- I am from European ancestors I can't name, never met and don't care about, beyond a mild and vague curiosity. They lived in Germany, Ireland, France and England. Some of the Irish ones were originally Vikings. Some drowned sea captain on my mother's side had my father's surname, Funk. Some of the English ones supposedly came over on the Mayflower. And I don't care.
- I am from a delivery room full of desperate activity, trying to save a baby. The doctor whose inattention to my mom's concerns nearly caused my death then told her, "I can't think of a better person to raise a retarded, cerebral palsied baby." He was talking about me.
- I am from a small white house with black (and later pink) trim, half a short block from a little creek we weren't supposed to visit but frequently did. I am from a bedroom that my big brother had to go through to get to his own. He could keep me out of his room, but I couldn't keep him out of mine. So I locked him out of his own room.
- I am from a block full of small children who liked to tie together their tricycles, pedal cars and wagons with string to make a caravan. This game ended when a toddler managed to floor the accelerator of his mommy's car, causing it to shoot across the street and crush my wagon.
- I am from a different, larger white house with a big dark hole where the cellar and game room would eventually be. The memory of that excavation haunted my dreams for years.
- I am from an octagonal building where I prepared for my First Communion. It was then torn down to make way for the new church building.
- I am from the shallow flight of stairs between the foyer and the living room at 4967, where I sat and tried to understand my mom's half of her grown-up telephone conversations.
- I am from the middle of a circle of elementary school children, teasing me and putting ice down my back.
- I am from Cindy R.'s basement, where we considered the relative merits of Barbie, Francie, Casey and Tutti; and from Cindy's bedroom, where china animals had adventures.
- I am from a three-member Batman Fan Club and a three member Hot Wheels Club, competing clubs of siblings and next door neighbors, and from Monkees trading cards left outside and kept by the new girl who found them.
- I am from a blue living room with a picture window, a pink bedroom with ballerina wallpaper, and long afternoons with no friends to play with.
- I am from Bathtub Pond, and woods full of salamanders.
- I am from Revolver and Introducing the Beatles, from The Monkees Headquarters and The Mamas & the Papas' Deliver.
- I am from a spot next to my dad on the couch during "Sky Trek," where I hoped not to be sent to bed just yet.
- I am from an asteroid with a rose and a tower with a lame prince, from the Murry family and the Thurber family, and summer afternoons at Hundred Acre Wood.
- I am from a large summer rental home on Lake Ontario, with nothing to do but read, ride the waves, and step around more and more dead fish on the beach.
- I am from a hundred bankruptcies in Joel's basement, many of them caused by red hotels on Pennsylvania Ave. or Park Place.
- I am from a town that I loved and hated, with a haunted house and a disreputable hotel, an ice cream stand and a Swan Pond, a three room department store and a "dairy store" that sold penny candy. Thirty years later, I still miss Manlius.
- I am from "lake effect" snow, ice and wind, summer humidity and year-round rain, and 87 sunny days a year. I am from the Great Blackout of 1965 and the Blizzard of "66.
- I am from Shoppingtown and a Dewitt skating rink, the annual Ski and Skate Sale and the Manlius Library.
- I am from a back yard with a flagstone patio and (eventually) an above-ground pool, roses and irises, two large trees and the remains of an old swingset. Sometimes there was badminton or croquet.
- I am from a ninth grade English class where the department head taught us Latin roots, and explained why people who wanted to ban the books she'd put in the curriculum were wrong. I am from a tenth grade biology class where the teacher placed his Bible and his Darwin book side by side, and where I couldn't get out of dissecting a frog. I am from a lily-white high school with exactly three black students, all of them popular and respected. Two of them starred in the school's Porgy & Bess concert, not just for obvious reasons but because they had great voices.
- I am from STAR Syracuse and the pages of 2-5YM, and a living room rug in front of a tv full of reruns.
- I am from Baker Street and Narnia, Middle Earth and the TickTockWorld of Everett C. Marm.
- I am from Mâvarin.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Posted by Karen Funk Blocher at 4/05/2006 09:58:00 PM