Memories - The Ones We Love to Remember

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years

Uncle Joe in His Youth

Source
Nuns were not so scary when we grew up.
Nuns were not so scary when we grew up. | Source

People We Remember

No matter who you are you have memories. I was struck by my memories when I read an article here by billybuc entitled "Friday Night in Smalltown America". Reading, I realized memories of where we lived and what we did as children live with us no matter where we grew up. Times change, people change, but our memories remain the same.

True there are people we remember that we may paint a bit differently than they actually were. For example, that wonderful Great Uncle Joe who was so good to us as a child but we learned later in life he was verbally abusive to his wife. In our memory he is still that sweet man who always paid attention to us when none of the other grown ups even knew we were in the room.

Then there is that nun we had in eighth grade. To us she was so tall, so tall as to be actually big, like a giant in black and white. She was nice but she could certainly be scary too. When we meet up with her some twenty years later we discover she's not so tall and daunting as we remember, but she is nice.

Memories of Pop Pop, our favorite grandparent. He took us everywhere and played with us when we were little. He was gentle and quiet but always there for us. We can remember him sitting at his front window with his little black dog in his lap. We didn't know when he married our grandmother he didn't want her teenage children in his house. That they had to move out and get their own apartment and yet he visits often and spends holidays with us. I guess those were things you didn't tell little children.

We remember Jack who owned the candy store. We stopped in his candy store after church every Sunday. Jack and Edith knew everything about everyone. After all, that was where you went to get a cherry coke or an egg cream. The grown ups ordered food too, but as children we were limited to sodas. That was where everyone bought the newspapers they didn't have delivered. Everyone talked to Jack and Edith giving them bits of information about all the lives in the neighborhood. They didn't gossip but kept their fingers on the pulse of their neighbors and what was happening.

Oh, and the soda man. He delivered soda and seltzer once a week right to your door. I used to love squirting the seltzer out of that special bottle! He was a nice man. Quiet by children's standards but there every week making his delivery no matter what the weather.

We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning Brand

My husband in uniform, taken at Fort Dix

Source

Special Moments

We all have special moments we remember, our first date, our wedding, the birth of our children, moments we hold dear to our hearts. There are others too though, simple little things that stay with us all our lives.

My father was a very special man and I have so many special memories of moments with him. I remember when I was young and wanted to go to the movies, of course I didn't want to take the bus so I asked Dad. He would stop whatever he was doing, he would even stop in the middle of painting, and take my girlfriends and I to the movies.

When my boyfriend (now husband) was in basic training in Fort Dix I wanted to go see him so badly. My Dad drove me from Queens to Fort Dix, New Jersey so I could visit for an hour or two. It was a three to four hour drive but my Dad didn't blink, he drove me there!

When I was in high school my french teacher (Sr. Mary Gilbert) said she needed a bookcase for her classroom. I told her my father would make it. I then went home and asked my father. Of course he made it and personally delivered it.

I remember a time in elementary school when our teacher (Sr. Maria Rosarita) left the room. Everyone started talking, getting out of their seats and having a grand old time. When she returned she asked who was talking. I stood right up then looked around and realized I was the only one standing. She knew, of course, I wasn't the only one so she marched me to her closet in the back of the room and told me to pick out whatever I wanted. I still have the plastic statue of the Virgin Mary sixty years later.

I remember riding home on the bus late after school one night. I looked out the window and said to my girlfriend that it looked awfully dark outside. She looked and said it did look darker than usual. It certainly was, it was the blackout of 1965, there were no lights. It was a neighborly time though. Everyone was out in the streets talking and socializing.


New York Street Games

Memories of Childhood

We all have memories of our childhood, some good, some not so good. The fun we had playing silly games like hide and seek or ring-a-levio always sits in a corner of our mind. Outside with our friends, pressing our parents till the last minute before we had to go inside.

