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What is the first memory you have
Old 09-28-2015   #1
p.giannakis
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What is the first memory you have

We photographers are good in recording memories. We record them on film, print them on papers, store them on memory cards.
But what about your oldest memories, the ones not recorded on any medium other than your mind.
What is the oldest memory that you have?
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Old 09-28-2015   #2
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One of my oldest memories is when I was a very young child. I grew up in Washington, D.C. and my parents were driving us around National Airport [now called Ronald Reagan National Airport]. This was the very early 1950's and all of the planes flying into National Airport were propeller planes. It was well before the jet age. I remember a plane coming in for a landing so low it was almost on top of our car! It was very loud and, as a young child, I became quite scared. It left a very big impression on me and I have remembered it to this day.
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Old 09-28-2015   #3
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Hi,

It's difficult to date them but they are all of or during the war; the V1's and v2's especially and running to the air raid shelters. Where we were then was very badly hit by them.

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Old 09-28-2015   #4
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My mother pulling me in a sled to the store on a winter day. From 509 Arnett Blvd in Rochester to the store a few blocks away.

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Old 09-28-2015   #5
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I have memories of spending quite some time in airports and airplanes going to visit my dad when he worked overseas in the early 90s
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Old 09-28-2015   #6
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I have a memory - real or imagined - of watching JFK's funeral on TV.
I was 2 years old at the time.

Chris
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Old 09-28-2015   #7
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My father worked building Guntersville Dam, Alabama. It was completed on January 17, 1939. That was three days before my third birthday. My father took my mother and me to see the completed dam. I remember looking down into the empty lock. I probably remember it because there was a small stream of water spurting out between the closed doors at the other end of the lock.
Another very early memory I cannot put a date on was when a barn was being built at my aunt and uncles place. I can remember the men putting up the rafters silhouetted against the sky. Both of these memories are just as clear as if I were looking at a picture of them.
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Old 09-28-2015   #8
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Having immigrated from Germany to Canada, I remember playing with kids on the street as a 3 and 4 year old. Sally K. was the first older woman I was interested in. She had a barbie doll and would not let me watch as she changed her dolls clothes.
We lived in a basement apartment and the first Christmas, my parents arranged to have santas bag of presents lowered down in front of the high living room window which was at ground level.
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Old 09-28-2015   #9
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Around 1964 or 1965 we were living in an apartment complex waiting for our house to be built...being 4 or 5 years old I didn't understand everything that was going on...on the day we were moving my sister and I were washing dishes and were told not to waste water...I always thought that we had to move because we were running out of hot water...
I also remember, in that same apartment, sticking a bobby-pin in the electric socket...I was pretending I was driving a car and that was the key to turn it on...
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Old 09-28-2015   #10
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My earliest memory is boarding a Constellation to fly from Louisville KY to Philadelphia PA to attend my mother's father's funeral. Mom had flown earlier (previous day or two??) and I was traveling with my dad. It was sometime in the fall of '53 and I was 2 years old. I have a few other memories from that trip, but none of the return flight.
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Old 09-28-2015   #11
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I had what I call a "flash" memory during my youngest years. It was a vision --a large, unique starburst pattern. Very distinct. It didn't really bother me, but was always just sorta' there in the periphery.

Along came first communion and the first dry run in a nearby church. At some point, I glanced toward the rear of the church and wham! I stopped in my tracks. Like a key sliding effortlessly through the tumblers, this vision I had matched up with a large 20' or so diameter wood and brass starburst clock. Exactly. It was mounted on the rear wall above the baptismal area. The last time I had been in that particular church was my baptism.
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Old 09-28-2015   #12
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I remember being in our back yard in the snow when I looked down at my blue snow suit. I was probably less than two years old. I also remember walking down the hall to my bedroom and just seeing a big hole there. Years later, my mother told me that that was when I was two, there was dry rot, and they had to take out and replace the floor in my bedroom.

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Old 09-28-2015   #13
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Pointing at a big 2 story house & telling my mom as she pushed me in a stroller, I'm going to buy that house for you when I grow up.
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Old 09-28-2015   #14
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It hard to put a date on something like this but I was extremely young and remember my grandmother holding me and rocking back and forth in a big wooden swing under the apple trees in her yard. The way the light broke through the leaves stuck in my mind. It's the only memory from my very early days.

We lived in southern Illinois in the late 40's until 1951. I was 3-1/2 when we moved to Tennessee. While we lived in Illinois I have very fond memories of my dad taking my brother and my photo with his Argus C3. The sound of the shutter snapping and the frying sound of the flashbulbs when they fired and that smell from the plastic coating on the bulbs. I remember so many times watching him run his film in a plastic FR processing tank and then later printing them with his old Federal enlarged. I always loved the red light, click of his GE timer and the smell of the chemicals. It was magic watchng the print coming up in the porcelain tray of developer. There's no doubt theses memories played a big part in my career as a photographer.

