My original story, the basics, the details, the digits, the facts, the foundation of the bigger picture and the story at large…..
Born at 11pm on October 6, 1966 in Long Beach Hospital on the north shore of Long Island, New York. “The North Shore”. The weather that day was basic, uneventful Fall weather in the Big Apple. Unremarkable weather.
The address on my birth certificate is 66 Florida St in Long Island. It is my understanding that we moved within my first year to Doraville, an unremarkable suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. (I still had no cognizant memory yet; that would come once we hit Detroit.) How old was I when we left the ‘modern’ Deep South?
My earliest memories would originate in Detroit, Michigan, where I was to begin kindergarten and my unremarkable education. How long in Detroit? Well, we moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania while I was still in kindergarten, so not long. In bucolic PA I was enrolled in Centerville Elementary School (along with brother Scott and sister Net), and there I’d get my first brief taste of stability, with four solid years in one town…Still, we moved twice, so I had three different houses to experience there, although thankfully my folks had the wisdom to keep us three youngest in the same school for the whole time.
Why the moves?
Why indeed? In the early part of my fourth-grade year we relocated to Sweetwater, Florida, outside of Miami. Of all the houses my family lived in, and there would be many more after this one, I remember the address, after almost forty years: 10981 SW 5th street….(this is meaningless, of course, but I find it odd the items that stick in one’s memory, and the items that fall out…) Moving to Miami was a bit of a dream for me, as I was a BIG Miami Dolphins fan. Aah, for the innocent NFL football of my youth. The Dolphins loss in the playoffs the previous year was the first real heartbreak of my life…but that story is for another time…
Here in sunny South Florida we would live in one house for almost five years, such stability as I had not known, now would I again until my I hit my forties. Fourth grade until eighth, with two years of trumpet-playing band under my belt…and then what crappy timing, we moved just before I entered the ninth grade! For an introverted, insecure kid like me, starting a new school in the ninth grade was a nightmare. Both Scott and Net went to this school, a bit of consolation to an otherwise monumental drag: starting over and being on the outside.
But no worries, it wasn’t to last. Before ninth grade was up we headed out again, this time to Illinois where I’d finish the school year in West Chicago. Ugh, it was already exhausting. I’m tired just writing it. Perhaps that’s enough moving for now; I’ll get to more schools, houses, moves in the next installment.
(Disclaimer: No matter what hard time one goes through, it is hard to understand that others are right at the same moment experiencing something much harder. As I look back now and laugh at myself and my hardships, I know like I did not know then that I was fortunate beyond measure, surrounded as I was with love, security, family, food on the table. Even my trials and tribulations were quite…unremarkable.) Thanks for being here…