Monday, May 18, 2009

Memory Mondays-- Coming of Age in 1963

I saw a couple of blogs that are titled Memory Mondays or Monday Memories as a theme and I like the idea of going down memory lane. I had been blogging fine the last few months almost four times a month and then I got backed up this month. So by my joining the Memory Mondays blogging bandwagon, it will guarantee a blog at least once a week. This serves as a two-edged deal as I am compiling a book of childhood stories that I hope to publish. Southern Roots/Cali Girl: My Coming of Age Story centers on my growing up in Oakland and the influence of my Southern born roots. I want to present excerpts and thoughts on these stories to give readers a taste of what is to come. As the family genealogist, this is a way of documenting my own history as well.

We have been experiencing a hot spell in the Bay Area in the last few days. This time of year brings back memories of summer vacations going back south to Arkansas. It was 1963, the last day of school and all over Oakland, Gary U.S. Bond’s song; School is Out—“School is out at last and I’m so glad I passed….” was blasting from cars. I was excited to be going down to see Grandmother, Uncle John, Aunt Esther and Gladys Marie, Barbara Ann and all the rest of my cousins down in the country. I knew that later on we would go to the big city of Little Rock and hang up with Uncle Raymond’s kids, eat bar-b-que and watermelon and watch the 4th of July fireworks.

Little did I know as we left in the wee hours of the morning in our new Buick in mid-June that this trip and this year would change me and that way I saw the world going forward. I express this momentous experience with a story that was published by the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) anthology, I’ve Know Rivers.

Coming of Age in 1963


Angelia... said...

How nice is this...I can remember my train trips with my mom in the early sixties...we would go visit my Aunt Jennie for a few weeks in the summer...I loved the scenic and peaceful...I also remember the fried chicken lunches...yum!


Yasmin said...

Nice looking forward to your Monday blogs!

'Cilla said...

I remember trips to the country.. Lawd - who could forget the chamber pot-- Ugggg..

Looking forward to reading more.

Beverly said...

Wonderful memories and thanks for sharing.

I look forward to reading more of your memories.

JC Martin said...

Wow, Dera. I can't say that I would have made it growing up back in the 60s; my mouth would have gotten me into too much trouble. I've always been the one to speak on things that didn't seem right to me. Thanks for sharing this.

Teresa said...

I laughed aloud at the sentence, “School is out at last and I’m so glad I passed….”
I remember spending hot summer days in Oakland in the 1970's sitting on the front porch with friends and drinking cold cherry flavored Kool Aid, while we talked about the cutest boy in school!


Linda Chavis said...

Excellent post