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"Childhood memory triggers"
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Molaholic 8451 desperate attention whore postings
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05-23-13, 11:00 AM (EST)
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"Childhood memory triggers"
We've all had something trigger a long-lost childhood memory. It could be a smell, a visual, or even a song. For me, one the strongest is the song "Leaving on a Jet Plane" by Peter, Paul, and Mary. I get an immediate association with going to the drive-in with my parents and sister (I think that song was playing on the speaker before the movie started). The song was released in 1967, so I would have been 9 or 10 at the time.
There was a drive-in not far from our house so it was something we did fairly often (probably Friday or Saturday nights since the double feature wouldn't finish until nearly midnight). We'd have a bunch of hotdogs (my mom kept them warm by wrapping them in aluminum foil, then putting them in a large improvised double boiler) and canned soda -- back when you needed a churchkey can opener.
My sister and I would be in our jammies, but still had time to hit the playground in front of the big screen (FYI -- playground sand in your jammies is not a good thing). I'm sure "Leaving" was later in our drive-in experience, since I remember seeing several movies that predate it by two or three years.

Another for another time -- the association with grilled cheese sammies and the original "Let's Make a Deal!"

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Childhood memory triggers kingfish 05-23-13 1
 RE: Childhood memory triggers Max Headroom 05-23-13 2
 RE: Childhood memory triggers kidflash212 05-23-13 3
   RE: Childhood memory triggers Brownroach 05-24-13 4
       RE: Childhood memory triggers kingfish 05-24-13 5
           RE: Childhood memory triggers foonermints 05-29-13 12
       RE: Childhood memory triggers cahaya 05-27-13 7
           RE: Childhood memory triggers Sunny_Bunny 05-27-13 8
       RE: Childhood memory triggers kidflash212 06-05-13 14
 Spock's Beard IceCat 05-27-13 6
   RE: Spock's Beard Molaholic 05-28-13 10
 funny you should ask Karchita 05-27-13 9
 RE: Childhood memory triggers universityofkentuckyrocks 05-28-13 11
 RE: Childhood memory triggers Molaholic 05-29-13 13
 RE: Childhood memory triggers SOAR64 06-05-13 15
 RE: Childhood memory triggers personofinterest 06-05-13 16
   RE: Childhood memory triggers Molaholic 06-06-13 18
 RE: Childhood memory triggers tribephyl 06-05-13 17

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kingfish 16088 desperate attention whore postings
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05-23-13, 12:17 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
I had a memory trigger when I heard the Ray Manzarek's keyboard intro to the "Light My Fire" during the PBS tribute after he died the other day.

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Max Headroom 10028 desperate attention whore postings
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05-23-13, 12:48 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
As a child I was inside a neighbor's house which took a direct tornado hit. The tragedy in Oklahoma brought back a few memories for me.
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kidflash212 3854 desperate attention whore postings
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05-23-13, 12:51 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
There is a certain scent that takes me back to summers as a kid and visiting Rye Playland. It's the smell of sea air and the boardwalk
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Brownroach 14241 desperate attention whore postings
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05-24-13, 02:36 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
LAST EDITED ON 05-24-13 AT 03:13 AM (EST)

Scents are considered the most powerful sense triggers for memory. I can't recall a specific incident but I know I've come into fleeting contact with scents that took me back to growing up -- maybe a powder or perfume that my grandma or mom used to wear? Something that was growing in the backyard? It's SO recognizable when it occurs and you can place it almost immediately. Some food scents (tomato sauces for pasta!) certainly stay with me, but those likely never really left to begin with.

Btw, Rye Playland was the destination of the annual outing for the altar boys when I was in St. Kevin's grade school in Queens! Loved the Wild Mouse!

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kingfish 16088 desperate attention whore postings
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05-24-13, 09:13 AM (EST)
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5. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
It's discontinued now (I believe) and so it's rare that I come across it, but whenever I catch a whiff of the perfume "Woodhue" I get a wave of deep nostalgia snd real sadness. It's what my mom used to use, and what I'd buy for her on her birthday.
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foonermints 12302 desperate attention whore postings
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05-29-13, 00:04 AM (EST)
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12. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
"Chanel #5" for me. Mom loved it.

