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Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Memories of Days Gone By

Yesterday, February 20, was my father's birthday. He would have been 61 this year. However, this is the third birthday in a row when he hasn't been here to celebrate it with my mother and me. So, as a small tribute, and in celebration, I want to share this short memory with you.

No eyelashes here...
I was pretty little in the early 80s. I'm going back long enough that my parents and I were living in Barksdale, LA, where my dad was stationed at the AF Base. We had a cute ranch house, a sliding glass door into the backyard, a screen door to the front, and that shaggy brown carpet that was so popular back then. I watched cartoons on the TV, using the remote that had 13 buttons for the 13 channels it was capable of getting. And I watched a LOT of cartoons—what kid didn't then? There weren't parental warnings in those days on how not to use your TV set as a babysitter. It was great.

I'm sure I had been highly influenced by the cartoons of the day—you know, like CareBears and Thunder Cats and the Get Along Gang. The ones with animals as the main characters, and the only way to visually indicate gender was to give the girl bears eyelashes and leave them off the boys (or give the girl cats Barbie-proportions, but the boy cats still didn't have eyelashes).

Check out Dotti Dog's lashes!
So when my mom told me one day that boys had eyelashes, too, I didn't believe her.

We waited for my dad to come home from work. I stood in the kitchen with my tiny kid fists on my hips and told him that boys didn't have eyelashes. I'm sure he laughed, or snickered, or something, at my non-reality-based kid logic, but he promised me it wasn't true. He put down his things, knelt on the floor, and let me see.

I have a strong memory of my father kneeling before me on the linoleum, one knee up and one on the ground, still in his blues, and closing his eyes. I reached out my tiny kids fingers and tickled the ends of his lashes, splayed out for me to examine. I probably could have stood there for five minutes, running my fingertips over those little hairs, fascinated as I was.

And then I probably told him he looked like a girl or something silly like that.

I can't tell you why this memory sticks out for me. It came to me again in one of those half-awake/half-asleep moments a few weeks ago.


In loving memory of my dad, John (20 Feb 1950 - 1 Oct 2008)


***CareBears and ThunderCats pictures courtesy of Wikipedia. Get Along Gang picture courtesy of search.com. All photos borrowed under the terms of fair use.***

What's one of your strongest childhood memories?

10 comments:

Subcreator said...

That's a lovely memory. :)

If it was my daughter my husband would show her his eyelashes and then launch into a scientific explanation of why everyone has eyelashes and what they do. Our daughter has been demanding scientific explanations for everything since she was two. Luckily my husband is very knowledgeable.

RosieC said...

Haha. That's cute. The "why" phase, right? :) Gotta love little kids!

I'm sure there was some kind of explanation of how they help keep dust out of our eyes, etc., but that's definitely not the part I remember.

LTM said...

omg, I adore that memory. And I can just see the little girl you running your fingers over Daddy's eyes...

I briefly lived in Shreveport before moving to Indy the first time. I liked it... ((hugs)) to you today~ <3

Sallee said...

I love this memory and you did a wonderful job capturing it

Jules said...

Sorry, I am bit older more Road Runner and Tom and Jerry but the story was priceless!

Strongest memory... long story short, sliding down the fire poles at my Dads fire station. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

M Pax said...

What a wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing it. It brims with love.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, you were too cute! Boys don't have eyelashes... I love memories like that--the crazy thinking of kids and connections to people we love. Tomorrow would have been my dad's 66th birthday, though it's my 34th without him. I loved this little tribute.

Carol Riggs said...

Wow, I've never seen these cartoons. I feel so deprived (or...old). LOL

That's a great memory of your dad! and it's cool that you've made this post as a memorial to him. :)

Talli Roland said...

Oh, what a wonderful memory, Rosie, and a great tribute to your father.

HowLynnTime said...

Awe, that is a sweet post. Great story - thanks for sharing.

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