What’s your first—or oldest—personal recollection? Many individuals can’t remember past yesterday. Some people have short-term-memory loss, yet others are inflicted with the totally unfathomable, neurological disorders to which the elderly are unfortunately prone to getting, stripping them of any memories whatsoever. Lucky are the ones able to hark back to when they were young and in grade school.
Most of us will always remember outstanding events like the first time we freewheeled on a bicycle with no assistance from training wheels or our doting parents, while we crashed into that old oak tree; and our first day at kindergarten or sometime during that early life-changing, academic year. How about your first kiss? Mine was in third grade, innocent, but sent me wildly into prepubescent puppy love, landing me on cloud nine, not to mention my first time doing it a decade later, sliding into home plate like in Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
Stop right there! Let’s go back further than that. How about as a toddler? I remember one night as an infant aged maybe one or two, being carried into my family’s flat late at night by my father into the darkened living room, illuminated only by the television set, and seeing New York’s WCBS-TV’s logo: an eyeball essentially, depicting the “Best in View, Channel Two,” reflecting in the brass doorknob as the door closed behind us. Don’t ask me why I remember that, but perhaps it was what inspired me in later life to get into broadcast media.
My next recollection was when I was three, falling down a long flight of stairs from the back door of our kitchen, hearing my head thumping, bouncing on each step going down. Fortunately I was heading feetfirst with my rump taking the brunt of the impact. And then at the same flat, I fell out of bed, cracking my skull right above my left eye, landing against the corner of a steel, hot-water radiator, waking me right up with blood everywhere. My doctor lived directly across the street, and he made a house call, butter-fly-enclosing the cut with adhesive tape. I still have the scar from then.
During the holiday season, I always think about these silly memories, and those happy times with my immediate family, all of whom have passed to the other side, euphemistically speaking, except for my son: may God bless him, keep him healthy and happy for a lifetime to come. I’m thankful for having those early recollections, of which there’s more but can wait for another rambling entry. Being able to remember that far back is a blessing, and I like to exercise the capability for keeping my mind young.
Best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year.