Remembering a time. The 1960's early on in the dayswhen the world seemed to be only black and white. And there are memories like ghosts knocking around cornerstones and peering out from the forgotten windows of our past.these pages are also forgotten, torn from a sad and tattered book. Lately there are times when I find myself thinking about how out of control our modern lifestyle is, and how wonderfully relaxed it was back in those earlier days. Naturally, for our parents, life was just as complicated, but they weren't faced with the challenges that are presented to us today. People were much happier in the sixties. Life was innovative, yet simple. Times were a bit more relaxed even though we were at war once again. Families and neighbors were closer. With these thoughts, I began to try and assemble my own back pages where the world was bigger and brighter, and everything though bright, seemed black and white.
My uncle, Sgt. Aaron Owenby. He was a WWII hero who landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day. Of note: he was also Elvis Presley's drill sergeant. It's true. That fact didn't matter to him at all, and he declined a healthy offer from a major magazine for an interview.
To the right is a picture of me when I was in the sixth grade. My mom shot this with an old black and white Polaroid Instamatic. She was furious with me because I stuck my tongue out right at the last minute.
These cameras, if you recall, took cartridges, and this was the last photo on the cartridge. Note the clothes: Converse high tops complete with ball on side, blue jeans, and homemade knitted sweater which happened to be a sky blue.
Linda Darnell who won the Academy Award for best for her role in Forever Amber was related to us by marriage. She was my sister-in-law's aunt. Linda Darnell was a very beautiful woman whose career was tragically cut short.
The feel of sun on your face and shirt-sleeved arms; the sounds of metal crashing down, drilling, machines pumping, railroad whistles, and massive truck tires grinding through mud and gravel. It's the feeling of slapping at a mosquito, or holding an icy cold bottle of pop in your hands.
How strange they are, the things that I remember, and what's even stranger is how I remember them. Memory triggers are interesting. It can take almost nothing to bring back a searing flash of something so long ago. There were times when my mom would go to visit my dad at his workplace. He worked at Zidell Industries, a scrapyard on the Willamette River front. He was a mechanic, and it was his job to keep their trucks running.
We'd go during the summer, and to this day, everytime I'm in an industrial area, or see railroad tracks, or a giant water tower, I think of those times. My dad also operated a fork lift, or what he used to refer to as a "cherry picker." Whenever we'd go to see him at his job, he'd buy me a Nesbitt's or Nehi Grape soda. That was my favorite at the time.
I was fascinated by all the trails and winding man-made roads for the forklifts to drive along and either deposit, or pick up scrap. To me it was high adventure to run freely down these cruddy dirt paths.