Childhood Memories


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Keir Hardy
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We all have these.
I think I can remember a few things from when I was four or five, but I'm never sure if it's an actual memory or say, something my mother told me when I was a few years older. And of course memories can fade with time.
But a definite one came back to me yesterday when I had an e-mail from my sister. Amongst a few other things, she told me that our cousin Audrey had died, she'd had news from one of her sons. Audrey was a few years older than me so would have been in her late eighties. She lived in America and I'd not seen her in over fifty years.

It made me remember an occasion when my mother took me on a visit to see her mother, one week-end.
While the adults were talking in the house Audrey and I sat on the back step talking, she produced two pound notes from her pocket and told me that she'd won it on a bet on a horse that came in first. That was a lot of money in those days so I was suitably impressed. She'd been looking in the paper earlier in the week at the runners for the Derby. Her elder brother and her father had the paper and had been discussing the runners and occasionally put bets on horses. She asked if she picked out a horse would they put a bet on for her too? They agreed, "Just this once."

Being a young teenage girl she picked out a horse with a name that appealed to her and I remember it well. It was called "My Love."

I looked it up. It would have been in 1948, when I was eight.
 
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I wrote two books which are sort of childhood memories, much exaggerated and altered to make them humorous, but all based on true events.
 
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When I was 10yrs old dad decided to take us on a trip to the UK and Ireland. When mom and dad were married, dad was was a young Baptist preacher. So our family was a no cussing, drinking, smoking, playing cards, going to dances and so on.
On this trip we were taking the ferry from Dublin to Liverpool and I was having great fun exploring the ship with a young fella I had just met.
We went through some doors into a long hallway with slot machines lined up against the walls. We looked around and we were the only ones in this room, I just had to do it. I plopped in a 2pence and hit the jackpot!
I was so proud of myself until my brother told a sister who jumped at the chance to snitch on me to my father. We were all sitting around a low table and dad sternly told me to empty my pockets and put the money on the table. I slowly emptied my pockets that were bursting with coins. Dad looked at the pile of cons on the table for a moment, smiled and told me to put the money back in my pocket. We were all shocked and surprised but said nothing.
 

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