I grew up in Queens, New York and just about everyone had a stone stoop. It was great for playing stoop ball and a pink Spaldeen ball was the best because it had so much bounce! Just FYI it was actually Spalding but remember, we were from Queens. I can't imagine the number of hours spent throwing that ball. The best thing was you could play it alone, against another, or in teams though it was a little more difficult with teams.

Roller skating (on metal strap on skates) was a daily pass time. We'd skate up and down the streets and take sidewalk chalk to draw roadways, stores, and houses, on the street so we could skate around and in and out. Sometimes we'd play I Declare war on. It should be played on foot not on skates but those of us who skated so much did any way. Of course you always had a skate key to tighten your skates.

These were days when a neighborhood was a neighborhood. You knew everyone and everyone knew you. You didn't have to worry if little Johnny was outside playing because there were ten other kids playing with him and looking after him, not to mention the neighbor lady down the block who always watched out the window.

Does anyone remember the "vent" window on cars? It was a small, separate, triangular window that helped with air circulation. There was no air conditioning in cars when I was a girl (you can keep the "when I was a girl jokes to yourself please) so opening that little vent window let you get a bit more of a breeze.

What about a typewriter eraser? It looked like a pencil with a small brush on the end. You used the eraser to erase your mistakes then used the little brush to brush away any eraser "crumbles" left behind.

How about the drills to protect us from nuclear attacks? Looking back makes them even more hilarious. The drill would be all of the children getting under their desks for protection or sometimes being brought into the auditorium (which had windows near then ceiling) and kneeling down with our hands over our heads. I'm sure many things come to mind when thinking about those drills and not many of them are good. I mean really, how much protection from a nuclear attack was your hands over your heads?

Nuclear Drills

I haven't even hit the tip of the iceberg. There are nickel pretzels and twenty-five cent movies, milk delivered to your house and walking to school then home for lunch and back to school. Staying after school till four or five o'clock to participate in sports or be a member of a club. Nobody's mother worked, well maybe one or two but they were the exception certainly not the rule. No matter how old you are now you remember the good old days.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Your Memories

Do you like remembering when you were young?

  • Yes, it makes me happy.
  • No, I don't have good memories.
  • Sometimes, depending on my mood.
See results without voting

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Comments 45 comments

lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 2 years ago from Central Virginia

What a wonderful article. I treasure my memories of people, places, and special moments. As I have watched a loved one lose their memories to an insidious disease we call Alzheimer's, memories become even more precious to me.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Thank you for reading so quickly. You are in my prayers Linda as I know what you are going through. God bless.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Memories are golden and to remember the ones closest to you is always so important.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Thanks DD, glad you agree.


Cram Nedsmar profile image

Cram Nedsmar 2 years ago from The Mile End, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Sweet article... I grew up in Brooklyn in 70s-80s so we have some of the same memories though perhaps a generation or so apart. I loved street games and the neighbourhood comradeship... Even the crime and urban decay of the time conjures up romantic images in my mind... It's certainly changed there now.. It's all clean and sparking.

I'm in Montreal now and it's strikingly similar to Brooklyn, at least in my area of the Mile End.

Thanks for the read..


Homeplace Series profile image

Homeplace Series 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

Ah, the memories. They are all there, just waiting for a nudge, from a hook, to be recalled, and lived again! Thanks for sharing! ;-)


Ronnie 2 years ago

I truly relived every wonderful word you wrote, and BTW, was happy to see you didn't get very specific about the two of us, my dearest friend for 60 yrs.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I love to read reflections like this, Mary, and you brought back many memories for me as well. The nuclear drills....thank God we never had to rely on them for our salvation. LOL I think we had the same nun in 8th grade. Love this my friend, and thank you for sharing my link.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

tillsontitan this is great. I did not grow up in the city, but there are many parallels. What a nice way to spend some time - remembering.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Well done Mary, a real treat to read.


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I remember so many of the same things you write about. Yes, those were the good ole days.

I had a very happy childhood; growing up in the country with loving and caring parents whom I idolized.

Thanks for the memories, Voted UP, etc. and shared.


