Slice of Life #11 Snapshots

Snapshots from my childhood I wish I actually had:

  1. The look on my face at about 11 years old in that first class of tap dance – the disdain, derision even, for this awkward shuffle after my years of classical ballet with the best teacher ever, Mrs. Gibbs.
  2. A shot of my whole family on that evening in the living room when my aunt Willie Mae brought us this frisky all black puppy whose tail would not stop wagging as he sniffed each of us, all excited to have found a new home.
  3. A picture of the huge dresser in my parents room where the top was absolutely covered from end to end with perfume and after shave bottles, creams and gift boxes, old make up, lipstick, cards (greeting & maybe playing cards, too), random stationery, some books, jewelry boxes and other holders, and other odds and ends, all resting under varying levels of dust.
  4. The undeveloped film drawer in my parents’ room filled with maybe 80 or more rolls of Kodak instamatic film containers from the 70’s mostly, which also included packs of photographs, unsorted and stashed there.
  5. Me, 8 or 9 years old in the backseat of our Chevy station wagon heading south to Tennessee, with the AAA Trip-Tik map in my hand, following our path with my finger on the fat green line and its arrow.
  6. A picture of Miss Newton, my elderly caregiver, ironing my dad’s post office shirts in the basement, smiling at me while I dance around and put on a show for her. I must be around 4.
  7. Me at my sister’s graduation from Howard University surprised to see so many black people all dressed up and in robes. It’s in the early 70’s and it’s my first visit to Washington, DC. I think I’m a little overwhelmed.
  8. The radio and turntable I kept next to my bed.
  9. Me selecting my first album ever in a record store. I might be 11.
  10. Me sitting on my mother’s lap in church about to fall asleep during the very long sermon. I’m 3 or 4.
  11. Me and my Dad on Easter Sunday. Any year.
  12. Our back yard when it still had a fruit tree in the very back next to the garage.
  13. A picture of me and my next door best friend, Adrian, standing next to each other, me looking at her and you can see how proud I am that she has such long strong braids and light skin and we’re best friends. It’s 1972 and we’re 7.
  14. Mr Wise, the mailman talking though the screen to Miss Newton when he delivers the mail before lunch.
  15. Mr. Morris, my dad’s business partner, joking with me playing in the back yard and calling me “dropout.”
  16. My mom and dad dancing in the living room.
  17. My whole family sitting in the living room, watching Sanford and Son together. We are all laughing out loud.
  18. A picture of me, Charlene and Lori and Lori’s 2 year old little brother, Al. I’m in 8th grade, Lori and Charlene are in 7th and we’re best friends anyway.
  19. My mom reading to me on the sofa.
  20. Me telling my mom’s dear friend who just gave me my first black doll, “Thank you for the doll that I don’t like.”
  21. The expression on my mom’s face and her friend’s face when they hear me say that.
  22. Me and my dad playing jacks on our front stoop.
  23. My aunt Willie Mae teaching me to swim in a motel pool in Nevada on our way to California. I’m 5.

5 thoughts on “Slice of Life #11 Snapshots

  1. What a great format for a slice! As I read each of these my brain immediately tried to conjure the images that your snapshots would have captured. This was fantastic. Thanks for the creativity and inspiration!


  2. What a brilliant idea for a slice! Your thank you about the doll made me laugh! I can just imagine the look on your mother’s face. This slice reminds me that it’s the ordinary moments–the ones we don’t photograph–that are actually the most lasting and meaningful.


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