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cahaya 18904 desperate attention whore postings
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05-27-13, 12:47 PM (EST)
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7. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
Oh, yes, the scents, perhaps the most powerful memory trigger of all of the five (or six) senses.

Any time I smell the scent of fir trees, especially during a snowfall, it takes me back to the second and third and subsequent years of my life, with the Christmas trees and toys and holiday joys.

Interesting you mention Catholic school, because I've never forgotten the otherworldly scent of the incense in the scepters within the church, especially during Lent. I still dream of being in a church, light filtering in from the colored panels, the scent of the church making me feel welcome in mystical spirituality.

And the scent of the salty sea breeze brings back so many memories throughout my later life when I lived abroad in Southeast Asia. I've been to ocean beaches often in my life, and the smell of the air brings back so many memories of past visits with so many different people, sometimes alone as I reflected on life while the sun set on the western waters.

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Sunny_Bunny 5581 desperate attention whore postings
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05-27-13, 03:59 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
LAST EDITED ON 05-27-13 AT 04:05 PM (EST)

Scents are the big trigger for me too -

Corn dogs at a fair grounds always take me back to when I was a girl and I danced every summer at the fair grounds. The corn dog stand was right next to the stage I danced on.

Fresh mowed grass always takes me back to school - the big mowers were out every Friday at every school I attended until college.

ETA: It's also interesting how the absence of a scent works for me too. I remember being in Maryland during a rainstorm - In the desert where I lived, there is a distinct oder when it rains. I noticed it wasn't there right away, and said to Ra, "It doesn't smell right for a rainstorm!" He naturally thought I was nuts till he moved to California. lol

Southern California beaches also have a distinct smell I can't describe, but my first time at a beach in New York I told Ra that it was weird to be at a beach where it didn't have the same smell. lol

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kidflash212 3854 desperate attention whore postings
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06-05-13, 11:01 AM (EST)
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14. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
Btw, Rye Playland was the destination of the annual outing for the altar boys when I was in St. Kevin's grade school in Queens! Loved the Wild Mouse!

Until I was tall enough for the Dragon Coaster, the Monster Mouse (I believe they changed names from wild to monster) was my favorite.


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IceCat 17313 desperate attention whore postings
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05-27-13, 05:21 AM (EST)
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6. "Spock's Beard"
I have a distinct memory of seeing the image of the Star Trek character Spock from the original series episode 'Mirror, Mirror'. When I see that image, I am immediately back in the Montreal apartment that we were living in at the time and I am standing next to the coffee table and leaning on it.

I think the reason that the memory is so vivid is that I also associate it with accidently putting my little hand into an ash tray and getting burned by a cigarette.

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Molaholic 8451 desperate attention whore postings
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05-28-13, 10:01 AM (EST)
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10. "RE: Spock's Beard"
Evil Spock or Wilt Chamberlain?
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Karchita 4469 desperate attention whore postings
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05-27-13, 04:39 PM (EST)
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9. "funny you should ask"
I used to grow these flowers when I lived in Anchorage and recently planted some here. Just yesterday I smelled them for the first time and was startled by how powerfully and swiftly the smell sent me back to Anchorage. I don't even think of being nostalgic about living there, and it didn't remind me of anything specific, but it was very real and strong sensation of memory.


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universityofkentuckyrocks 2572 desperate attention whore postings
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05-28-13, 09:43 PM (EST)
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11. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
With a photographic memory, I have a ton of memories based on songs, drinks, or food. However, the one below is the one that strikes out the most.

Whenever I hear R.E.M's It's the End of the World, I think of my English class junior year (2005-06). Our teacher starts out the school year playing that song as the introduction, we didn't hear it again until the last five minutes of class on the last day of school.


ukrocks got a blog!

