What Is Your Earliest Memory?
When StoryCorps participants arrive at one of our recording booths, we provide them with a list of suggested questions for getting the conversation going. One of these questions gets at the very beginning of someone’s story: What is your earliest memory?
The following are just a handful of the many earliest memories we’ve recorded. Some are stories, some are snapshots, and some are a child’s perspective on larger historical events. What is YOUR earliest memory? Share it in the comments section below!
“My earliest memory is standing by the stove and my mother peeling white potatoes on a little green stool, a chair with the back broken off. And she let me stand there and watch her. And she’d always give me a piece of the raw potato and I just loved it.”
- Betty Livingston, age 71, in Indianapolis, IN
“My grandmother swimming fully clothed in the river and doing backstrokes.”
- Oscar Velasquez, age 74, in Abilene, TX
“My earliest memory was the day WWII ended. I have a very vivid memory of being a young, young child in the back seat of a convertible and seeing adults do things like run and scream and jump, things that were very unusual for adults to do.”
- John McReynolds, age 64, in Logan, UT
“Being on my pop pop’s shoulders and pushing on his straw hat.”
- Camille Atkinson, age 29, in New York, NY
“My earliest memory is sitting in a green bedroom at our next door neighbors’ and playing with their toys. It wasn’t until many years later that I found out from my mother that she had been stricken with Polio, and they had sent me next door because an ambulance was coming to take her to the hospital.”
- John Eichenlaub, age 59, in Cleveland, OH
“I remember my mother telling me that little children were found under a cabbage leaf. My mother said that some little fairy had put me there for her particularly. It was quite a long time before I learned where I really did come from.”
- Carole Falvey, age 67, in Denver, CO
“Playing with a doll house on the linoleum floor of the living room.”
- Sharon Mast, age 57, in New York, NY
“Some of the earliest memories I have involve being with my father, sitting on the floor, and him cleaning shoes and me helping him clean shoes because he was a police officer and his shoes had to shine.”
- Kay M. Edwards, age 48, in New York, NY
“I had a little iron bed that I slept in every night that was rolled up to the side of my parents’ bed and dad held my hand until I went to sleep.”
- Imogene Psschall, age 87, in Murray, KY
“My mother was regaling a group of people on the beach and I wandered away from her. I walked into the water and fell into a deep hole. I had the presence of mind, thank God, to raise my little hand. The tips of my fingers were above the water and a man came and plucked me out like Moses was plucked from the Nile.”
- Alexander M. Blanton, age 72, in New York, NY
18 Responses to “What Is Your Earliest Memory?”
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