Wake Up and Write Writer's Retreat Workshop
My family moved into the house I’m living in now a little more than 50 years ago. My mother died six years ago, and my brother and sister and their families are all over the place. I’ve been back and forth across the country several times over a number of years, and returned to live here with my dad.
Way back when we first moved in, my sister and I shared the room I’m in now. I was going into sixth grade, she into seventh. In other words, we were pre-teens. I know that means something different to all of us, but at the same time, there is some common ground when we think of pre-teen. Young enough to be far from driving, old enough to be thinking about dating (not doing it, but thinking about it). And in my case, right at that perfect age for teen idol worship.
Almost as if she knew, my mother bought each of us a bulletin board on which we could put whatever we wanted. Maybe she did know at that, since my mother was one of the screaming teenagers who went downtown to see a very young Frank Sinatra perform, wearing her trench coat and screaming, “Frankie!”
Eventually I discovered Tiger Beat at the drugstore, and my world expanded. Their pictures were glossy on every pages, not just the covers. Between the two, I spent several years adorning my bulletin, celebrating the ritual of the changing of the pictures. The time came when the subscription to 16 wasn’t renewed – I wanted something else for my birthday. The bulletin board had big gouges in the cork, and one week when my sister and I were away, my mother redecorated our room and when we returned, the bulletin boards were gone.
Why do I choose to write about this today? Well, today I put up a new version of a bulletin board in that very same room, more than 50 years later. Actually, it’s three smaller bulletin boards in hexagonal shapes, and of course, the pictures and items on it are quite different. The one similarity is that, just as it was more than 50 years ago, it is an expression of who I am today – what matters to me, who matters to me, my priorities, my dreams, my memories. It isn’t complete yet, but when I finish posting this I will go to my printer and take the little copy of the Mark Lindsay picture and put it up on my new bulletin board. I will honor the person I was then, and the dreams of my youth. I still dream, though my dreams look a little different now…
Carol (Doc) Dougherty
An avid reader, writer, and student, with a penchant for horse racing, Shakespeare, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.