Saturday, February 2, 2008

What Do You Remember?

The new challenge for Take It Further has been posted and the questions is, "What are you old enough to remember?" Hoo boy.

Sharon lists several things she remembers that are also part of my life experiences. And as I was reading them I thought about how I used to marvel at all that my grandparent's generation had experienced in their lives. Now I see that my generation is on track to experience as many changes as they did, if not more!

I started by making a list of some of the things and events I remembered from my youth. Fairly quickly I decided I didn't want to depict any specific object. I mean, I remember using a hand pump to get water in the kitchen sink but I'm not that old! We had a cottage in the wilderness of northern Michigan when I was a kid. That's where we went on weekends. Not only did we have the water pump, we also used an outhouse, kerosene lamps, and an icebox, not a refrigerator. But this was in the 1960's, not the 1860's!

I also thought briefly about trying to depict the innocence and freedom of growing up in an age when kids were allowed to play tag on the playground or play in the yard without adult supervision because there was no fear of abduction or drive-by shootings. Granted, I lived in a safer place than some, but you know what I mean. We actually played outside, played board games instead of video or computer games, walked to the family-owned corner store to get comic books and penny candy, that sort of thing.

Finally I started recalling major events in the news when I was young. Having been born in the middle of the 50's I don't remember much of anything from that decade. The next decade had plenty of memorable events however, even for a kid who didn't pay much attention to the world of grown-ups. And of course the ones that came to mind first were the tragic and unhappy ones. I suspect most of my readers are old enough to know what I'm talking about. It took awhile, but as I researched dates and details of a few specific events I remembered news coverage of Lady Bird Johnson's efforts to beautify the roadsides of our national highway system. Maybe that stuck in my memory because we took a lot of road trips when I was a child (back and forth to that cottage, around the state to visit relatives, across the country) or maybe because my dad worked for the state highway department and that made it relavent to my personal life. Whatever the connection, I have decided that will be the focus of my February TIF piece.

Since you have stuck with me this long let me show you a view that can be seen "down the road" from where I live now:

You have to climb a mountain to get this view but I think it's worth the effort!


  1. What a beautiful spot Sue, this would be very inspiring for all sorts of art/poetry/thinking.
    I have a special interest in roadsides. Here in Australia we have signs designating areas of roadside as remnant indigenous vegetation, several around where i live, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your TIF.

  2. I see water! Being in the desert that makes your picture quite beautiful.
    I'm trying to think about what has gone from the timeline too. I don't want to just do the color set. I'm thinking housewives are pretty much gone but not sure that's what I want to do. I thought about the kids playing like you did also but I'm not going to do that. Hmmm...

  3. I remember the commercials with the Indian crying because of all the trash on the road. Odd that was what came to mind first?

    Love the photo...definitely worth the climb!

  4. who wouldn't want to climb to get such a view, good luck with your concept, I'm still mulling it over

  5. I love that you mentioned Lady Bird's efforts at beautification! I'm in Austin - and the National Wildflower Research Center here is her finest work - a magnificent place, it is. Especially in the spring.

  6. I went for an easy one, but one that had a big impact on me...TV. I was 5 when we got our first black and white set in 1955 and I do remember some of the old programs that i loved so much...
    you looking at the san juans in that photo? it's beautiful!

  7. Oh My Gosh, what a beautiful picture. You are lucky to have such scenery around you...

  8. Hi Sue
    Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. I love your little icon "encouraging" us to comment in your side bar.
    I enjoyed this post about your memories very much, and I absolutely love that photo, too gorgeous.
    I am sorry to hear that you're suffering as a result of exposure to so-called safe chemicals. I'm familiar with this experience in relation to CFS. I had mercury poisoning from the amalgam fillings in my teeth.
    Hope you're going well today. Judy.

  9. what an amazing view. I also remember how safe we felt, we would walk home from school on fine days, 3 miles or so. No one worried about us - at least I don't think they did! That is fascinating about Lady Bird Johnson - looking forward to seeing how your piece develops. Thanks for commenting on my blog.


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