A Childhood Memory by Bill Storie
I was watching a movie earlier this week and part of it was set in Scotland – land of my birth and upbringing. The scene was about a bride leaving her parent’s house to go to church to be married.
As she and her father walked out the house to the car, the father put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a handful of coins. The waiting kids were all excited. He throws the coins on the ground and gets in the car and off they go.
The kids start scrambling all over the ground to grab as many coins as each can.
It was called, appropriately enough the “scramble”
The absence of a scramble would mean that the family would be classified as mean and cheap and not too friendly terms for a few weeks – if not forever.
I remember vividly how I would be one of those kids. While I wasn’t born with the silver spoon, childhood was adequate, but certainly not lavish. So, the thought of picking up a few extra pennies was too tempting.
When I’d get home, my mother would take one look at my knees and ask, “Who was getting married today?”
I look back on those days fondly.
It’s funny how you look back to your childhood now that you are in your olderhood and think about life in those days as a kid.
Could we ever have imagined where we would end up, what we would be doing, who we would know, what job we would have, who would be our life partners etc.?
I certainly smile privately when I think of myself as a wee boy who would ride his push bike around the back-country roads of my small town in Scotland, fall off now and again, and of course, being Scotland invariably come home soaked to the skin. Life was simple, nothing much happened day over day. School consumed most of my life and of course, football.
For a while my mum thought I should learn to play the piano. She hired a teacher who would force me to play scales and music I’d never heard of. I had no idea if I was playing it correctly, especially when I had to practice on my own when the teacher wasn’t there. I yearned to play the Bluebell Polka or the Cuckoo Waltz. Magnificent music on the piano or accordion.
To this day I’ll find You Tube videos of some of the old musicians from Scotland playing stuff like that. What a gift. Jealousy prevails to this day.
I remember listening to pirate radio as well. In those days, only BBC was licensed to broadcast radio programming. So, some of the enthusiastic entrepreneurs in the business would live on a ship outside the 3-mile shore limit and broadcast from the ship. It was a brilliant way around archaic laws (which changed fairly quickly) and it unquestionably made me get an interest in radio, which I carry to this day.
I love radio broadcasting. Who knows where that may take me.
It’s amazing how little things from decades ago seem to pop up in my mind from time to time. Sometimes a word, or a picture, or a smell even, can trigger something in the sub-conscience. I can remember silly wee things from fifty years ago, better than I can recall what I went into the kitchen to get five minutes ago.
So, if you have the same issues, then take heart, you’re only in the same boat as tens of millions of us. It is one of those unexplained phenomena about getting old. Have no worries about it. Just enjoy your life today, yesterday or from fifty years ago. It matters not. It’s your life. Just do it.
By Bill Storie