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Childhood Memories June 11, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I got tagged by Fraulein N to do a “6 Weird Things About My Childhood” meme, except my parents were far too strict to allow me to do anything that might at all be construed as weird. Instead, I’m going to take a look back at my 3 Best Childhood Memories.

1. The Detroit Institute of Art’s Brunch With Bach series: My parents took my sister and I to several of these when I was in the first and second grade. I don’t remember much about the performances, but I do remember two things very vividly. First, the Brunch included a chilled fresh fruit cup with grapefruit and orange segments. I can close my eyes and see the pretty glass bowl with the carefully sectioned fruit in it. I have no recollection of what else was served.

Second, the gift shop at the D.I.A. sold books of paper dolls, and one Sunday my Mom bought me one that featured the wives of Henry the Eighth. I never punched out any of the clothes, I just spent hours staring at the long gowns with the high ruffled collars, and the strange jeweled head coverings they wore. I read the biographies of each Queen and Consort, not really understanding what any of it meant, but fascinated nevertheless.

2.Lunch with my Grandparents at Big Boy: My paternal Grandpa and I had a very special relationship. Of all of my siblings and cousins I was his favorite, which he did not keep a secret from anyone. He had silver hair, and blue eyes, and smoked a pipe. After he retired from his lifelong job at Detroit Edison, he joined a local group of people who loved growing Violets. He set up a greenhouse in the basement where he experimented with breeding new types of Violets. Unfortunately he passed away when I was in the fifth grade, so I never really got to know him as a person. But he did leave me with lasting memories, one of which was the lunches we would have at the local Big Boy restaurant.

My Mom taught private school in another city, so our vacation schedules didn’t always match. On days that I was off and she wasn’t, I would go to stay with Gramps and Gram at their house. Lunch was always at Big Boy. I would start by ordering the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. I don’t know what they put in that sauce, but to this day it is still one of my favorite places to eat spaghetti. When I had finished that, it was time for dessert-Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake. Two thick slabs of moist chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream in the middle, covered with Hot Fudge and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Even though there is a Big Boy in the town where my Dad lives and we have eaten there many times, I never order that dessert. I think the memory of those afternoons with my Grandparents is so connected to that cake that I don’t want to eat it again and have it disappoint me and ruin the memory.

3. Fort Walton Beach, Florida: In second, third and fourth grades my family spent Spring Break in a condo right on the beach. We had a large Rico van, which was so different from today’s vans and so perfect for transporting a family of four (later, five) from Michigan to Florida. Imagine the driver’s seat and passenger seat as large Captain’s chairs that could swivel all the way around to face the back. Next, two more Captain’s chairs, and then a small middle area with cabinets on either side. In the middle of that area was a hole into which went a large metal stand, on top of that went a round tabletop that was stored under the seats in the back. In the back on either side were cushioned benches. This was where my sister and I could spread out and not have to actually sit next to each other. The coolest thing about that van was that you lifted up those cushions and unfolded the benches until they joined in the middle with a support underneath, then put the cushions back down so it made a bed. Like a futon, sort of. So there we would be, driving down I-75 with my Dad listening to WJR for as long as possible, stretched out on a cushioned bed in the back. No seat belts at all. One year my Dad got a CB radio. That was the year that the song “Convoy” was playing continuously. I don’t remember what his handle was, but I do remember him calling “Breaker 1-9” and then asking truckers up ahead if there were any traffic jams or road construction that might slow us down.

The condo apartment was comfortable and clean, decorated simply, with a large sliding glass door leading to a balcony. Early in the morning I would look out that door at the ocean and see the dolphins jumping up out of the water. We would spend the day at the beach, coming inside only to use the bathroom and eat a quick sandwich for lunch, then get dressed up and go out for a fresh seafood dinner. I would always make a friend with someone close to my age, and for those few days be blissfully happy.

These are three of my best memories of childhood. I’ll add more in another post. I’m tagging Radioactive Girl, Undercover Angel, Self-Proclaimed SuperMom, Suebob, SweatpantsMom, and Meg. And anyone else who wants to share!



1. radioactive girl - June 11, 2006

Do I get to choose whether to do the 6 weird things about my childhood or the 3 best memories? I think I might do both!

2. Suebob - June 11, 2006

I was wondering the same thing!

3. Dawn - June 11, 2006

You know, I love the Big Boys restaurants. I think they must be a midwest thing, Cause I’ve never seen them out here. My gram and Bop would take me there after they had gone bowling. I loved it.

4. Undercover Angel - June 12, 2006

Thanks for tagging me! I will get this done and post it tomomrrow.

5. Nancy - June 12, 2006

For me, Big Boy was a high school thing — when one of my friends had a car (I didn’t drive until the day after graduation, ugh!) we’d drive to the next town and have breakfast at TJ’s Big Boy in the morning before school. We thought we were such cool chicks.

6. Undercover Angel - June 14, 2006

Okay, I didn’t post it when I said I would. I forgot about it so instead I turned it into my Thursday Thirteen for this week and will post it on Thursday (tomorrow). Sorry about that –

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