Photo by Warren Brant:
My first memory of my mother is when I was three years old. I remember climbing up on her lap as she was pounding away at her black Olympus typewriter on a tight deadline. She was making half-a-cent a word writing scripts to go along with educational filmstrips for the Lutheran Church. She was attempting to type up the pages that she had written in longhand the night before, while my brother, sister, and I were sleeping.
That morning, I had my mother all to myself. My brother Jerry was at school in first grade and my sister Linda was at preschool. That first memory of sitting on the lap of my mother felt like my ears popping after descending from a high altitude. All of a sudden my world felt vivid and bright.
I remember she stopped typing and cuddled me for a moment, then faced me forward on her lap. I was perched in the perfect position to reach the typewriter keys. She quickly moved her precious typewriter beyond the reach of my curious fingers, before I could turn her cleanly typed manuscript into an alphabet salad of random letters.
To solve my frustration at not being able to reach this fascinating mechanical devise, my mother took out a scrap of paper, and marked a series of dots that spelled out my name L-L-O-Y-D. She handed me a yellow pencil with a worn rubber tip, then put me on the floor next to where she had placed the scrap of paper filled with dots. She patiently taught me how to connect the dots that spelled out my own name. That morning I felt like a writer too, as I painstakingly connected the dots to spell L-L-O-Y-D,while my mother silently returned to her desk, and attempted to type a few more words at a half-a-cent each.