walk the earth.

Oh, and I remember falling down the basement stairs, and the way the floor looked coming up at me.

Kinda wish I could forget that.

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