Friday, November 16, 2012

Color Induced Memories - Without the Use of Drugs

I am halfway through the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). During this month I have to post every single day. So far, I have done this. However, some days I sit down to write and think, "What am I going to write about?"

Then, I come up with ideas like today's topic.  Here is a list of some of my best memories inspired by the colors in the Crayola 8 pack.

Since the NaBloPoMo people don't provide topics to write on, we end up with crazy stuff like this.

The colors are as follows: red, yellow, green, blue, brown, black, orange and purple.


Red has been my favorite color for as long as I can remember. I like bright colors and red stands out better than the others.

When I was in junior high, I got my first new bike. It wasn't my first bike, but it was the first one that we bought at a store instead of out of someone's garage. It was a red BMX HUFFY dirt bike. I lived on that bike for the next several years. It was on that bike that I had the worst accident of my life that still gives me back problems today. That bike was under me for some of my most daring and stupid stunts. I loved that bike and rode it all over the countryside.


One of my first cars was an AMC Hornet station wagon. It was bright yellow with wood paneling on the doors. It had originally been given to Trevor, my youngest brother, but he said he wouldn't drive it. He went without a car when he turned 16 until he got the saved to buy his own. He refused to be seen in it. I, however, had no such shame and happily took it.

This is the car I was driving when I ran down my brother for one of our stunts. That incident shattered the windshield which I didn't get fixed for months. It also had a headlight that would fall out and swing by the wires while it pointed straight down. The floor had rusted to the point that your feet got wet when I drove over puddles. The hood was wired down because the latch wouldn't catch and there was a loud gun shot-sounding backfire when I let off the gas. The heat didn't work and the windows wouldn't go down, but it was a fun car to drive. I actually miss it.


In junior high, we had a dog named Butch. Butch was one of those dogs that was fun to have around, but was pretty useless. You know how smart some dogs can be? Butch was not one of those dogs. My parents were always commenting on how stupid he was, but one summer we discovered he had a special talent.

While weeding in the garden, Mom was also pulling the tomato worms off the tomato plants. Tomato worms are large, thick, green, disgusting-looking creatures. She had pulled a few off and set them beside her to be exterminated later when Butch came bounding up. Mom tried to make him leave since he was a hindrance to getting any work done, but he wouldn't listen. She eventually picked up one of the large worms and threw it, hoping he would chase it like he was going after a stick.

He did chase after it, but when he got to it, he ate it. As disgusting as this was, it was an easy way to get rid of the worms. Mom threw him the rest of them and he ate them all. He came back to get more. He sat there patiently until she found another one and he promptly ate it as soon as she pulled it off. However, now that he saw where she was getting them from, he knew where to look.

Butch starting looking over the plants himself and pulled off the worms he found. He never damaged the plants, but cleared the garden of tomato worms. It became his job from then on.


When I was about 10 years old, my parents asked if I would like my own room. Since we didn't have any extra rooms, I wasn't sure where they meant, but I loved the idea. I had shared a room with my two younger brothers my entire life.

They moved me into the basement. It wasn't very glamorous down there, but I didn't care. It was all mine. A metal bed frame was pulled from storage somewhere and I was given a can of blue spray paint to fix it up. I loved it.


When I was an undergrad, I took Tae Kwon Do lessons. I really enjoyed it and I got into very good physical shape. Some of the training was grueling, but I never missed a day. My favorite days were when we sparred against each other. On those days, it wasn't just repetitious maneuvers. We got to actually apply what we learned.

The instructor would pair us up against people who were of the same belt class to keep it fair. The first time we did this I had only been doing it for a few months and had not tested for any belt yet. This meant I was at the lowest rank of white belt. I was put up against another white belt. However, it wasn't really a fair fight. He already had a brown belt in judo.

I stepped onto the mat and within seconds took a nasty kick to the front of my thigh. I shook it off and went on to win the set. I wasn't able to walk for almost two weeks afterward, but I was proud that I had taken down a brown belt. I never let him forget it.


Before I went off to college, I had lived in one town all my life. Waltonville, Illinois was a very small town in southern Illinois. When I got married and had kids, that same small town was all the exposure they had of the world. Kirsten was just turning two when I started classes at LCU. For the first time, my kids were exposed to people that did not look just like us.

In the apartment across the hall from us lived a Jamaican man named Moses. Kirsten was always fascinated with his hands. Every time he came over she would take his hand and turn it over several times. She never commented on it, but she always looked at them.

One day after playing hard outside, she was covered from head to toe with dirt. We put her in the tub and with her first swipe of the wash cloth on her arm, there was a profound difference between the color of her skin and the sections that had not been washed yet. She squealed, "Look. It comes off! Go get Moses and show him."

This discovery convinced her that Moses just needed to wash and he would no longer be black. We had to bring him in to show her otherwise.


When I was very young, my maternal grandmother lived in a mobile home right behind our house. Since she lived so close, cookies where easy to get a hold of. Plus, it was a great air conditioned place to run to when Mom made us go outside and play. In fact, we got grounded once for going to Grandma's house when we were supposed to be outside.

She had a cute little dog we all liked to play with. She told great stories and she had this hideous orange light fixture on a chain that hung over her dining room table. I will cut her some slack because it was the 70's, but the image of that thing is still burned in my mind.


When I was about 12 years old, we moved into the house where my father grew up. He bought the house from his mother (my grandmother), who then moved into a mobile home behind the house. At different points in my childhood, I've had both grandmothers in my backyard.

Grandma loved to garden and also had several grapevines throughout the property. The grapes were a dark purple. Almost black. She used the grapes to make her own jelly and grape juice. I don't know what she did differently, but I couldn't get enough of that grape juice. Welch's could have learned some things from her.


  1. Really cool idea, Brett.

    My first bike was pink :(

    1. Thank you. I was trying to think of what to write and thought I could make some kind of list. I looked up from my desk and there was a kid's colored picture. That gave me the idea.

      I may do this more in the future. Think of a theme and run with it.

  2. I associate colors to different months of the year. Visually November is brown, December is Navy, April is red, June is pale green...

    I don't have any other funny color stories or issues.

  3. The idea for this post is genius.

    I think I like the 'green' story the most. Everything does have a talent, no matter how intelligent it may or may not be.

    I also like the fact that your favorite color is red and your girlfriend is "Red". That is just awesome.

    1. I enjoy the red connection also.

      My mother has informed me that Butch ate the worms all on his own. She never showed them to him.

  4. I agree with Rachel! Great idea! My favorite thing about NaBloPoMo is that, because I'm constantly on the hunt for content, I pay so much more attention to what's going on around me. Love the idea behind this post, and all of the sentiments, from the green worms to the black man. nicely done!

    1. Thank you. Similar things may pop up over the course of the month. That's a lot of writing.

  5. There's some sort of weird Minor magic where you write in a way that makes people feel almost nostalgic for a life they didn't lead, it's pretty cool. On top of the fact that you came up with your own writing prompt that was a truly clever idea, so color me impressed...

    1. "Color" you impressed. That's great.

      Thank you. I had a pretty great childhood and that's exactly how I remember it.


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