Dana’s Childhood STUFF

Since yesterday I “raved” about Russ’ childhood stuff it seems only fair that I out some of my own “stuff.” My mother was not half as sentimental about any of her children’s junk, due most certainly to the many moves my parents made over the years. The things my mother did save were special notes, drawings, photographs and other ephemeral bits of paper. Many of these things are framed and displayed in her various bathrooms where guests can linger alone and laugh.

Two items in the powder room at the farm are things from my childhood that seemed to foreshadow my future self. One is a check for a dinner I cooked at Pawley Island when I was probably about ten or eleven. The items served to my parents and Uncle Wilson and Aunt Janie-Leigh are written on a paper plate, with my poor spelling in full display. I was cooking for other people for money at a very young age, the plate proves it. My sister Margaret was the waitress and so my uncle wrote us a “check” on the “bill”. Too bad I did not also know that I could have cashed that check, but I am glad now that my mother saved it all these years as I find it much more valuable to me than $14.00.

I do noticed that I reduced the price of the slaw. I remember those negotiations with my Dad and Uncle on the pricing. What I don’t remember is if we got any tips, despite the plea right there at the top of the plate.

The second bit of stuff my mother saved was a carbon copy of my family Newspaper, “The Carter Star.” I had been given a typewriter that Christmas and liked having something to do with it. True to oldest child status I am listed in the masthead as, Dana Carter- Everything. My sister Margaret did make an appearance as a guest poet in this issue. I can’t imagine I was giving away any jelly beans other than the black ones.

What I really liked was the “Society” section. We had quite a few guests that day with the Lawsons and the Huggins and my sister Janet’s five year old friend Nancy.

Again the spelling and the grammar leave a lot to be desired, but the idea that I was producing a publication at such a young age foreshadowed my future self.

Quite frankly I never would have remembered doing either of those things if my mother had not saved my “Stuff.” I hope I have saved the right stuff for Carter. It will be interesting to see what she becomes and see if her stuff holds clues to her future self.



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