All posts in the memories category


Published September 4, 2022 by Nan Mykel

I won’t say I’m old any more.  I’ll say “well-seasoned”.  Well, in my state of being well-seasoned my mind continues to pop up ancient jingles.  Sometimes they are followed by memories associated with them.  For instance, the phrase “would you rather be a mule?”  Thanks to Google, I found the line to be from a 1944 Bing Crosby song, “Swinging On A Star”:

Would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jarAnd be better off than you areOr would you rather be a mule… › 
The phrase reignited  an early school memory.  In my mind’s eye I was in the first grade, but if it was really 1944 then it must have been in the fourth grade.  Somehow I was singing (aloud) to myself in the classroom and sang “Or would you rather be a queer?”
For some reason there was an indrawn breath and the voice of my teacher said reassuringly, “she doesn’t even know what that means.”
She was right, and I didn’t find out until much later, but the memory hung on.  That happens often–something that doesn’t hang together much has a spot in my head avaiable for correct construction years later (as in well-seasoned).
Another re-visited edifying memory involves an occasion when my immediate family were living on Austin Drive in Charlotte.  (You need to know my mother was as bad a housekeeper as I am), and I remember the four of us standing outside on the front porch of the the 2-bedroomed asbestos-covered house greeting a visiting couple who stayed at the bottom of the front steps.  My folks remained standing on the front porrch while greeting them, and the couple stayed on the front walk.
After a very brief time the couple left and I asked, “Who was that?
My father answered “just some social climbers”,  a puzzling remark until recently, when I realized that was a joke….

I USED TO CARE guest poem

Published August 15, 2022 by Nan Mykel

I used to care
When I was young
Innocent, perhaps naïve.
There was a future
To be secured and enriched
For my family
For the world.
I voted, confident it counted,
Marched, protested, and was seen,
Wrote letters, and believed they were read,
Debated, and was heard.
I witnessed change
With civil rights
Clean water and air
The end of an ugly war
Even a ban on assault rifles.

More extinctions
Extensive clearing of rainforests

More guns
More fossil fuels being burned
More voter suppression
Government dysfunction
Expansive partisan division and violence
More corporate greed
Widening gap between rich and poor
More rights stripped away.
I used to care
When I was young,
Innocent, perhaps naïve.
Now…only tears.

Thank you Thomas Shostak for permossion to share this poem

Snuggling Up T0…

Published July 11, 2022 by Nan Mykel


Let’s Pretend

The Shadow

Kukla Fran and Ollie (by golly)

Stella Dallas

Ma Perkins

My Gal Sunday

The Briarhoppers WBT radio (Wait til The Sun Shines, Nellie!)

The Lone Ranger

As the World Turns

Jack Benny

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Blackberry pickin’

Captain Kangaroo

FBI in Peace and War

Tinker Toys

Arthur Godfrey and All the Little Godfreys

The Old Lamp Lighter

You Are My Sunshine

Hit Parade

Archie Comics

Homemade peach ice cream

Alice in Wonderland

Dick Tracy

Wizard of Oz


Raggedy Ann

Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy

Oh Susannah

Amos and Andy

Clothes lines

Charley Macarthy

Little Orphan Annie

Little Lulu

Katsenjammer Kids

Nancy Drew

Freddy the Detective (a pig)

The ant parade (backyard on the farm)


Coal embers settling down at night

Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy

Margaret OBrien

Bobbsey Twins

My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

Sweet smell of the land after a rain

Ma Perkins

The wild plum orchard

Dog on Wood

Hide and Go Seek

Shirley Temple

I Went to the Animal Fair

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

HOW IS IT that my earlier memories are recalled with so much more warmth than many later others?  You too?  What else do you remember?


End of the Dream for d’Verse

Published April 7, 2018 by Nan Mykel

Can’t pick up rocks no more

’cause something’s under there

just a-waiting to suck your blood

and pull out all your hair.


Can’t trust nuttin’ any more

It’s all rotted through

The young’uns won’t never know

how wishes might come true.



Kinda Preachy?

Published April 3, 2018 by Nan Mykel

While continuing my discard trip through ages of hoarding the written word, I’m about to discard the following, but cheating and saving it here:

The majority of people are born with one head, two arms and two legs. They have two eyes, two ears, one nose and mouth.  But there across-the-board similarities appear to stop. (Of course they stopped with the first sentence in some who have had to struggle from birth with physical differences).

Inside, however, great differences can and do exist. Our nighttime dreams are unique to us, as are our combination of innate temperaments, our perceptions, intellectual potential, educational and family environments, and our genes. (Scientists have even identified a gene for “happiness.”)

It is natural to assume that most of us are as alike inside as outside. We begin to feel different soon after exposure to other children, however.  Temperamental differences are one example. With age, some children learn to hide their unique differences; differences which appear unique to themselves; differences which are viewed negatively by others.

Become aware of your feelings as you read the following: cross-eyed, epileptic, club-footed, hare-lipped, retarded, crippled, senile, pock-marked, abused, victim, bow-legged, leper, old nag, brain-damaged, psychotic, neurotic… I wonder if the feelings differ if you’re inside one of these categories or outside.  Probably not, because we soak up society’s perception of us. You think, therefore I am.

Eric Berne developed the concept of life scripting, in which people assume the scripts and characteristics that others expect from them, early in life. Some people start out physically and mentally healthy, but along the way are shamed into dis-ease.*

When we feel diminished, we are diminished. When we feel shame, we are shamed. The carpet of our life rolls out until the ragged end unless we can somehow intercept its path.

*Of course, our parents play a big role in this




Published March 6, 2017 by Nan Mykel


The amphibian in me

climbed up the beach,                                                        

then turned around

and retraced her steps,

reluctant to abandon the

tears that provide the

ocean’s salt and the

underwater resting place

of dreams and memories.

Small conch shells provide

shelter for the likes of us

and their inhabitants

welcome well-fed housemates.

Some days warm currents,

colorful in their lacy ocean

finery, caress passersby with

armloads of sweet memories.

Since perfection cannot exist

without its opposite, the

idyllic setting also harbors

bedlam. Tsunamis dance on

the horizon, foreshadowing

disruption and chaos. Dreaded

also in both worlds is the

living nightmare which darts

in and out of murky shadows,

menacingly hovering hungrily,

waiting to strike; the barracuda.


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