The one other vivid memory was a tornado that went through our neighborhood while we lived in Illinois.
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Old 09-28-2015   #15
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One of my earliest memories is being very puzzled with my dad's version of a color TV. I was 2 or 3 years old, '67-'68. He taped a colorized plasticky film on the screen of the TV. This is in a small town in Mexico. Not only were one of the few families to own a TV in town. It was also in color! No one had one of those! The images had nothing to do with reality. It had a rainbow effect on the colors images looked like. It must have been an outstanding salesman that sold my dad such a gadget. Weird to say the least..
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Old 09-28-2015   #16
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Mine is seeing President Kennedy at a political rally in Flint, Michigan, in 1962. I was 2 years old, and I specifically remember JFK being pointed out on the stage. I wasn't as interested in him as I was in a tan colored balloon, floating away about 50 feet up. I asked my Dad to get it for me -- if anyone was tall enough to do that, I thought, it was my father.
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Old 02-25-2016   #17
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I think my oldest that I can remember is finally being able to reach my cup of juice on top of the kitchen counter. Seems strange but there was a moment of self realization
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Old 02-25-2016   #18
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My oldest memory (and I've tried for a long time to remember something earlier than this) is posing with my family to take a photograph in my grandmother's house, right in front of her dining room table, near the living room. I was probably around 3 years old at the time.

Funnily enough, my oldest memory still has to do with photography!
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Old 02-25-2016   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
I have a memory - real or imagined - of watching JFK's funeral on TV.
I was 2 years old at the time.

Chris
I was also about that age (I will be 55 in July) and I recall people crying and me not understanding why. Yes, I do remember that.
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Old 02-25-2016   #20
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Uhhhhhhhh................

Actually I recall various events from about 2 yrs old on. Going to a baseball game in Phoenix, AZ before my sister was born, riding home in the rumble seat of our Model A Ford. No car seat, seat belt, rollbar or padded dash.
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Old 02-25-2016   #21
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Someone looking for Anne at our house. I asked who Anne was. Anne is your mother I was told. It seemed to me so superfluous and strange that she had a distinguishing name like that. The egoism of the child.
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Old 02-25-2016   #22
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Great thread! My earliest memory is from 1969 (when I was roughly 3 years old). I was playing in the neighbor's yard. I was with my sister and the neighbor kids were all older than me. I have a series of snapshots in my mind of it, but nothing more. The memories are all pleasant.
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Old 02-25-2016   #23
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Interesting, these comments about people in their mid-50's remembering JFK. Seems that wholesale extreme emotions over something like that would resonate with a very young child. Even a young child might remember a feeling that something "bad" and out of the ordinary happened.

Mine is more random. I distinctly recall my mother being pregnant with my sister. I'm three years older than her. That would have been 1966.
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Old 02-25-2016   #24
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All through school I had two recurring memories I could never place:
One was driving through a dark medieval town with towering stone buildings on either side.
The other was of a large white room with many grand gallery levels circling the central hall.

It was not until I went to University did they make sense -
The medieval city was the Cowgate in Edinburgh and the hall was the Chambers street museum.
My parents must have taken me once at a early age.
I still think of Edinburgh as a special place.
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Old 02-25-2016   #25
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kinda of a side note....

the other day, I was sitting in the den with my 80 year old mother... I just turned 45... I was born in 1971.. She asked me what i remembered about the kennedy assassination -- She swore up and down that i was alive for that --- i reminded her that it was my older, late brother who was born in 62 and that i wasn't even a thought, and certainly hadn't been born nor adopted at that point..... she was convinced i was around for the jfk thing... memories change, we had a good laugh about it a few minutes after the discussion
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Old 02-26-2016   #26
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I remember for getting told off for jumping onto my mam's stomach when she was lying on the settee. She was pregnant with my sister at the time and I didn't understand what that meant. I would have been 3.
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Old 02-26-2016   #27
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The moon landing. I was 4 years old and I was allowed to stay up longer because of something very important on TV.
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Old 02-26-2016   #28
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Some things go so far back in the dimly lit theater of the self it is hard to know whether they are early memories or recurrent dreams. One that is fundamental to me, though, is of lying on my back and looking up at a ceiling light fixture. I don't remember it as on or off, just up there. I can't reach it.

When as an adult I spoke to my mother about this image or memory, she told me my first word was "Light." Who knows how I pronounced the word--I must have pointed to it when she turned it on or off, carrying me into or out of the room. Mystery of adult power, mystery of electricity.

