Say Cheese!

is having a large,
loving close-knit
in another city.
George Burns
The big one had a homemade dark room in our parent’s bedroom. He would disappear behind the screened wall with a makeshift red light, actually an old Christmas light on the end of an extension, but his signal never-the-less. Enter at your own peril.

Our mother. “I have to hang the laundry for the love of heaven. Aren’t you done yet?”

The big one moaning. “How can anyone ever get anything done around here?”

It was my ninth birthday party and my two best friends and one cousin sat on the floor in front of the sofa.

The middle one, fourteen, sat on the sofa, deep into his James Dean persona, pretending to be disinterested in such nonsense as birthdays, birthday cakes, candy or presents, caught forever on film with a candy bar clenched in his fist.

The big one, a good immitation of James Garner, sat next to James Dean, with an early Romona the Pest, that was me, balancing on his knee, my eyes crossed, reaching back with my free hand to make devil horns on the top of the big one’s head.

Our mother barked. “You stop that foolishness and don’t cross your eyes. One of these days you’re going to remain like that.”

She tried again. “I can’t get this darn thing. Honey (our father), can you do this? I think I hear the pot boiling over.”

She handed him the brownie. Without looking, honey snapped the picture the way we were.

And wouldn’t you know it? She was right. Even to this day when I look at that picture, my eyes are crossed!

Good Lord sometimes they were more fun than Lewis and Martin!

Look at those old photos. You know the ones? The ones where your ears stick out like the flag on a taxi? That wonderful, painful and most comical stage when you were all legs and arms and your face had not grown big enough to fit the big nose in the middle of it?

What childhood memories inspire your stories?

Do you use them to fill in the landscape of the  cursed blank page. 

fOIS In The City



Filed under Random Thoughts

2 responses to “Say Cheese!

  1. Our memories shape us whether we realize it or not. I’m sure most writers are inspired by their childhood memories in one way or another even in subtle ways.

    I once wrote a short story with scene that came from my childhood– a music teacher who made me stand n my head because I forgot my recored one day. She was from England and tough as nails.


  2. Thanks for sharing, Laura … and thanks for finding this in my archives 🙂


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