Monday, February 01, 2010

Recycling is good

Remember this?

Where I'm From

I am from a Snoopy lunchbox,
a rickety cart with a tiny black and white TV,
waxed paper and Strawberry Quik.

I am from the red house on Bayside Avenue
the rambling parsonage on the hill
the splintery-sided duplex
white siding in the suburbs.
Loyal Smutley, orange Volvo, fresh cut grass
Grandpa praying for unwitting sinners in the Sunday leaves.

I am from the woods behind the house
woodchucks, rat snakes, box turtles,
the allure of touch-me-nots--but only the fat ones pop.

I am from "not before six o'clock" on Christmas morning,
Saturday special breakfast,
From Earl and Louise and the far-off Moores.

I am from towering stacks of library books in crinkly plastic
and from moving boxes never unpacked.

From the marriage of "one right way" to "shades of gray."

I am from Sunday School, peace rallies,
boxes sent to a Mississippi family,
rice and tea like the children in Cambodia.

I'm from Tunkhannock, the Dutch rub,
brownies and maple walnut ice cream.

From great grandfathers black with coal dust,
a great aunt (or cousin once removed?) in France,
Nicholson File, Lincoln Bank.

I am from thick, crumbling sepia photographs:
Is that Grandma? Who's he?
Did they really take a picture of her after she died?

I am from jumpy, faded, silent home movies:
Mom in polyester and cat-eye glasses
Dad in shorts and knee socks, trips I never knew I took.

I am from a scrapbook for each child and another for the whole family:
Combing through childhood photos to recall
that couch, those shorts, don't you still have that teddy bear?

Scrapbook photos of a family reunion 30 years back, long-lost cousins.
Digital photos of another family reunion, cousins found.

The original post is from June 2006 (wow, I was blogging in 2006??), and can be found here, with explanations and links to the source material, and Mom & Lisa's versions in comments.

This came up today because Dad read me a (partial) version that he's been working on, and which he is welcome to post in comments here.


Lisa February 02, 2010 12:06 PM  

I don't remember this, but I love it. I can certainly identify with much of it.

Dad February 02, 2010 5:51 PM  

by Dick Tucker

(Done at a workshop recently, under time constraints, without benefit of subsequent thought, elaborating or editing.)

I am from older parents who married late and had to try hard to have their one child.

I am from "We can't afford those things," yet I had piano lessons and we had an old, primitive summer cottage at a lake near the city which we reached in the 10-year-old Reo car.

I am from Delaware Church where the sometimes stormy preacher sometimes terrified me, and where my daddy told me on the way home (in the old Reo car) that the sounds of my kicking the pew during church had gone out over the radio.

I am from the day camp where I sat alone on the sidelines while all the other boys played softball, because I didn't understand the rules - and none of the adults seemed to realize it.

I am from the family dinner table where my 80-something grandmother frequently fainted and we had to tip her chair back to revive her and during one such incident my mother said, "I guess this is it," and it wasn't.

I am from Campbell's Scotch Broth with Ritz crackers crushed into it, making the soup the (delicious) consistency of paste.

I am from the extremely shy six year old who would not go to school the day after the teacher had innocently kissed me on the top of my head - my refusal to go to school being a major crisis for my parents.

I am from a mother who would say, "You shouldn't feel that way," and a father who would say "You shouldn't work on Sunday, or make others do so," but who would take the bus to church.

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