It made sense that this was an early memory when my son was a year old. We had a ceiling fan/light whose switch was on a chain, and he began to notice, when I was carrying him, how I switched it on/off. By age one, my picking him up so he could switch it on/off was a game we played, both of us making faces at each pull--light, dark, light, dark.

There are a even few photographs of this game from his first birthday party. Our faces are exactly the same comic mask.

A couple of books that may be may good for further musings on these things are Gaston Bachelard's "The Poetics of Space" (La Poetique de L'espace, on the intersections of memory and personal spaces) and Marc Auge's "Oblivion" ( on the interdependency of memory and forgetting, commemoration and public erasure, etc.).
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Old 02-26-2016   #29
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On walk along a country road, my dad let me look through the viewfinder of his Mamiya TLR, when I found out the world was the wrong way round. Confusing.

Our neighbour, a farmer, had a tobacco tin. There was a rubber sheet attached to an axle inside the lid. He'd put a paper against the rubber, cram some tobacco next to the axle, and when he closed the lid, a cigarette popped out.

I don't know which memory comes first, both were before I turned 4.
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Old 02-26-2016   #30
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Very vaguely (it was in the 1948 - 1950 time frame) I remember the ice man delivering a block of ice for our icebox. One day he delivered a puppy for me.
I was 3-5 years old.
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Old 02-26-2016   #31
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My earliest was playing in the front yard of our home in Coronado, California and hearing loud noises. I asked my mother about it and she said the Japanese had surrendered. I found out later the noise was the whistles and sirens on the Navy ships moored in San Diego harbor.
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Old 02-26-2016   #32
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I must have been about 2 1/2 years old, about 1954. Townsend Avenue, Bronx. My mother was holding me and we were looking out the window of our family's tiny apartment, at night. I remember her singing, but very softly, "the starts at night are big and bright...".
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Old 02-26-2016   #33
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My grandmother wringing the the neck of a white foul. Middle 1940`s in suburban Chicago. We had it for dinner.

Knocked over a Christmas tree while trying to retrieve a toy train. Dad was in New Zealand, so 1944. Mom had a fit.

Playing in other grandfather`s car and pushed the starter button. Car moved. 1944. Never did that again.

My father taking me for a sled ride during the war. Sled was all wood with back rest. No steel runners, war time.

Making toast in the oven because we had no toaster.

Examining the door push button on grandfathers Lincoln. There was no handle.

I have been told grandfather pushed me down the street in a stroller and I could name every car make by the hub caps.

Grandfather brought me smoked fish from Chicago, chubs maybe. I still love it to this day.
Last year I received some smoked salmon fresh from Alaska. Thought I died and went to heaven. I do make smoked catfish which is almost as good.

And then suddenly thinking why am I so cold, then got a slap on the behind. What`s that for.
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Old 02-26-2016   #34
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Fort Worth, Texas. Probably 1948, going across the street (Forest Park Blvd.) with my older brother to play on the school grounds. My brother got in big trouble for that. I must have been three.
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Old 02-26-2016   #35
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My first memory is dad parting the red sea while we were being chased....
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Old 02-26-2016   #36
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Hi,

Fascinating how things come back reading other peoples' memories. I now realise that the V1 and v2 attacks I remember were when we were in Surrey (called South London these days) and my family were in Wales prior to that and I remember it. So earlier still and little narrow gauge trains, probably around the Vale of Neath and 1943 or 44.

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Old 08-16-2016   #37
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I remember myself wearing a thick coat and playing in the street outside my house. I remember being that small that i was struggling to climb the curb. My mother was sitting on the stairs outside our house door and she was wearing a stripy brown dress. Opposite our house was a small convenient store - according to my parents this closed down when I was about 4 y.o.
I remember how cloudy that day was and how the street was empty of cars - difficult to imagine it now, the street is so busy nowadays...
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Old 08-17-2016   #38
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My earliest memory is from when I was 18 months old, I clearly remember sitting in my high chair being fed, why that moment stuck with me I have no idea, but I have confirmed it as an actual memory by describing the room to my parents. I have several other memories of me playing outside when I was two and three, I clearly remember my father wheeling my new red pedal car into the living room on my third Christmas. I also remember being introduced to my new brother, I was 27 months old at the time.

Now of course I can't remember squat, don't even ask me what I did last weekend!
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Old 08-17-2016   #39
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I grew up in the country, far back into the woods actually. I can recall the electric company installing the poles for the electric lines to both our house and my grandparents home nearby. But I have no idea what year this took place. Perhaps an even earlier memory was of me playing on the bed in my parents bedroom. Just a flash, nothing specific.
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