Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When I Was Young - Part 1

Although I have been keeping up with the Genealogy Do-Over in the past couple of weeks, I have not been keeping up with my blogging about it. Such is life during the NHL playoffs (Go Habs Go!)

In the meantime, here is the beginning of my self-interview using the When I Was Young geneameme from Alona Tester.

1. Do you or your parents have any memorabilia from when you were a baby?

Well, I am an only child and an only grandchild, so, yes, I have tons.

These are the checks to pay the doctor and hospital for my birth, forever enshrined in plastic. The second paperweight contains a lock of my hair from my first haircut. (These were made for my maternal grandfather by a firm that made promotional items for the Bell Mine of which he was President.)

And here are a few things from what we call my Baby Box.  I had taken these pictures a few years ago for my old crafting blog when I participated in Vintage Thingy Thursdays.

2. Do you know if you were named after anyone?

Anna is for my father's aunt Anna Peterson Anderson

and my mother's great-aunt Anna Mina Dean Pergau (first on the right).

My middle name was Catherine because they liked it and it went with Anna and they originally intended to call me by both names.

But, as the story goes, it was the 60s so it also had to mean something. So, according to my baby book, I am named for Anna the Prophetess (Luke 2:36-38) and Catherine of Aragon, the first female lawyer.

3. And do you know of any other names your parents might have named you?

Oh, yes. Thank goodness I was a girl! My father's middle name was David, his father's middle name was Bierly. If I had been a boy, it was to be David Bierly Matthews.

4. What is your earliest memory?

I have a vague memory of playing at a park in Chicago.  I had found a hopping ball that another child left behind. When they came back for it, I was not a happy camper. I'm not 100% sure that is my earliest memory, but if we were still in Chicago, its very early.


5. Did your parents read, sing or tell stories to you? Do you remember any of these?

My parents are both voracious readers and read to me as soon as I was born. As a result, I was reading real books in kindergarten.  My favorite reading memory is sitting with my father in his armchair next to the fireplace reading E.B. White. He would do voices of a many of the characters from Charlotte's Webb and Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan and I loved every minute.

6. When you were young, do you remember what it was you wanted to grow up to be?

Gloria Steinem. No joke.

7. Did you have a favorite teacher at school?

Not really. In kindergarten we all loved our teacher, Miss Kempton. I remember that I was very excited when she was having a baby a few years later that my mother was giving her a Fisher Price Roly Poly Chime Ball. For some reason I thought it was very cool that her baby would be playing with the same toy I once played with.

8. How did you get to school?

We lived about a block and a half from my elementary school. I always walked. I'm still bowled over by the fact that none of the kids going to that school today seem to walk.  The traffic there in the mornings and afternoons is unbelievable!

Later I walked to middle school and took a bus to high school. When I moved to another high school, I had to walk again.

9. What games did playtime involve?

I remember playing jump rope, hopscotch, tag, red light-green light and Mother may I. Of course, as girls in the 70s we played with baby dolls and Barbie dolls. I don't think I ever got over not getting a Barbie Town House. I did have a few Fisher-Price play sets.  And of course board games like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Ker-plunk, Trouble, Operation, Clue, Monopoly, etc.. Oh, and Colorforms, I loved my Barbie Colorform set!

And my next door neighbor and best friend had a Pachinko machine.

I just came across this photo from Christmas of '73. I loved this Supermarket set that I got that year!  It also came with a shopping cart that is not pictured.

10. Did you have a cubby house?

No, but when we played outside with the kids from next door they had a honeysuckle bush that was open in the back and we would occasionally play in there, but we never had a real cubby house.  I did always want a tree house as a kid.

11. What was something you remember from an early childhood holiday?

For some reason, my childhood holiday memories have always run together.  I remember decorating Easter eggs, I remember my paternal grandmother always bringing her very rich cheesecake. Mostly I remember Christmases, my favorite holiday when my parents were still married.  I loved our tree ornaments, making popcorn and cranberry garland, decorating the house, having grandparents visit, going to see the Nutcracker in NYC and going to Midnight Mass at Grace Episcopal Church, where my father was an assistant.

12. What is a memory from one of your childhood birthdays or Christmas?

Children's birthdays were so much simpler then! Mostly I remember just having an afternoon with friends, eating Pepperidge Farm cake with some added decorative frosting and I vividly remember playing "Pin the Tail on the Donkey", though that could be because we have pictures (and I still have this scarf.)

I'll finish the questions in my next post!

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