Who Do You Think You Are?



Most of my early life was spent following my Dad - an Air-Force-colonel - round the continental United States, as he was transferred from one duty assignment to the next. 

My childhood memories begin in Birmingham, Alabama, where we rented an apartment in a big block of red-brick apartments. My father started making home-movies in earnest in Birmingham, and there is footage of me at Easter, 1949 (I imagine), and movies of me in a Tailor-Tot (pusher) not wanting to wear the knitted hat my mother kept placing on my head. My sister, Barbara, used to rollerskate up and down the sidewalk outside our apartment.

We came to Birmingham when I was about six months old and lived there for two and a half-years. My mother had a black woman who came in and did the ironing, and I liked her a lot. 

One of my most vivid memories was the time when I - along with a half a dozen other kids - broke into the aintenance man's shed and, after opening up all the paint tins he stored neatly on his shevles, proceeded to paint the concrete floor of the building in sploches of bright colours. Seeing us from a long distance off, he came running, yelling, and threatening to tell our parents. I was so scared I ran off and dashed in the backdoor of my parents' apartment, through the kitchen, across the living room carpet and out the front door, never realising I'd left a trail of f oot prints behind me. Later, when my mother asked "what have you been up to?" I denied everything, only to be marched into the living room and shown the evidence of my hasty retreat from the crime.

I also remember the statue of Vulcan (ABOVE), with his hammer and a torch in an upraised hand, which my mother referred to as "the popsicle" - it lit up the night - green if everything was safe, and red if someone had died in a traffic accident - at least, that's what my mother told me.