Sunday, May 28, 2006

Earliest Memory?

One of my attempts here is to force myself to find the earliest memory of my father. My earliest memories at this point go back to Kindergarten. I'm not dure if they are real or just figments of my imagination.

In my kindergarten class there were 3 kids names Larry. There was myself (Larry Walton), Larry Berry, and Larry Skinner. I only went to K for the latter half of the day, so I can't even fathom how many other kids named Larry were running about the school or why they would stick so many of us with one poor teacher.

This memory of my father is really vague. It's just he and I walking the streets of Oakland. Maybe we were on our way to my grandmother's house on 13th Ave from our duplex on the deadend road near my school. I don't really know. All I know is that we are walking and in walking we passed one of the kids named Larry in my class and that's it. It's dated because I know I had to be in kindergarten because of this one kid we passed.

To get to K, from the duplex I had to 2 possible paths. One top the right led past the drugs dealers and down a major street and up to the school. The left was the safer way with a less busy street and no drug dealers. I was 5, so this would have been late 1983. I remember Dad walking me to school showing the way I should go and telling me why. So that was the way I went to and from school most days.

I say most days because my sister (who went to different school) came to get me from school. She had some beef with the Puerto Rican kids that lived along the safe way, so they would get into fights. To avoid fights (with out a doubt started by my sister) we would scurry up the wrong way a couple blocks (to get pass the house of the PR kids) and then swing over to the safe side to get home.

Those were my adventures in getting to and fro K, however according to Mom, Dad was supposed to pick me up from school. You see my mother worked and went to school most of the time that I can remember. My father was supposed to be at home. That, of course, meant he was running the streets. At that time, I believe he was selling marijuana and cocaine as I have memories of the oven being used to dry out marijuana and that baking soda, baking powder and even powdered sugar being used to cut the cocaine.

Now that the thoughts are flowing, the earliest memory now should be getting enrolled into school. I have no memory of my first day of school, however I know when I began school we lived with my grandmother on 13th ave so I attended the school nearest that house. I have no memory of any of that except a boy named Denny who was in my K class and then later in my first grade class. I remember telling my mom his wasn't white or black or Chinese. That was the extent of my knowledge of race and nationalities at that point. Hispanics were white and blacks were blacks. Most everything else was Chinese. Denny however was Filipino. My mind just hadn't been able to grasp that until about a year later when my sister had a Filipino friend, but I digress...back to school.

My first memories of school involve us moving to the dead end road and having to go to new schools. For a while we commuted back to Bell Vista (our old school), but evenutally we needed to be enrolled into closer schools. I ended up at Garfield and my sister at Hawthorne because K was full in her school and her grade (3rd) was full at my school. Thus we went to different schools and I remember my father being there at that time. Thus that is my earliest of Dad.

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