Memory: Smiling Alone in the Lamplight

February 28, 2014 on 8:41 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Random Thoughts | Comments Off on Memory: Smiling Alone in the Lamplight

At their kitchen table the other day, talking with my mum and dad, the subject of our earliest memories came up.

We`ve all got great capacity to remember and while we may generally think three or four years of age is the time of earliest memory I wonder why it might not be even earlier. I mean, as we grow everything we experience from age zero on is “first time” stuff. Consider our first steps: why do we not remember that transcendent event? I mean, our first walking steps after crawling – who remembers that? In fact, pretty much everything we do as we grow is “first time”. First time is usually memorable; an understatement.

I don’t smoke cigs but I remember the first time me and my pals Dave Anderson and Mark Bayes broke out a super shiny black pack of “John Player Specials” and puffed away, one cold winter’s night, in the visitors box of Rexdale Park’s lacrosse arena. We’d secretly puff away to make heads dizzy and then, once home, scrub our mouth’s clean – or so we thought – with toothpaste. As if. “Have you been smoking?!”, said our canny mums on getting home (they, mostly all smokers then). Weak excuses followed.
bulwer solar eclipse
So, to long-time memory. I found my dad’s earliest memory really interesting. He said it was a time when he was very young. He recalled a time when on the farm in Bulwer, Quebec, where he and his family lived (and had recently settled) it got very dark – very dark mid-day, not at sunset. He recalled the darkness and the hens clucking away in their usual pre-sundown way. The mid-day darkness, the pandemonium of disturbed chickens and the strangeness of it all stuck with him – and stuck with him for over 80 years.

It seems pretty clear that what my dad remembers is a solar eclipse; at least, he firmly believes that…and what else could it be?

So, knowing that, we can today easily confirm the timing of one of Bill Grey’s earliest memories.

It seems what my dad describes is a famous solar eclipse, one that passed directly over the farm where he and his family lived – and absolute darkness as it passed. One of my dad’s earliest memories can be pegged at mid-day Wednesday, August 31, 1932. He was three years and seven months of age. Fascinating to me.

I wonder how many of us can peg our earliest memories to such an exact date.


No Comments yet

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Dunaber is using WordPress customized and designed by Yoann Le Goff from A Eneb Productions. feeds rss Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS.