My first memory might be the baas at Catons. Catons was the farm my parents lived on the first five years of their marriage. I was oldest, born a little after a year into their marriage. The baas were the sheep that were on the other side of the fence from our houseyard. I assume they were moms and lambs and buck. My father had more important farming things to do so the sheep were my mothers. Later there was a story that she owned them with my father’s brother and that when it came time to sell them, hers were the ones that died. It was a wry story. Typical of my family. Money and loss.
That was the time period when I saw my first wristwatch. One of my father’s brothers – the sheep entrepreneur perhaps – had the most fascinating ‘clock on his arm’. I always wanted to listen to watches tick. My father had a pocket watch that he carried in the special watch pocket in the bib of his overalls. A shoe lace connected the bale on the top of the watch to an eyelet in the top of the bib of his overalls.
My father’s watch relates to his cigarette making. After every meal he rolled a cigarette with Prince Albert tobacco and a piece of paper from an orange container/envelope. I watched in fascination, waiting till it was time for me to blow out the match.
Some days I would beg to make myself a cigarette. Once I was given a cigarette paper and told to use Pep cereal for tobacco. I could not get the paper to stick, no matter how much I licked it. My dad said I should try again some day when we had pancakes so my spit would be stickier from the syrup.