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

It sounds like you have a lot of good memories.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Brilliant memories tillsontitan. This hub was a pleasure to read and brought back great memories of my own. Time flies by so fast and some things seem as though they just happened yesterday. I still remember having milk and bread delivered to the house, and my relatives, well there's another hub. Voted up.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 2 years ago from Central Virginia

Mary, thank you so much for your prayers. It means a lot. We're doing ok, I think. lol


boutiqueshops profile image

boutiqueshops 2 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

Beautifully done! I love to reflect on my memories of growing up in 1960s Laredo, Texas, when the 'streets of Laredo' still weren't paved yet, and we played outside all day. Awesome!


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

Thank you for starting with a line from Wonder Years as that alone took me down memory lane.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Ah yes Cram, Brooklyn and Queens are a different place now but they can't take away our memories. You make me want to visit Quebec!

You are most welcome Homeplace.

Ronnie, there are things we mustn't share ;) with others my dearest friend. They are memories only we two share.

I had to share your link Bill, it was my inspiration! Maybe that nun went around to all 8th grades!

So glad you enjoyed Mike as you give so much pleasure in your writing.

Glad you found this a treat Eric.

Thank you Mary for the votes and shares. Having wonderful parents certainly makes for a wonderful childhood.

Yes Janis, this is but the tip of the iceberg.

Isn't it funny the things we remember Jodah? No matter our age, certain things are always there. Thanks for the vote.

I'm sure Linda, but it can't be easy.

Thanks Boutiqueshops. Sounds like Laredo was a fun place for kids.

So many memories DealforALiving. Kevin and Winnie will live on in many memories!


jonmcclusk profile image

jonmcclusk 2 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

There's nothing that can make us happier than our memories. Excellent and inspiring article.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

What a great reflection of all things past...surely while reading this (in between) I reminisced on my past (childhood, teenhood and the neighborhood), Lol! I will now further indulge in the most enjoyable recollection of the past just like in the lyrics of the song by Barbara Streisand, "I can dream of the old days. Life was beautiful then." ~ Memory.

It's a beautiful Sunday here anyway and I hope you're having a great day too!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Til, I loved this hub.. Life is birth then death... but it can also be birth.. memories .. followed by a non regrettable death. Again made me think of all my past memories..some good some great.. even the not so good ones came rushing in which created my character.. bless you


sheilamyers 2 years ago

Awesome job! I was born a little late for the "duck and cover" drills and I don't recognize some of the games you mentioned, but all of the other stuff was part of my childhood. Thanks for the memories. Both you and billybuc have inspired me to write some more articles about life in my childhood.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Yes, the good old days, Tillsontitan. Simple, wonderful, and without 'clutter.'

Some of your memories are quite touching but I pick out that of your father's and Sr Maria. Such kind Acts!

Thank you for the memories, as they say, but especially beautiful and cherishing ones. Om Shanti!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Beautiful, like you Mary...so wonderful to see you writing.

And yes, I remember and loved my typewriter eraser!

Your friendship and thoughtfulness always brings comfort and a smile. Hope you are much better...I am getting there! Love you, Maria


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Dear Mary (Till),

Thank you for sharing such beautiful reflections here. I do remember those drills and just how naïve the world and our thinking was, which may have been great to be so naïve. The neighbors across the street from us had a "bomb shelter" in their backyard, which was just a big dig out hole, with two doors on top with hinges.

Again, thank you for the beautiful memories.

Blessings always


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

How true Jon, glad you enjoyed.

CrisSp, thank you. Yes, we often think "life was beautiful then". Hope you had a great Sunday.

Likewise Sheila, I hope we can keep our memories alive and interesting!

Thank you Manatita. I think my life was without clutter then. I return the Om Shanti to you.

Maria I am so glad to hear you are getting there. It is a sloooow process. So good to be back among friends. Love ya girl.

