After such a long title, how should I start? As I was reading the "O" magazine I ran across the part where well known people talk about what is on their bookshelves. I found the concept fascinating. Then I got to thinking about how various works had left impressions over the years. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to take a trip down memory lane. In this, the first in a series of the works that had an impression on me, I intend to look at the early years of my life.
According to the stories my mother tells, even as a very small child I demanded to be read to. That may be the reason that my primary way of learning is auditory. She says by the age of three I could recite most of stories in the "Childcraft" books, to the point where I was turning the pages at the appropriate point. By the time I started school I was more than ready to read. Fate however stepped in and I spent most of my first year of school, sick at home or in the hospital. The school was a three room schoolhouse and the early grades had three grades per room. The teacher passed me that year and I joined my classmates in second grade and caught up with the first grade lessons at the same time. I bring this up for the teacher also read to us each day. I remember Edgar Rice Burroughs "Tarzan" books as she read a chapter each day. She may have read others, but those have stayed with me all these years.
In the later grades of elementary I started reading the "Black Stallion" series by Walter Farley. In that same time period I also read the poem "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. Both works allowed my imagination to roam and I do believe it was then that I started writing. The Alfred Noyes poem was especially important to me. The story of love, sacrifice, jealousy and death made a great impression. I know I wrote poems for I found some a few years back. I also remember writing plays and attempting to put them on with my brother and neighbors. Unfortunately none of those survived. Still it was a time of learning to read and having the world open up for me.
I shall follow up next time with middle and high school.
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