Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Memory Day: 1981

I have always been awful at remembering how old I was in any given year, and have had to rely on a simple number trick: The age at which I started a year ends in the same digit as that year. In the simplest base case, I started 1981 as a 1 year old.

Having been a normal 1 year old (albeit one with no visible peculiarities), I have no recollections of this year in my life and now have to rely on home videos, old documents, and tribal records to piece together my chronology. (I'm 80% certain that this fossil record was put here merely to test my faith, and I sprung fully formed and self-aware from the head of a god somewhere around 1986).

According to available records, I spent most of the year running around the house, the backyard, or the driveway. My photographer dad also instilled strong tradecraft skills at an early age -- whenever a camera appeared, we had to look directly at it and wave. Candid photos do not exist in our family.

Here are a few shots of me demonstrating my prowess at waving. The first was taken in May 1981 June 1982 near Ocean City, on a beach that featured those white and silver clam shells in huge numbers before we killed and ate them all as a society. The second was taken at home in the ground floor bathroom.

Here's a video of me in my high chair, more concerned with magpie tendencies than any waving:

This kitchen still has the exact same layout and accoutrements today, even if the exteriors of the cabinets have been modernized. I did not live in a house with a dishwasher until my college apartment, and even today, I still wash about half of the dishes by hand.

In September, I turned 2 on the exact same day that Rafael Mendez passed away, so there was probably some sort of vampiric lifeforce thing going on. Tragically, I did not acquire his trumpet-playing skills. To celebrate, we had a small party where the only guests were my sister and the blond Fisher twins from next door. The entire video of this event is just ten minutes of four kids waving at the camera, so I opted to omit it -- your imagination will suffice.

This final picture was taken at Christmas time that year, when my dad was the exact same age as I am as I write this. The math is left as an exercise, to reinforce the number trick I taught you at the beginning of the lesson.

Other posts in this series: 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1990 - 1991 | 1991 - 1992 | 1992 - 1993

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