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               Wednesday, November 21 2001  

Thanksgiving eve

An ad I've received repeatedly in my daily slough of spam email claims that most people can't recall more than 25 specific memories from their childhood. That surprizes me, if there's any truth to it, and one of these days I'll have to see how many specific moments I can dredge up from my first 12 years. The ad doesn't specify how it's defining "childhood," so I'd use the default 12 years, as it seems the last year of my own childhood.

I asked yesterday if any of you occasionally "flash" in your memories to specific points in your earlier life (as I did recently to November '63), and no one responded to that. Maybe it's unusual to me, but I seem remembering "flashing" that way from early years. (No, I've never experimented with LSD!)

Perhaps it's related to my planning to be a writer from seventh grade on, and training to be a journalist. To write fiction, you have to remember the details of your past and be able to combine them or build on them in fresh ways. To write news reports, you have to be able to fill in the blanks in your note pad...my note pad, when I do interviews or "cover" events like borough council meetings, has always had more blanks than scribbles.

I've already shared here on the Home Page (probably in one of my Belsano essays) one of my specific memories from childhood, related to this day of the calendar, Thanksgiving eve. When I was in third or, more likely, fourth grade at Belsano school, we were dismissed early for the long holiday weekend on Wednesday afternoon. The wait for the bus was going to be longer than even usual. It was a bright mild afternoon, so rather than wait for the bus, I walked home (that's why I guess it was fourth grade...any younger I wouldn't have been able to get permission to make that one-mile walk from the school in downtown Belsano to the farm on Red Mill Road, though for all I know I may have done it without asking anyone's permission...I've always had that independent streak).

I remember that walk because, somewhere near Kephart's place in the hollow between town and our then-dirt road, I made my first self-conscious thought; rather than just letting random observations zoom in and out of my mind, I screwed down my thinking, or pulled down my thinking cap, as the teachers were wont to say in those days, and thought intentionally for a few minutes about what I was doing...being independent enough at that early age (8 or 9) to determine to walk home alone. I thought about the beautiful day and the fact that it was wonderfully freeing to have a long holiday weekend ahead, and what Thanksgiving was about. Then I thought, "I'm not just conscious...I'm thinking thoughts of my own invention!"

Big deal. But every Thanksgiving I am thankful again for that moment and the walk back home from Belsano school.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Kids say the funniest things (second in series)

This comes from a Catholic elementary school. Kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments. The following statements about the Bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected (incorrect spelling has been left in).

11. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the hebrews in the battle of Geritol.


12. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.


13. David was a hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.


14. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.


15. When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. .

—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Advent thought of the day

The more Christian values are undermined and removed from society, the wider the doors to deception are opened. The gospel is a great protection in society, even if people do not believe in it. But when a nation turns away from God, the protection is also taken away. Instead a chasm of deception and seduction opens up. And all this paves the way for the arrival of the Antichrist. In 1 John 2:18 the apostle John says that many antichrists have already come.

—Ulf Ekman
From Another Day of Victory

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