Talk about the power of other voices! This afternoon, John & were reminiscing with friends about Carolyn Soneson, who recently slipped from us at 97. One of the guys talked about how great it was to grow up on Alden Road, where the Sonesons lived & ran their family market, its front steps a gathering place for neighborhood kids.
Alden Road was a great place for kids – volleyball on Echols’ property, Whiffleball at Behlert’s, hide & seek and freeze tag on The Top Lawn.
The Top Lawn was a stretch of common yard edging three properties – Stanley & Gina Rose’s house, Dave & Tryn Grubb’s large house (15 kids!), and Pete & Kay Lockhart’s place – aka MY house, from age four to fifteen.
Stanley & Tryn were brother & sister, the Grubb’s house their childhood home. Because I didn’t have any family closer than Baltimore, I became a “fictitious Rose” – their grandparents became my Poppop & Grandma Rose, they were my pseudo aunts & uncles.
Len – one of the “little kids,” about five years my junior – brought up the fun we had on The Top Lawn. I was stunned when he remembered, “Deev organizing us into all sorts of games & sports – it’s what first got me interested in playing sports. ”
“Here we go again,” I thought, with a rueful smile. “Someone else mixing up me with my older sister, Mim,” something that I’d experienced forever. Imagine my shock when Len was clear that he was remembering ME.
“Oh, Mim played with us occasionally, but you’re the one I remember – you’d gather us together, help divide us into teams, made sure we understood the rules & gave us all a good time.” He then talked about how people can do similar things but one stands out as is a true leader.
I am still stunned at his words, his vivid memory & absolute certainty that it was me he recalled, not Mim.
No one in my family EVER depicted me as a leader. That was Mim’s bailiwick – her’s & Peter’s. She was Chief, I her faithful Indian. Mim was the Pied Piper of the neighborhood, the coach of pick-up games & general creator of FUN – or so I thought. There I was, this afternoon, 66 years old, hearing from Len that – for him & others – it was me.
Oh, the power of other voices, this afternoon speaking from other times. What will I do with this zowie new image of my old self? Be gobswoggled with amazement that my calling to engage energize empower – to be a as a playfulness coach – across all ages has resounded for over half a century!