A Reader Not A Writer
BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS WRITE ABOUT YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCES
I was always a reader. I loved the library as a child and it was my favorite place during elementary school. I can still vividly remember the Librarian Mrs. Howell introducing me to a Mystery Series of Purple books (still my favorite color) in first grade. My parents and grandparents encouraged my love of reading and I still have my set of Nancy Drew Mysteries which I graduated to after those early Seashore mysteries. The Dallas Public Library Branch in our neighborhood was our source of books as there were no bookstores in our neighborhood and only one bookstore way downtown and one across town where wealthier people lived. That is until my mother Shirley opened our family bookstore when I was 11 years old. Today Libraries are still an important part of our publishing experience.
Although we grew up middle class (lower), I enjoyed a wonderful childhood with many friends (8 and surrogate families) from kindergarten through high school, with who I still have close relationships today. We grew up playing kickball in the streets and Batman and Robin a hide and seek type of game that had teams and involved the whole neighborhood 8-10 blocks. We knew all our neighbors and were in and out of each other’s houses day and night. Although we don’t see each other as often as we would like (mostly funerals of our parents now) the years melt away when we are together. The girls in our group are taking our first road trip together in June 2021, don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner. Although we did get together at least once a year on a fairly regular basis for many years.
I recently was able to spend some time with great friends from middle school and high school (mostly guys) at my Dad’s 17th Annual Memorial Golf Classic and Dinner following (where wives and sisters joined us). Even though we were rained out for Golf Classic halfway through everyone had a great time. There is nothing like creating new memories with vintage friends while sharing past memories (good times and bad). Friendship is so key to a joyful life.
I have a similar group of church friends who I grew up with and they too are like family. We started with Sunday School learning all of the books of the Bible, choir programs, Vacation Bible School and Catechism classes moved through our tweens and teen years having get-togethers in homes and going on weekend retreats to the hill country (a scenic part of Texas) were we stayed in cabins and cooked out and sang spiritual songs around the campfire. Maybe not so strange I ended up in the Rodeo Cowboy biz later on. We went to the weddings of siblings and then later stood with our friends as they took vows or lost loved ones. The older siblings of some of my friends were our youth leaders and one even did part of the funeral service for my Dad because they loved him too and played football or baseball for him or had him for World History classes.
It was a wonderful way to grow up and I am sad sometimes that our kids and grandkids are missing out on these types of experiences which were so common to my generation. Thank you for letting me share them with you in this article. I hope you will start writing down or recording your family and your friend’s memories. The only regrets I have are that I did not record my grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles. I was extremely lucky in my family heritage (so much brilliance, humor, and love) as I have shared before. If you didn’t have this experience I hope that you will go out and create it. It’s never too late to create a family of your choice with friends or loved ones. It is also never too late to start writing. :-)
Please share a childhood memory in the comments.