I was born in 1959, the same year that the first Barbie dolls stocked store shelves. The doll revolutionized the doll industry, and I revolutionized my parents’ life style because I was their first-born child. Dad called me his “Darling Daughter Donna”. I had a lot to teach them that first year and they were so confident with their success with me that late the following year Allen was born. I don’t remember Allen’s birth. My first memory was of me in my walker and strolling up to the television set and seeing Lassie on the screen. I remember touching my hand on the screen and feeling the static of the television on my hand. This memory had to be from when we lived at my grandfather’s house before we moved to the Snider Circle town house. Whether Allen was born yet or not, I don’t remember, but I do remember that television set and the dog Lassie. It is funny the things a person considers important when she is less than two years old. While we lived there, my grandfather died and we moved to Snider Circle.
I don’t remember grandfather’s passing, but I can vaguely remember the apartment owner showing us the townhouse before we moved in. I remember there was a kitchen and living room downstairs. There was also a utility room where Mom would do her laundry in a wringer washing machine.Upstairs were two bedrooms and a bathroom. One of the upstairs rooms I shared with Allen. I remember that we slept in cribs in that room and we played with our toys there too.
My next memories were while we lived in Snider Circle. Allen and I spent (what I now know) a week at Aunt Mary’s apartment. Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob’s apartment were upstairs of Aunt Augusta’s and Uncle Merle’s farm house. Uncle Bob and Uncle Merle were brothers and Aunt Mary and Aunt Augusta were sisters. Aunt Augusta had a daughter Janiece and Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary had two children Guy and Kaye. Anyway, Allen and I went to Aunt Mary’s to spend a week. What I remember most about Aunt Mary’s was the fact that she had a dishwasher. I remember I was enthralled when Aunt Mary rinsed off her dishes and put them into the dishwasher and then after a while she came back and put them away. It is amazing what a little girl of just over two remembers as important.
I then remember Daddy picking us up and taking us back to the townhouse. I remember him saying, “Would you like to see your little sister?” I remember that both Allen and I looked in on her and then we both went up to our bedroom to play. I remember not being so impressed. I think I quickly recognized that this little baby was my competition for my Daddy’s time.
We lived at Snider Circle for a year. I remember moving to the house that my parents would own for most of my life until my sister took ownership of it when she took over power of attorney for my parents when they could no longer care for themselves. I think I can remember going to the house the first time and seeing it when Mrs. Munn answered the door to show us around. I don’t remember any more or my first impressions of the house, but I do remember that the day we moved in, I remember several uncles helping Dad, and the gas man putting in the gaslines. Most memorable memory of that day was that that I got over tired and my mother told me to take a nap on the couch or as she called it, “the davenport”. I remember that when I awoke, the house looked better, more organized. Mom had been busy while this little girl slept. It’s amazing what a little girl of less than three years old thinks is important.