I have been on the planet almost 52 years, and am just now starting to figure things out. I was very lucky to be born in the "coolest city" in the USA at the time. 1956 in Memphis Tennessee, "home of the blues and the beginning of Rockabilly" music.
I remember a little about living in a small duplex, listening to my Daddy and his friends playing music on the porch in the hot summer. I remember sleeping with all the windows open because we couldn't buy that new thing called "cold air conditioners".
I assumed everyone's daddy knew people like Rick Nelson, Carl Perkins, and all the other music people. I remember thinking, "I'm sleepy, I wish they'd stop playing instruments and go back to playing cards".
I remember Daddy going to get a big bag of Krystals and bringing them home for a fun "take out dinner". (they were $0.05 a piece then, so a dollar gave us left overs for the next day.)
I remember thinking my Mom's name was "Honey Baby" and other people besides Daddy would call her Viv for a nickname. It sounded funny to me.
I remember Daddy playing with Mama's long black hair and picking her up all the time. I thought everyone's parents held hands and hugged and kissed all the time. I also thought my Mama had the sweetest laugh, and she always laughed more when Daddy was home.
I remember Daddy always putting a little reel to reel player in front of us asking us to tell him a story or sing him a song. He always called me Kathleen. (I never knew "Kathy" was a nickname until I started school.)
I was lucky to be born to two excellent and artistic people. I'm the second child in a family of four girls. I grew up around my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and loved it.
My Mom taught me manners, the value of belief and faith in a Higher Power, how to take pride in yourself, respect your elders, be a "southern lady" and embrace gardening, flowers, and your artistic power. If you didn't address adults with a "yes Ma'am" or a "No Sir", you were automatically in trouble.
My Mother was also protective, strict and the only disciplinarian in our house. She wouldn't tolerate lying, and if she caught us in a fib we got in twice the trouble we would have if we'd just told the truth and confessed. She let us know that God didn't approve, and she disapproved of it more than He did.
We went to Church every Sunday and unless you had a fever or were really sick, there were no excuses for missing our spot on the front pew.
Daddy loved to toss us into bed at bedtime. it was a nightly ritual and made going to bed fun. We each got our turn on his back. He jumped around and counted to ten. On ten, we'd get tossed onto the bed. Of course, he had to replay it several times with each of us before he got to leave the room, but he giggled as much as we did. He'd tuck us in, kiss us and say, "Night babies, Daddy sure does love you."
Sometimes we'd sing "Hush, Little Baby" or "Pick a Bale of Cotton" acting out all the the parts together. Mama always came in at the end to kiss us and say our prayers with us. Sweet memories.
My Grandma and Grandpa Cash, and most of my Aunts, Uncles and cousins on Daddy's side all lived pretty close. We usually got together on Sunday afternoons and had outdoor picnics at someone's house. If Grandpa felt really close to someone, he'd grant them one of his nicknames (mine was "bugeyes"). I loved my Grandparents. My Grandma always called me "Kath-a-leen". Those picnics and get togethers were so much fun and never complete unless there was a lot of fried chicken and always a huge watermelon or two. My best friends were my sisters and cousins. It was always that way.
The adults would play cards, and have ice fights. Mama was always so tiny, so dad would always manage to get a lot of ice down the back of her shirt and chase her around until he caught her. Then it always ended the same. He picked her up like she was a child, planted a big kiss on her, and carried her around for a while. Mama was shy, so she'd turn 20 shades of red and get embarrassed, but I could tell she loved every minute of it.
Wow...I've barely covered the first 4 years of my life. I promise the rest won't be so wordy and long. Stay tuned for part two.....