artist - musician - craftsman
and furniture maker
[February 21, 2021]
simply revland: the early years
Ah yes . . . the 1950s. For those who had the pleasure, or opportunity, to grow up during that period, I’m sure you can all relate:
Life was simple and things moved at a much slower pace.
And as much as I’d like to remember symbolically picking up this piece of wood as a two-year-old in 1955, my earliest authentic memory as a child was kindergarten at Jefferson Municipal Grade School, tucked away in a cozy blue collar neighborhood, a middle-class community where most folks struggled to make ends meet.
My folks worked hard to provide for the four of us. We didn’t ask for much knowing that. We survived on home-cooked meals and hand-me-down clothing, and on Friday nights we all gathered around our back yard fire pit listening to my dad, Cletis, play his harmonica.
My first day of kindergarten was also my older sister Catherine’s first day as a Journalism student at UND. I missed her desperately, as she certainly wouldn’t have allowed me to wear a Bat Masterson outfit to school for the first month. I guess I thought it was cool . . . even though my older brother Paul wouldn’t properly admit we were in any way related.
Evenings and weekends were spent canvassing my parents' 50-by-150 plot of land that our house was centered on, and what I could possibly do with it (with my parents' permission, of course). I started to dream big, as this was how my brain worked. I was a dreamer. And it didn’t take me long to realize that the educational curriculum I desired was not necessarily available to me, because whatever I was reading in class was not being absorbed and/or registering in my head.
To this day . . . at the age of 67, I have yet to read a book. Am I embarrassed? Certainly not. But how does one survive in a world full of knowledge without having read a book?
Did I mention that I was a dreamer? Oh yeah . . . two or three times.