Saroyan Week ~ Why I Write ~ #1 Memories

by Edgar Allen Poe, William Saroyan, Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Re: Saroyan Week ~ Why I Write ~ #1 Memories

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:39 pm

I had a professor in college who said whenever he smelled welding it put him in a good mood and he couldn't figure out why. He finally realized that when he was in the Navy and his ship came home to port, the smell of welding was in the air at the shipyard so that smell evoked the happiness he felt at coming home.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Saroyan Week ~ Why I Write ~ #1 Memories

Unread postby Storygirl » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:33 pm

For me, smell and music are two of the most potent memory joggers...

When I was a child, my brother's favourite desert was a concotion my mother made called "chocolate fudge pudding". Whenever he was given the option of choosing what Mum would make for desert, he unfailingly asked for this.
Many years later (sometime in my thirties, I think) I was invited to a fairly new friend's house for dinner. After the main meal, she put two dishes of a chocolte pudding on the table. It wasn't exactly "chocolste fudge", but the smell was exactly the same... instantly I was eight years old, sitting at the kitchen table with my family, eating chocolate pudding for desert.

When I was maybe 11 or 12, I went on holidays with just my mum and dad... my brother was older and stayed home to study for exams. We did the trip to our destination overnight by long distance coach. I remember sitting by myself at the front of the bus, being a awake in the middle of the night. It was dark and quiet, save for the radio playing softly... on came Englebert Humperdink, singing "The Last Waltz" Ever since then, whenever I hear that song, memories of that bus trip and the accompanying holiday are very fresh in my mind.

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Re: Saroyan Week ~ Why I Write ~ #1 Memories

Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:59 pm

Storygirl wrote:For me, smell and music are two of the most potent memory joggers...

When I was a child, my brother's favourite desert was a concotion my mother made called "chocolate fudge pudding". Whenever he was given the option of choosing what Mum would make for desert, he unfailingly asked for this.
Many years later (sometime in my thirties, I think) I was invited to a fairly new friend's house for dinner. After the main meal, she put two dishes of a chocolte pudding on the table. It wasn't exactly "chocolste fudge", but the smell was exactly the same... instantly I was eight years old, sitting at the kitchen table with my family, eating chocolate pudding for desert.

When I was maybe 11 or 12, I went on holidays with just my mum and dad... my brother was older and stayed home to study for exams. We did the trip to our destination overnight by long distance coach. I remember sitting by myself at the front of the bus, being a awake in the middle of the night. It was dark and quiet, save for the radio playing softly... on came Englebert Humperdink, singing "The Last Waltz" Ever since then, whenever I hear that song, memories of that bus trip and the accompanying holiday are very fresh in my mind.

Thanks for those stories, Storygirl. I can very much relate to what you are saying. I'm glad you joined our discussion and :welcome: to ONBC.
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Re: Saroyan Week ~ Why I Write ~ #1 Memories

Unread postby magpie » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:16 pm

Interesting answers, everyone. I was 3 1/2 when my brother was born, and I remember standing outside the hospital looking up at the window of my mom's hospital room. Years later, she thought I remembered only what I was told, but I could tell her more about the hospital so she knew I remembered.

I wouldn't have thought of writing at such a young age, but apparently I did 'record' by drawing. Mom has a drawing I did at age 4, of a young girl crying. I've asked her if she had spanked me just before I drew it, but she didn't remember. :lol:
I'm having a thought here. . . .
. . if you simply try to tell the truth you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
--C.S. Lewis

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Re: Saroyan Week ~ Why I Write ~ #1 Memories

Unread postby stroch » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:13 pm

My earliest memory is from just before I was two years old, leaving the Gulf Coast during a hurricane. I remember the glow of the kerosene lamp on the mantle, the crash of the waves over the Bay bridge in the cone of our headlights, and my father, wearing a hat, throwing down a cigarette, and running to our car as we turned into a motel parking lot in the town where he wars working a few hours to the north. There were no words, only images.

The sound motif of my childhood was of my parents talking for hours in the kitchen after we children were in bed. They discussed everthing, and came to consensus after examining the pros and cons of every situation. Even today the murmur of conversation in a darkened room makes me feel safe and secure.
I'll buy you the hat....a really big one.
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Re: Saroyan Week ~ Why I Write ~ #1 Memories

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:49 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I had a professor in college who said whenever he smelled welding it put him in a good mood and he couldn't figure out why. He finally realized that when he was in the Navy and his ship came home to port, the smell of welding was in the air at the shipyard so that smell evoked the happiness he felt at coming home.


When I was working at the vet clinic, the smell of clipper lubricating spray made me feel happy. :cloud9: I finally figured out that it reminded me of getting my goats ready to go to the state fair. Those trips to the fair with my friends was one of the happiest times of my life.


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