3 Things I Remember About: 1968

This is the fourth in a series.


(1) I was in Mrs. Rivers’ third grade class at Cheraw Primary School. When we misbehaved, we had to stay in the classroom during recess (by far our favorite part of the day) and write “I will not do [bad act] again” 100 times on a sheet of paper. One day just after I finished writing what I would no longer do 100 times and was headed for the door, the bell rang, signaling the end of recess. Without thinking, I said a word I had heard an older kid use. I had no idea what the word meant, but as soon as I said it, all hell broke lose. I was sent to the principal’s office to wait as both of my parents were called to an impromptu conference. It was the infamous “f word.” I can’t recall if I was told what it meant at the time, but I knew for sure that I shouldn’t say it again within earshot of a teacher.

(2) I distinctly remember when Robert Kennedy was assassinated on TV. I am not certain if I was watching it as it happened or watching as it was replayed later in the day. I do know that I was the one who told my grandfather about it.

(3) And of course the defining event that year was my dad’s death on November 14. I wrote a little about that day in Five Days in April.

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3 Things I Remember About: 1967

This is the third in a series.


(1) My sister graduated from High School. She was the goody two-shoes of the family and I would later be asked by many of our mutual teachers why I couldn’t behave as well as she did. I got in more trouble, but bet I had a lot more fun!

(2) I went with my dad to see my sister at college. She was a freshman at Randolph Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia. When dad and I were walking down a dormitory hall, we had to keep yelling “Man in the hall!” so naked co-eds wouldn’t accidently appear. Fortunately I was too young to think about what might happen if I forgot to yell that.

(3) I used to spend some afternoons at my dad’s Ford Dealership. The salesmen liked to advise me how to negotiate for a bigger allowance (in hindsight almost certainly to annoy my dad). I recall successfully negotiating for 55 cents a week (up from 50 cents) and thinking I had hit it big.

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3 Things I Remember About: 1966

This is the second in a series. Part 1 is here.


(1) I was a robot in my kindergarten play. My dad made a costume out of a cardboard box, a hat box and some wrapping paper tubes. That costume remained in my mom’s attic until she died in 1998.

(2) I started first grade at Cheraw Primary School, in Mrs. Lawrimore’s class. I remember nervous about starting “real” school. Whit Fowler must have been nervous too. He threw up on my arm before I even made it into the classroom.

(3) Someone drug me to see The Sound of Music, and the scars still haven’t healed. I really, really don’t like that movie. I honestly believe that my continuing distaste for musicals originates from that one movie.

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3 Things I Remember About: 1965

I’m going to start an occasional series of the most significant things I remember from each year. It may take me a long time to get from the earliest years I can remember until today, but I’ll give it a shot. I would love it if others would add their lists via the comments or a trackback.

I was born in 1960. I have a few scattered memories from pre-1965, but 1965 is the first year that my memories can be definitively associated with a year, so here goes:

(1) I went to kindergarten at The Little Red Schoolhouse. Someone went potty in one of the play structures on the playground. I believe it was in the Shoe (as in the old lady who lived in a shoe), but it may have been in the Daniel Boone Hut. It was a huge scandal. It wasn’t me and I don’t think I ever knew who it was. Nor do I know if the teachers ever discovered the culprit.


(2) I had perhaps my best Christmas as a youngster ever that year. I got a racetrack, a little round pool-table game and this neat golf game, which my dad and his friends played a lot.

(3) I remember regularly watching two TV shows with my dad. The first is The Honeymooners, which must have been in reruns, since it only aired as a separate show during the 1955-56 season. The second, and my favorite, was Combat. We watched Combat together for years. In fact, reruns are still shown on the Encore Action channel on DirecTV, and I still watch it once in a while.

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