Friday, May 24, 2013

Childhood interests

I'm going to have to change my blog time.  I will experiment and try different times. 
I have been sorting through old papers the last few weeks as time and energy called me.  It is really interesting to see what I saved and what I didn't.  I have only scraped the surface of the sorting but some things I've kept are a little strange.  I have saved my scrapbooks of movie stars from the 1950s.  I used to cut pictures of my favorites out of Photoplay and other fan magazines and put them in scrapbooks.  They have followed me almost everywhere.  My cousin Joretta Pierce mailed me a letter a few years ago, that a neighbor had found in the wall he was renovating, in the house we used to live in Slab City.  The letter was written from Claire Pierce to Audie Murphy.  In it I told him how much I admired him and how I enjoyed all his movies and I asked for an autographed picture.  The letter was never mailed, most likely because I didn't have a stamp.  It goes without saying I must hold onto this treasure.Why, I don't know but now I cannot throw it or the scrapbooks out.  I guess I think my future biographer may be interested in my childhood interests.
The funny thing is I didn't save my little books of wild animal stamps and stamp books of different countries and cultures.  When I was a child I used to subscribe to some company which sent booklets  with written explanations and sheets of stamps which you would then tear and match to the proper area in the booklet. I remember I used to save my allowance and Christmas/birthday money to subscribe. I remember I also had a bunch of deeds to one square inch of land in Alaska.  They used to put a coupon in some cereal boxes and I used to mail them in for the deeds.  I think I figured I would eventually own enough square inches to own an acre in Alaska.  I wasn't too smart and not good at math in those days either.  I had no conception of how many square inches made an acre and how much cereal I and my family would have to eat to get that acre.  I also have a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from my days in Potsdam.  There is a picture of me and my friend Betsy in high school, trick or treating(we were too old), and an article on my friend Christa's family's escape from East Berlin when the wall was still there. 
None of my toys were saved.  I gave them to my sister Jackie's little girls after I moved to NYC.  I remember all my favorites though.  There was a little toy cash register that really added and rang up the fake groceries I had.  Mama used to cut the bottoms instead of the tops off  fruit and vegetable cans, wash them, then give them to me to play store with.  She did the same with cereal, cake mix, and other boxes.  I had the most realistic grocery store ever.   She gave me a fashion doll for Christmas with blond hair and a nipped in waste and beautiful legs.  This was just pre-Barbie so my doll was larger than she was and prettier.  My Mom made her a wardrobe which included a green wool skirt, plaid blouse and a green wool coat.  She made several other outfits as well.   I adored that doll.  I also had a little black rubber baby doll which I used to dress in exotic colored neckerchiefs to represent African or Indian princes I saw in picture books.  I had more than a dozen neck scarves in solid bright colors.  It was the fashion back in the day to tie them around the neck to match different outfits.  I used mine to dress my dolls.  My father mentioned when he first met Srini, that he remembered I always was carrying around that little black doll. and was so interested in other cultures.  My favorite thing however, was my glass horse collection.  I, again, used my allowance and Christmas/Birthday money to carefully choose and buy each little glass horse.  I had a wooden fenced corral stand and I used to keep my collection there. 
One of my favorite things to do was to read. My favorite books for sometime were the Black Stallion series, the Golden Stallion, Black Beauty,  and any other horse books I could find in the school library.  I had a few treasured copies of the Stallion books given to me as presents.  I remember Jackie and Gene gave me a glass golden stallion for Christmas one year with the book.  My childhood was spent for the most part alone and in fantasy, unless I was in school.  My sister was eight years older, my parents both worked, we lived in the country and when I got off the school bus I had myself and my dog and cats and for one wonderful year, my horse. 
Because I was so horse crazy my Dad bought me a horse when I was nine.  This horse story will come later, but suffice it to say I had an alone childhood. The stories I made up and acted out with my toys and animal friends,  and my travel adventures through books, are what prepared me for the life I began to live when I left home.  Well, enough for today, more when my muse moves me.