1/07/2009

Looking Back for a Story

At out 50th High School reunion I was surprised and grateful when a classmate gave me an old snapshot she had kept for years. It is a picture of me - taken on a Spring day when I was in the the Eighth Grade at Piedmont Junior High School in Charlotte, NC. This particular day I was part of a group of students being inducted into the Honor Society.

In those days there was an initiation day for the occasion.
In this picture I am standing on the playground behind the school. I am carrying my books on my head in a bushel basket and I am wearing my skirt upside down - the hem gathered at the waist - held up by a belt. My hair is pinned up on top of my head. There is what looks like a branch from a flowering bush pinned to my blouse. In other words, I look ridiculous.

I know its me. I remember the day. I am trying to recall what I was like.

What were my ideas, my hopes, my dreams.

Did I have any?

Who was I at that time?

Do you ever wonder about that?

Storytellers do. It gives us the stuff of stories.


Storytelling TIP: The photo is a prompt for a story I am working on. Its a doorway to the past - a way to help me remember where I was, what I was doing and if possible, what I was thinking.

I will let you in on a secret. Looking at this photo and thinking about the Honor Society and Piedmont Jurior High School I thought but - what happened?

Ah, yes. Something did happen - next term when I was in the Ninth Grade and elevated to being President of the Honor Society. Something happened that hurt that 13 year old girl so that she never forgot it. And there was an unexpected rescuer and lesson. I will tell you about it as soon as the story is cooked a bit more and ready -

Thanks to June Yarbrough for saving this photo and her thoughtfulness in giving it back to me.