Dean Martin recorded “Memories Are Made of This” in 1955. To the iconic hit song I added “and that.” Memories pop up in response to the oddest things. At least mine do. A doctor told her to drink ginger ale for a swallowing issue. Turns out it could be almost any other carbonated beverage. But it happened to be ginger ale that she had with lunch the other day. Pop (a Midwestern pun there) goes the memory. The Variety Bar and Café, 9th street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. Long since gone, but it used to be there.
What’s that got to do with ginger ale. I was drinking it, in that long gone bar. A memory that hadn’t been in consciousness for many decades. It might have been in 1955, as in Martin’s song. Yes, I would have been a child in the in the 50s. Things were probably a bit looser then. I wasn’t there alone. The unknown part is who was I with. My father died of cancer in 1954, when I was seven. He’d had it a few years already. More likely my oldest brother. Can’t say. All I remember is the bar, the ginger ale—some Juicy Fruit gum and at least a couple more people. Could have been the brother and his neighborhood friend.
Now, I could have posted this on my story blog, John Maberry’s Writing. I put it here because it’s a writing tip. Grab those memories and the word associations that prompted them. They work great for writing fiction or nonfiction. Writing for life is the parlance. Change the names, the places, etc. to protect the privacy of yourself and others—but make use of them. Everything doesn’t have to come from your imagination!
On the story blog, you’ll find a recent post, Derek is Back in Time. Derek is the time traveling protagonist in an SF novel to be published some years from now. I keep puttering away with snippets here and there while accumulating more knowledge from movies, TV shows and books featuring time travel. It’s a challenging thing. I believe I can do it well—no rush, I must take my time (ha-ha). The thing about it is, we time travel often—not physically, but through our memories. Think about that. My current conception is that this is an essential part of the storyline and the reality—if there is any, with regard to physical time travel.
Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions.
That’s the tagline for Views from Eagle Peak. It’s a little long, but it’s what it is.
George Floyd. Cops. Minneapolis and more. Protests–peaceful and violent. Us and them. Self-identity–race, sex, job, age and much more. Attitudes and beliefs. Norms and Values. Hate.
We’re all human. That’s the race I put on those forms that ask for it. You can see from my profile picture I’m White. My wife of nearly 40 years is African-American. Her father wanted to kill us if we got married. Later he just said, “call me Dad.” That’s because, in the words of Daisaku Ikeda,
A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.
I prayed for his happiness and accepted responsibility for his attitude toward me–expecting to change myself and thus his perspective. Those things happened.
Blacks are seven times more likely to be killed by police gunfire than Whites are. I don’t have statistics for death by other police behavior. When charged (rarely) and tried (more rare), few cops are convicted in the death of Blacks.
There were few older folks in the vicinity of Loring Park, at least as far as I remember, circa 1965-6. A wonderful urban park by day with a pond in its center. Squirrels ran this way and that, hoping for a handout from the families and tourists that frequented its grassy knolls or sat on its benches . Pigeons did the same. To the west, across busy Lyndale Avenue South, which now feeds directly into I-94, lies Walker Art Center and in front of the center its sculpture garden. To the north of Loring Park lies the Basilica of St. Mary. To the south were cheap apartments—one of which I lived in for a brief time. To the east, as I recall, the apartments were a little nicer.
Farther to the west, past the Art Center and back then the Tyrone Guthrie Theater (since relocated nearly to the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis) lies Lowry Hill—old, luxurious homes a 100 years old or more. Tudors, Victorian, Mediterranean and a whole ensemble of eclectic styles. By night a different crowd frequented the southern border of the park. Working boys plied the sidewalk, waiting for cruisers unable or unwilling to hookup for free at the 19 Bar a couple blocks away. As a pre-20 young man, I got my share of eyeballs but I was straight and not in the trade. Still, it made for an educational and entertaining time. Of course, had I been a young woman in most any community in America then or now, the eyeballs and more would be commonplace. Continue reading Loring Park, a Minneapolis Memory→
Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions
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