Earliest Memories

Memories are elusive. Do you really remember something, or did a parent telling you a story about you plant the memory there. Did you ever think back to your earliest memories? My very earliest memory was riding my tricycle onto the second story porch of our house on Whitehead Street. My second memory was going with my father to a bar.

Here is the story. When I was a barely walking 2 year old. I was bowlegged. My Aunt Blanche who lived in Jacksonville and was married to a doctor was visiting, was horrified and insisted on putting me in braces, which she paid for. When my father came home from work each day, my Mom would have me bathed and dressed and ready for my date with Dad. We would walk down the alley to a bar on Duval Street. My father told me that because of the braces, I would often fall on my bottom and he would come back and laugh and I would laugh as he set me back on my feet. My father and many others at the time taught their children how to deal with adversity. As we sat on the bar stools the bartender would give my father a beer and put some in a little shot glass for me. That’s the story as I remember it or as it was related to me. I’m really not sure which; a little of each I suspect. My mother who was the one who had to deal with putting on and taking off the braces told me that one day she took the braces and threw them as far as she could into the back yard in a fit of frustration. That’s another good way to deal with some things.

When I was three I watched my father putting up hurricane shutters on the house as a hurricane came through. They had to be nailed up individually and took some time and energy, as there were a lot of windows. I remember him saying that just about the time he got all the shutters up, the storm was over.

When I was five, I attended a kindergarten about two to three blocks away on the other side of United Street. I walked by myself to and from the school. One day when walking home, a plane flew fairly low overhead. SNB-1 air to air I thought I could see a man in the open doorway. Then a few moments later I heard a crash. There were several empty and abandoned derelict houses with overgrown lots on my way home and in my mind the plane had crashed there. When I got home I told my mother and she sort of dismissed the whole idea and nothing more was said of it. All of my life I have wondered about it since I know I saw it.

When writing this I told my husband about the incident. He put Plane crash Key West 1951 into the search engine and the whole story was there. Here is a little of what was in the news following the incident.:

On 25 April, a Navy SNB-1 Kansan taking off from Naval Air Station Key West and a Pan American four-engine DC-4 operated by its affiliated company Compania Cubana de Aviacion on a flight from Miami to Havana collided over Key West about noon.images Both planes crashed into the ocean with 43 persons. There were no known survivors. “The larger plane crashed about 1,000 yards offshore from the southern-most part of the Key West Island, within sight of the Casa Marina Hotel and the U.S. naval submarine base, site of President Truman’s little white house. The Navy fighter crashed on the other side of the island in the main ship channel.” (GenDisasters.com) A lot of sunbathers on the beach and one small girl walking home from a morning in kindergarten witnessed the incident.

3 thoughts on “Earliest Memories”

  1. I can understand why that plane crash stayed with you all these years. How bizarre that nobody mentioned it at the time! And love the date with Dad in the bar. We boomers had genuine childhoods, fearless ones and I am SO thankful!

  2. It might be surprising how many of us who grew up in the mid/early days of aviation, and during and shortly after WWII have a plane crash memory. Both my husband (NY) and I (Bethesda, MD) do. My husband’s was 1940, mine was 1943 or 1944.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *