As some of you know from A Surprise View of My Past, I was recently gifted with digital copies of slides my father had taken during my childhood. Since I left home when I was 17 years old, I had never seen most of those photos before. The only childhood pictures I have are all in black and white, whereas the slides my brother sent me were all in color. Since I have very few memories of my childhood, I viewed them with great interest.
When I read today’s The Daily Post Writing Challenge: Snapshot Stories the three pictures of me leaving home for college came to mind.
I had been unhappy at home for as long as I could remember. For three years, I marked off the days on a calendar; each day a day closer to the time I would leave to go to college.
During August of 1965, I traveled throughout the western part of the United States with my church youth group studying Beliefs Men Live By. In Seattle, we were to learn about the Greek Orthodox church. Prior to that trip, I had seen a catalog for Seattle Pacific College and wanted to check it out while I was there. A staff member accompanied me when that time came. The college was beautiful and its nursing program was highly regarded. Yes, this was where I would get my higher education.
So a year later, August or September of 1966, I moved to Seattle. I don’t remember the scenes in the pictures, but I do remember the red suitcases. I had them at least for another 15 years! I also remember my first day in Seattle. I arrived late at night so stayed in a downtown hotel. As I wandered the streets the next morning, I was amazed at how tall the buildings were. I had grown up in the army and when my father retired, we moved to Florida. I had never been in a city that had buildings like these.
I realize now that buildings I considered to be gigantic actually weren’t. At that time the tallest building in Seattle was the Smith Tower. There was a big political fight when a company wanted to build a structure higher than the Smith Tower. (The Smith Tower was built in 1914 and at 489 feet was the tallest office building west of the Mississippi River until 1931.)
The other thing I remember about my first day in Seattle was purchasing a small, lightweight, typewriter. While electric typewriters apparently existed in 1966, I didn’t know about them; manual typewriters were the norm. My new typewriter was also in a red case. I don’t recall ever having a preference for red, but I obviously did at that time!