Wayback Wednesday: Just Us Chickens

I am amazed by – and slightly skeptical of – people with crystal-clear memories of their childhood. When I read memoirs featuring incredibly detailed stories from when the author was four, five, six years old, it always makes me question the veracity of the tale. It may be a harsh judgment on my part, but my mind is so vague on so much from when I was little that it seems impossible anyone could remember every detail.

Today’s Wayback Wednesday picture is a good example of this lack of recall. I have the haziest of memories of chasing chickens around my back yard, but I know nothing of when or why. I can only put the things I do know in order and draw conclusions:

  • We didn’t have pets growing up until we found a kitten on vacation the summer before my senior year in high school, so the chickens I chased were  not ours.
  • I look like I’m maybe three or four in this picture, so it’s 1974 or 1975.
  • I’m in our next-door neighbors’ yard in this photo, so maybe the chickens were theirs. Why they would have had them, I’ve got no clue. We lived in a regular small-city neighborhood, not anywhere that one would expect farm animals.
  • Finally, despite remembering chickens, this picture most definitely features a rooster. And just one.

So, that’s all I’ve got. I could probably make up a nice memoir-esque story from those details – and if I did, you can bet it would culminate in the neighborhood enjoying a fried chicken dinner – but that would defeat the purpose of the memoir genre, no?


Do you have photos from your past that you’re willing to share – and a blog to post them on? Play along with Wayback Wednesday by linking back to this post or sharing in the comments so we can snoop into your past, too!

10 thoughts on “Wayback Wednesday: Just Us Chickens

  1. Eileen March 23, 2011 / 9:56 pm

    Okay, (1) are you sure that’s really you, (2) who’s house is that in the background (it looks unfamiliar) and (3) I couldn’t agree more on the clarity of childhood memory, except my lack of clarity extends to today!

  2. Joanne March 23, 2011 / 10:48 pm

    Oh, god, I’m so glad you posted this, because at best I have hazy flashes of memory of my childhood. I couldn’t write a memoir right now if my life depended on it. Now I feel less broken.

  3. Sarah March 23, 2011 / 11:17 pm

    @Eileen – Yeah, pretty sure it’s me. It looks like most of the other photos of me at that age. And the house is Beverly & Charles’. It’s just an odd angle.

    @Joanne – You are not at all alone. We had a convo when my whole family was here about this weird partial memory I had, and of the five of us cousins, only my brother could fill in any blanks for me. So, you’d fit right in with my family.

  4. Eileen March 23, 2011 / 11:41 pm

    Okay. That was the only house I even contemplated but couldn’t make the angle work in my head 🙂 it’s still odd though!

  5. Mom March 24, 2011 / 5:33 am

    Sarah: it is you in Snyders’ yard. i remember that photo vividly. The boys had gotten baby chicks for Easter and the rooster was the only survivor. You LOVED to play with it. It’s early morning “call” resulted in it going to *live* on a farm! And, that is B&C’s house but I can’t figure out the camera angle either.

  6. susan March 24, 2011 / 7:08 am

    That picture is TOO funny…not at all my memory picture of Binghamton. But…my memory stinks. J had to correct one of my childhood memories the other day. HE remembered the way I told it to him…and came up with the names I had somehow faded out. J’s memory is great….so the last 18 years are safe in SOMEONE’S brain! 🙂

  7. Common Loon March 24, 2011 / 10:48 am

    What strikes me most about that picture is the amount of blonde! Wow!! I remember how there used to be 5 towheads…Sometime we’ll have to get a shot of the next 8, but it would have to be during the summer as the oldest one’s has turned more yellow, and my middle’s only goes yellow once he’s outdoors most of the day. I also like the dress 🙂

  8. Mom March 24, 2011 / 11:13 am

    The “dress” was her nightie with a plastic bib!! I showed this to our neighbor & he remembered taking the picture. Sarah was the neighborhood princess in those days; there was nothing but little boys. And, you do recall playing with chickens! There were several on Easter Sunday & for several days thereafter.

    @CL — I noticed the hair too and have noticed all the boys now. They are all quite similar too, just not quite as light.

  9. Peg March 25, 2011 / 5:24 pm

    LOVED your mom’s comments! Moms just have a way of nailing down facts and fiction. . . going to “live” on the farm, uh hunh! You’ve inspired me to take a look backwards. Sadly, I wasn’t as cute as you were!

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