Saturday, August 11, 2007

What The Hell Happened?
There Must Have Been Some Sort Of Split

A friend, who has been on the road, and therefore without internet access much of the time, wrote to me this morning and said:

I can't wait till I get the chance to read your new & improved CUANAS posts now. Your childhood is becoming like a puzzle. Because look how you always paint your later childhood as troubled, but really, here's a clue that your early childhood was great - your family was willing to indulge your coin collecting hobby and actually create a whole trip around you.

(He's referring to something I told him personally which was that, when I was eight, I was able to persuade my parents to drive from California to Colorado to go visit the Denver Mint, because I had a fascination with the minting of coins.)

Maybe it's like a tragedy - so much promise, but then there was a fall/split.

My reply is:

Yeah actually, that's a very well-defined way to explain it. My parents loved me very much, and they were told from a very early age that I was a "extremely gifted" and that they ought to try to help me along with that. And they tried, and tried.

They knew, for instance that my coin collecting hobby had more to do with history than the coins themselves, because I used to go on and on about Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson and the various guys on the coins.

But, I was also fascinated about the way the coins were minted. (I was also fascinated by the beauty in the design of the coins, and the flaws in them.)

By the way, the whole trip wasn't planned around me. We didn't drive to Colorado to go to the Denver Mint.

Instead, what happened is, we were driving to Pennsylvania to see family. Ordinarily, back in those days, a family would have gone on Route 66 which, as I remember it (cuz we did it before) takes you through Arizona, and a bunch of other deserty places.

So, because I insisted, my parents chose the Colorado Route, and we went to the Denver Mint.

You are right that my parents loved me very much, and that there was a breakdown, at a certain point, in my family, and my childhood went from being happy, to being very sad, and hard to deal with.

I don't want to feel sorry for myself (too much) ...


but I do believe that what happened in my family, in terms of the breakdown, mirrored much of society in the 70's.

I remember watching the news and TV shows and seeing things that were happening in the real world, and being portrayed in fictional movies, and sitcoms like All In The Family, and thinking to myself, "Look, that's us, there's my family."

It's a hard thing to explain in one post.

It's a whole story.

But yes, I'm going to try to explain it.

It's more like a book in progress.