I Remember Time
Written by Kelly Richey
I grew up in Lexington, KY, on Honeysuckle Rd, in the Garden Springs subdivision— one block from the Turfland Mall. I remember when that mall was built, and I remember the field it was built on. I flew a kite once in that field; there was a small circus that came to town once that set up in that field. I remember being told not to go past the end of our street and not to go near that circus… and that being exactly what I did. I remember there was something strange about what I saw, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but it was different. I remember that I knew I needed to not get too close, and that I ran back home and tried not to look guilty of a “kid crime”.
When I was growing up “kid crimes” were fairly harmless; no one got shot or blown up, we were all taught not to talk to strangers, and we knew who “strangers” were. Imagination was used instead of computers, crayons were used instead of pixels, and talking was still how people communicated. I remember getting a busy signal when you tried to call someone’s phone if they were on the line, and I remember answering machines with mini cassette tapes that didn’t give you prompts to re-record if you screwed up or thought you sounded stupid. I remember having my own phone line as a teenager so my parents could have access to a phone of their own, and I remember how mad my dad would get when my friends called their phone when my line was busy for hours on end. I remember sneaking out and knocking on a friend’s window because back then you couldn’t just text; and I remember passing notes that I’d written in class, and they were folded a certain way.
Today I was looking back on old photos I scanned of what memories got captured by someone who actually had a camera— with film, that they took to the drug store to develop, waited for a week and were excited to discover the results.
I remember the old voting booths where my parents flipped one lever and voted democrat. I remember only knowing one republican, and I remember when talking politics was based on passion and not absurdities. I remember when people could still count change, conversation was sought, and debate was driven by critical thinking skills and not purely based on current spin, keywords, hashtags and hatefulness.
I went to Garden Springs Elementary School until I was halfway through 4th grade. I remember the park that we played at and had to walk through to get to school. I remember the see-saws and I remember I first time I learned not to trust just anyone because they could jump off their seat and send me flying to the ground. I remember the merry-go-round where I loved to lay down and close my eyes and spin. I remember laying on my back and watching the clouds move across the sky for hours. I could find a million pictures in the clouds, and I remember thinking that that was God’s art project.
I remember swings and how I loved to swing, I remember the swing set in my back yard and all four legs were anchored with stakes my dad drove in to the ground because I swung so hard it almost flipped over. Each day I’d get on the swing and I remember swinging as hard as I could. I wanted to swing high enough that I flip all the way around— God, I tried and tried but with no luck.
I remember my sand box and how I loved to get dirty and make a mess. I remember my above-ground swimming pool; but being an only child, it was more fun to go play with my friends, and I remember getting lost in play.
I also remember being bored, having time on my hands, time that I didn’t know how to fill… and it forced me to use my imagination. I don’t remember being so busy that I couldn’t think straight, that I couldn’t catch my breath, that I couldn’t make time to see someone I loved. I don’t remember not having time.
Written by Kelly Richey