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Faded Childhood Memories

June 5th, 2008

bjb_13months

… Riding up and down the escalator at Leggett’s in Barrack’s Road shopping center …

I was about 2 or 3… We went shopping at Leggett’s (much later purchased by Belk) at the Barrack’s road shopping center in Charlottesville. Within a few years Leggett’s had relocated to Fashion Square Mall (which was ‘the new mall’ for me for years). Today there is a Barnes & Noble in the ground floor of the old Leggett’s and a Michael’s Craft Store in the upper floor. The old escalator, which was located in the middle of the store (I think…) is gone, now there is one in the front to one side so you can get to the Michael’s.

… Watching time laps of a dead bunny decaying, being eaten by ants and maggots …

At the time I was maybe 4 or 5? We (at least my mother and older sister) were in Portsmouth, Virginia, staying with some friends of my mom’s from the Navy. I don’t really remember who, but my sister was friends with their daughter, Michelle, for a long time. I got up early one morning, must have been about 5 AM. Mom was sleeping on the couch in the living room (this was military housing; a long row of red-brick townhouses.) I turned on the TV but didn’t know how to change the channels. I guess it must have been Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom or something. All I really remember is sitting on the floor watching the dead bunny.

… Eating candy carnival peanuts at the babysitters …

This one takes place in Portsmouth too. In the house of some babysitter just down the road from the house my parents owned when I was born. This was after we had moved to Charlottesville (when I was 6 months old) but we were back in Portsmouth for something (most likely my mom’s two weeks active duty for the Navy reserves.) I remember having a bag of those sickly sweet candy carnival peanuts, the milky orange ones that are about two inches long and flat on one side. I think I ate too many.

… Seeing a tug boat one night after leaving a movie theater where we watched “The Aristocats” …

I have no idea how old I was or where we where… being that there is a tug boat I suppose we must have been in Portsmouth or Norfolk. There are no tug boats in Charlottesville. I don’t even know if this memory is real. But I associate tug boats with The Aristocats…

… Sitting in the sandbox at Vicky’s and hearing her yell something. Looking up and seeing a bull in the back yard …

Yes a bull. A big black one. It had escaped from the farm next door and somehow ended up in the back yard of my babysitters house… while all of us were playing. I don’t remember much else, don’t think anyone was hurt. The farmer came and got the bull.

… Getting a concussion because I was on one of those over-sized playground balls with the big looping handle for bouncing when an earthquake hit Charlottesville …

I was a bit older, maybe 4 or 5 when this happened. I was in the basement of the neighborhood babysitter, Arlene’s house. I was bouncing around on the ball and then everything started to shake. I bounced myself right into one of the metal support polls for the house and knocked myself out for a few seconds. I’ve written about it before [confusion.cc].

… Collecting giant pine cones and then eating taco salad from a salad bowl made of a giant taco shell …

I was in Portsmouth for this one (I seem to a have a lot of memories from Portsmouth which is funny as we were not there very often.) I don’t know how old I was 4? 6? 9? I was with my mom and we were visiting some Navy friends of hers for dinner. They had collected these giant pine cones (and I mean giant; some of them were close to 8 or 10 inches tall) from some trees in their yard and piled them around the base of the tree. I took several of them home, they were around the house in Charlottesville for years. Later we had dinner inside. They made taco salad and served it in these giant edible salad bowls made by deep frying tortillas.

… Getting sick from too many strawberries and too much riding in a hot car …

This is why I don’t eat strawberries to this day… I remember the smell of the strawberry vomit in the car. We had gone to Rapidan Farms to pick strawberries. Me being two or three ate more than I picked. The long hot car ride home and a belly full of strawberries did not agree.

… Daddy changing the tire on the old blue car one afternoon in the parking lot of the old seafood restaurant on top of Pantops …

Pantop’s mountain is just over the river form Charlottesville and the seafood restaurant was one of the very few things on that side of the river at the time (the others I think being; a Shell gas station, a Exxon gas station and the White House Motel…) The old blue car (same one with the strawberries above) had a flat tire. I don’t really remember what day of the week or time of day it was but the parking lot was empty. That old seafood place closed and sat empty for years; now it’s an Aunt Sarah’s

… The county fair at Pantops …

I just remember all the rides and games. They held the county fair there a couple of times in the fields behind the Shell station and next to the river. I must have been young because there has been a shopping center there since I was about 8.

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