Friday, April 14, 2017

In My Beginning

I was born at about the same time as Rock-n-Roll...but without the African influences.

I'm told that, at a few ounces over eight pounds, my delivery was difficult enough to make my mom glad that I was the fourth and final child. (Little did she know that ten-and-a-half years later I would lose my claim to the "Final Child" title.)

For the first four-and-a-half years of my life, we lived on a little farm on the north side of the county line road, in a house with a wrap-around porch and linoleum floors. There was a barn with some dairy cows, a couple other outbuildings, and a nearby creek from which to fish with a length of string and a bent paper clip. (Never caught anything except a stern talking to for standing on the bridge while a tractor drove over it.)

Because I was 4 years, 5 months old when we moved from there, I don't have a lot of memories of "the house on the county line road," but there was one incident that was planted in my brain and still remains.

Having begun its multi-year run of annual television screenings in 1956, The Wizard of Oz was still a fairly new TV event. My dad, FlatulenceKing, was sitting in an over-stuffed chair, directly in front of the television, eating popcorn and watching Dorothy and friends wend their way down the yellow brick road.

I'm assuming my three older siblings were in the room, but all I actually remember is coming up behind my dad and the TV screen gradually becoming know, like all those shots in the movies when the camera moves closer to a cliff until you can finally see Los Angeles laid out before you in all its twinkling splendor.

What I saw on that screen was not a beautiful landscape of nature and electric lights, but the Wicked Witch of the West standing on the roof of a cabin, throwing a fireball at the Scarecrow.

I never got to my bedroom faster, either before or since...and that was even while needing to step around the small puddle at my feet.

I'd like to say that's the reason I avoided green vegetables for twenty years, but our TV was black and white.

(To hear the author reading this post, go to SoundCloud by clicking here.)

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