spiderman, beestings, and poor judgement

Jan 17, 2006 | Life in Progress

my sister jennifer and i have been emailing back and forth this past week about early memories. we have 2 totally different sets of memories so it’s been sort of fun going back and forth with “remember when” stories. it’s funny how you can go years and years without talking about or even remembering certain events in your life, then someone will say something that triggers just one memory, then a series of memories, and pretty soon you are enveloped in an ocean of senses, remembering it all.

so here are 3 fun and crazy and wacky memories of mine that have found me again in the last week or so (some of them make me thankful i made it out alive):

1. first grade. i’m 6 years old. i decide one day after school to not get on the bus that would take me to “Little People”, the afterschool daycare program i would go to everyday until my mom picked me up after work. Instead, i walked alone and fearlessly to my house. i had decided i was sick of “Little People”, that i was big enough, and responsible enough to find my own way home, across the huge intersection of Blanding Blvd, and walk the mile or so alone. i can only imagine what i must have looked like, walking down Blanding Blvd all alone, six years old, dragging my sweater, backpack and all. i found my way home, watched spider man, made myself a bowl of Lucky Charms, and called it a day. Meanwhile, and unbeknowst to me, the folks at “Little People” were freaking out because i never made it onto their yellow bus. i don’t remember my mom freaking out, or the aftermath that played out, but i do remember not having to go back to Little People. and after that initial, big, solo adventure, my older sister had to walk me home each day after school. but the spider man shows continued and the lucky charm eating never stopped. i was a really independent kid. i loved that feeling of being 6 years old, and feeling like i could do anything, take care of myself, and be just fine doing it.

2. i’m 6 years old still. and living in the same house between cassat ave and blanding blvd. i’m walking down the street alone again on my way to my friend’s house when i accidentally step into some sort of beehive. i start crying, running, and trying very hard to escape the bees. some random car pulls up beside me, a man gets out, scoops me up, takes me to his house just down the road, plops me onto his bathroom sink, puts toothpaste on my beestings, and sends me on my way to my friend’s house. back then that whole experience didn’t seem strange at all, but when i think of it now, it’s freaky. it was 1982. not exactly the safer days of the 40s and 50s, but yet some random man harmlessly took me inside his bathroom to fix my beestings. i bet he probably knew me from around the neighborhood, but still!

3. 7th grade. 12 years old. i missed my morning bus ride to Stanton. I very stupidly accepted a ride from a total stranger who was pulling up to the Skinner’s Dairy for his morning cup of coffee. As soon as i got inside of his car, i knew it was the dumbest decision i had ever made in my whole life. i remember his car was huge and dumpy and old and he put that cup of coffee on the floorboard by my feet and i was so worried it would tip over onto my feet. i must have felt safety in numbers because i had 2 friends with me that had also missed the bus. turns out the man was just a good samaritan. he dropped us off at school, on time, and all was well. but still, we had some serious bad judgment about that one.

Sending much love,

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  1. Anonymous

    I used to work at a skinners dairy that was bought after they were closed and it was turned into Jeffs Place drive thru mexican food & goods. It was just over the Bridge of lions.


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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