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Childhood Memories

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Mostly the things I remember about being six had to do with simple suburban life: the driveway, the front yard, the field down the side yard, the woods behind the house. My brothers and I were always told “go outside and play,” and we did. We biked, triked and scooted up and down the driveway. Then there was a basketball to bounce. Lots and lots of running around and a version of tag in the backyard we called “monster.” My world was pretty clear and contained. Brothers to keep up with, yellow dandelions along at the end of the driveway, the field full of pricker bushes, milkweed pods, ugly sumac trees here, a grove of pine trees in the woods near the creek. All I remember was play, except for church on Sundays. Except for times I remember when my mother would rush us out of our play clothes with “put on something respectful, we’re going out.” It couldn’t have been easy getting her five kids, husband and deafmother washed, DRAFT Essay #6 family story Hughes 1 dressed, organized and piled into the station wagon for one of these outings. Organize she did, however, and off we would go. When we did go out, it almost always had to do with something for the church. My father was a Presbyterian minister for something called a “New Church Development.” This meant that in 1961he had left a fancy big city churchy church to travel out to the edge of a new suburb to start a new one. We met in a the basement of one of the subdivisions houses. The “sanctuary” had a linoleum floor, folding metal chairs as pews and a picnic table for an alter. The only thing that made it feel like a church at all, maybe were the prayers, the singing and the amens. My dad’s church had Sunday services like all Christian churches do. He read scripture and preache... ... middle of paper ... ...o discourage any future such “public disruptions” in his town. A bunch of black and white Christians praying against racial injustice on a street corner.... Would that our world have more “public disruptions” like this one. I was four or five I think when all of this happened. Any memory I have is mixed up with the story as my father tells it. Mostly I remember a day long party, the taste of that nice ladies butterscotch candies and how warm she was when she let me sit in her lap. Only as an adult have I slowly become aware of how courageous all those Christians must have been to do such a thing in 1965. Only as an adult can I begin to understand how afraid those Pittsford police officers must have been, and how no-one, DRAFT Essay #6 family story Hughes 4 none of them, not a single soul, really understood what in heaven’s name we might have been doing. [1,269 word