Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fairy Tales

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from someone who read one of the stories on my blog. They wanted to know how I got ideas for the stories I write and said I had great imagination. They also suggested I take up writing fairy tales.

Most fairy tales tend to open with “Once upon a time” or even “once upon a time in a land far far away.” Well, my stories are not fairy tales. They all happened to me or someone I know and often I was the witness to the event taking place in my story. I do best writing about things I know, but my stories might as well be happening in a world that existed once-upon-a-time for today’s world is no longer the same.

Those entering college this year have always had such things as color TV, cell phones, video games, computers, designer jeans and Reeboks. They would probably find the world of my youth as foreign as Nardia or Hogswart Academy, so in a sense, the world of my stories is now truly a place far far away.

I can imagine the reaction I would get from my nieces, nephews and grandchildren, if they were told they had to go to school where girls never wore anything without a skirt and boys could no wear jeans. Tee-shirts were considered underwear and books were strapped together with an old belt. School work was only done in pencil until high school, and then everyone had to have a fountain pen and a bottle of black India ink.

It was a place where the roads were still dirt or gravel, families had one car and some had no TV. The television was a small screen in black and white with no remote. Telephones only came in black, had a rotary dial and were attached to a wall, plus every family was on a party line with several other families, all of whom could eavesdrop on every conversation.

The lucky folks got their water from a well and had a flush toilet. Everyone else got water from a cistern and they followed a well worn path to an outhouse that made today’s porta-potties seem like mansions. There were no sewers or trash collection and a few homes were still so far off the main road they lacked electricity.

Could today’s young people go back and visit much less live in a time and place where the only violence on TV was a Roy Rogers shootout and only the bad guys got killed. A place where married couples on TV always slept in twin beds and the only sex they were exposed too happened between house pets and then all they saw was the basket full of fluffy kittens or furry puppies. This was a world where no man had walked on the moon, drank a Mountain Dew, or saw an SUV. Movies were watched through the car window sitting on giant parking lots we called “the drive-in theater”.

Basically, the answer is that I am an “old lady” and I just write about the things I remember or the people I have known. My point of view may be different from the events as you remember them, but this is, after all, a blog about the recollection and other dumb stuff that runs through my head and seeps out through my fingers. If you were there and have a different memory or can add to my tales then please, leave your comments here or send me an e-mail. I would love to hear from you.

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