Looking back on my remembered life seems to indicate that my Creative Self began at an early age. The earliest I can remember of this “self” was while we lived in Chicago and I went through life from six to ten years old. My father started working for Carson Pierre, which was easy for him because he had worked at the Denver Dry Goods before he and my mother got married. My father had worked himself up to manager of the shipping department, and so knew most of the ins & outs of department store politics. I don’t remember, except for the ’29 crash, the reason for my father leaving the Denver.
When I started in school in Denver, at six years old, I was already able to read, and found that I loved reading. I went through a few of my father’s books, such as “The Return of Tarzan”. My father brought home books meant for the young child and I devoured them as fast as I could. After a while I started to read the Tom Swift books and was fascinated.
So fascinated, that every Saturday morning, not having school, I would sit in bed and tell my two cousins the “dreams” I had the night before. We used to go to Saturday matinees at the movies (in those days the parents didn’t have to worry about their young children walking a few miles outside to the movies or the playgrounds} and I would continue the “dream” telling on our way. Today, I realize I was guilty of plagiarism, for all the dreams put the three of us into the newest Tom Swift story I had read.
Later in life, my older cousin, in remembering the good old days, told me that he knew what I was doing, but he didn’t say anything then because he liked the stories so much he was afraid if he said anything I would stop telling them. He wasn’t interested in reading, then, outside of school, because he was lazy. My younger cousin didn’t know because he couldn’t read yet.
All through my life I really didn’t realize how much writing meant to me. The pleasures I received in being able to put down my thoughts in tangible form was rewarding and that was enough for me. During grade-school and high school, I got top marks for “thought” but was always in the lower scores for grammar and for all the rules of English composition. I even tried “stream of consciousness” (plagiarism again) in one of my required papers in an English in Junior High School. I figured out that I didn’t think in punctuation so it wasn’t necessary for me to use them in this paper. My teacher rejected my offering saying that there for her to grade the punctuation portion of the lesson. I thought I had it made.