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Saturday, February 06, 2016

Snowfall on Memory Lane

I ran across an old scrapbook from  1957/1958 today. I was in  eighth grade that year, and must have had ambitions to be a fashion designer or or a writer.  The scrapbook was  filled with  sketches  of ballgowns that I described in  glowing terms: "A billowy white satin sailor design floor lenght(sic) evening dress with blue velvet trimming." Another was a mermaid  one-shoulder  dress described as "A lovely  lime-hued evening dress with a mermaid skirt and Grecian inspired bodice. In crepe threaded with gold."  But the  pièce de résistance was "A most fabulous creation.  Pink satin evening dress with pinafore-style top and gathered skirt with hand embroidery on white satin." Since I can't remember ever being particularly interested in fashion, and absolutely loathed wearing pink , or satin, for that matter I found this discovery most interesting. I do remember wanting to be an artist, but that was probably because my brother was an artist and had won a scholarship to art school.  Looking at my sketches now, I see that artistic  talent did not run in the family.  Several years later, one of my high school art teachers told me as much. It crushed me!

What I was a little better at, evidently, was studying and writing.  The scrapbook contained report cards, ribbons won at poetry festivals, penmanship certificates, a newspaper clipping showing me smiling out from a group of oratorical contest finalists. I had made a note in the margin that I had finished second.Also included in  the memories was a letter from the Birmingham News congratulating me on winning an honorable mention in  the newspaper's  creative writing contest.
I have no idea  what    I had submitted but have a vague recollection of winning   some sort of honorable mention for a poem I'd written about winter and children playing in the snow. Which is interesting, since I don't remember seeing snow even  once during the entire time we lived in Birmingham  between 1952 and 1959. I do remember that  when we left Alabama for Illinois in November 1959,  the weather had been so mild that  I didn't even own a heavy coat.   Illinois was quite a shock and we had to go shopping for  a coat and  warmer clothes before I could start school.
 Now we have snow at least once every year.  In fact there are  predictions that we may get some flurries the day after tomorrow. I hope  we don't get anything more than flurries because as nice as snow is to look at, it creates havoc down here. Now we do have snow on a fairly regular basis, I've gotten cranky  in my old age and can't think of anything poetic to say about it. Here is a collage of snow pics from 2011 to 2015.

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