I know Faith, people were pretty naïve! Imagine being protected by a hole in the ground or your hands over your head!! Blessings to you too.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Memories are wonderful, and often all we have as we get older. Sometimes they make me sad, and I have to remind myself there's no reason for that. Time marches on, and we will make more memories, or moments, to stay with us. I think it's interesting, as you imply in your anecdotes about different people, how we remember the good and often forget the negative about people. That's true with certain periods in our lives, as well. I enjoyed this reflective hub very much.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Yes, Mary, I remember those days, too. That was back when Hallowe'en was safe and to got a big brown shopping bag of candy. Too bad they are a memory for us, that others never even have a clue about.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. What a great trip down memory lane. This certainly brought a smile to my face. Funny how as kids we only saw the good side of people. This was a great read, well done. Have a wonderful weekend.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

True Victoria, if we have nothing else, we have our memories. We will always make memories. I had a friend who used to tell me, when I was aggravated about something, "remember, you're making memories".

How true Deb. Now, not only do you have to worry about what's in the bag, you can't even let them go alone!

Glad I could bring a smile to your face Bill. "Keep the sunny side up". Glad you enjoyed and hope your weekend's a good one too.


midget38 profile image

midget38 2 years ago from Singapore

Mary, I think mine vary! guess for all of us, it's a mixture of good and bad!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Certainly Michelle and colored by how we remember them.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Thank you so much Mary for sharing your wonderful memories.

Voting up, awesome and sharing onto my FB page A brand new dawn.

Lots of love from Wales.

Eddy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Eddy, thank you so much! I admire your work and having you say you like mine is a great treat. The votes and shares are icing on the cake.


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

When we gather together, my sisters and I love to reminisce our growing up years and our nieces and nephews are fascinated. When I am with friends I grew up with, laughter and tears often accompany the tiny little memories. What intrigues me, at times, is our memories differ a bit from each other. Even the colour of our first car somehow changed in each of our memories.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

How nice you share such great memories. Everyone's memories change a bit over time. Thanks for stopping by.


old albion profile image

old albion 19 months ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Mary. A really good hub touching many bases. It brought back a few memories for me I am glad to say. Tip top.

Graham.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Glad I could bring back some memories Graham. We do have so many good things to remember!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Til.....You have to know that I would smile and "remember" as I read this lovely trip to way back when. How I wish I would have saved my steel skates & key! What a conversation piece they would be today.

Can you even imagine our grandchildren's shock and comments? Mine would probably say, "You're kidding Gram, right?!" LOL.

Yes, there is such a beautiful & treasured trunk-full of special, happy memories in the corners of our minds.....we can daydream about them forever.

Thank you for bringing this long-gone but never-forgotten scenario to the forefront, Til...It's cause for pause, no doubt!....UP+++Tweeted Peace GF.......Effer.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 19 months ago from New York Author

Oh GF, so many things we share, even memories! Imagine, its like that saying, "we went to different schools together" ;) No matter what happens in life, they can't take our memories.

Most of the time, even if they're laughing, our grandchildren do love to hear about "the old days". Thanks for the votes and tweet GF. Hugs coming at you.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 13 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Mary, thanks for sharing a great hub which has certainly brought back a lot of memories. I certainly remember the nuns I had in school. And yes, while attending a Catholic grade school in the city, I was able to go home a couple of blocks away for lunch. I am sharing this with Hubpages followers and on Facebook.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 13 months ago from New York Author

Thanks for sharing Paul. Yes, we have so many memories that we don't always think of. Glad I could bring some back for you. Funny how we share the same type of memories even though we are so many miles away!


word55 profile image

word55 10 months ago from Chicago

Wonderful writing here precious dear. Memories are why we should not drink alcohol so that we can reminisce and preserve precious memories. This was a fantastic hub. "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." You use yours very well. Right on my sister!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 10 months ago from New York Author

Thank you Word! I am so glad you share my perspective on the precious memories we have and the need to preserve them.


old albion profile image

old albion 10 months ago from Lancashire. England.

Another visit today Mary to your wonderful hub. Memories are forever are they not? This leaves me with a cosy glow, tip top.

Graham.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 10 months ago from New York Author

Thanks Graham. Certainly memories can warm us on a cold winter night! Nice to see you.

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