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Molaholic 8451 desperate attention whore postings
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05-29-13, 10:28 AM (EST)
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13. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
A bizarre moment last night -- Monday night I had a dream that included a time when I worked as a scorekeeper for a bowling league (back in the day when it had to be done by hand). It was a fairly good gig for a 13-year-old in the early 70s -- I got 75 cents per player, so with 2 four person teams I made an easy $6 in a couple of hours. I usually did two nights a week. (Of course a down-side was the fact that the ashtray was part of the score table and this was a heavy smoking crowd...)

Anywho, yesterday I'm cruising the FB page for my hometown and someone had posted "remember the Trianon Bowling Lanes? And keeping score for the leagues?"

Weird.

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SOAR64 136 desperate attention whore postings
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06-05-13, 11:48 AM (EST)
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15. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
Every time I smell alcohol in a Doctor's Office, it reminds me of the Polio shots I received as a child. The needles they used back then were really big. We all hated to take them. I remember that there were a series of 3 shots.
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personofinterest 57 desperate attention whore postings
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06-05-13, 01:44 PM (EST)
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16. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
Not really childhood, but I spent two years in Ghana, West Africa in the early 80s. When the clouds here are low and dark, I immediately remember rainy season in Ghana.

The smell of rain reminds me of playing tag in the rain as a youngster.

And Molaholic, please do share the grilled cheese and Let's Make a Deal story. Sounds interesting!

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Molaholic 8451 desperate attention whore postings
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06-06-13, 00:00 AM (EST)
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18. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
And Molaholic, please do share the grilled cheese and Let's Make a Deal story. Sounds interesting!

Not really much but here 'tis:

I was probably about 7-or-8ish when my mother taught me how to make grilled cheese (pretty much on my own, but I usually burned it). I was also allowed to fix some Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup. It was winter break so I was home during the day. Let's Make a Deal came on at noon, so it was on for lunch. (And boy, did that Carroll Merrill have an effect on me that I could not quite describe...)

Thnx tribey!

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tribephyl 9688 desperate attention whore postings
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06-05-13, 06:37 PM (EST)
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17. "RE: Childhood memory triggers"
LAST EDITED ON 06-05-13 AT 06:39 PM (EST)

I have quite a few.

Audible triggers...
Midnight by Yaz:
Walking home, in the rain, after breaking up with a first love for the last time. The lyrics, the moment, perfectly fused.

Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood:
It begins with being the first band I ever waited in a line to buy tickets for. It builds in intensity as I compile a group of like-minded folks at my school, arrange for accommodations and rides for everyone and ends with me being too drunk to deal with the crushing, swaying crowd in the dance pit in front of the stage, to climbing over the retaining wall, crawling under the stage and out the back door to vomit, only to hear the stage doors close behind me and I spend the entire FGTH concert OUTSIDE of the venue. Drunk and Self-Pitying.

Bomboleo by The Gypsy Kings:
Running around naked on a private and secluded cove and beach in central California. My best friend included.

The sound of scratching your fingernail against the ridges of one of those 3D pictures. Where you tilt it and the image changes:
It absolute gives the heebiejeebies to tribemate but is strangely calming to me. Reminds me of being with my dad. I don't know why.

A "warbling" Robin:
Immediately transports me to "The Property". Family acreage in the Cascade Mountains on the North fork of the Stillaguamish River. At once thought to be an ever elusive species of "mountain bird" only noticed by myself and a few friends it wasn't until recently I discovered it was just an alternate sound made by the "common" Robin.
However, every time any one of us four hear that bird warbling, we ALL are immediately transported to the Property.

This one is weird but... when ever I hear the word "Olive":
I immediately go into a compulsive mode where I repeat the word "olive" but stress the O more and thrust two fists downward a couple of times. One small moment from a night I remember nothing else about except for that strange little mnemonic a friend and myself found quite funny at the time. I dunno?

Aromatic triggers...
Apple/Cinnamon Pie, ingredients included:
My mom's kitchen, circa 1985, her biggest baking phase. Flour dust everywhere, piles of cookies, pies, cakes and desserts. Stirring, batter tasting, hot cookie juggling.

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese:
Sunday afternoons as a child watching "Monster Movies" (Godzilla, Swamp Thing, Frankenstein, anything Harryhausen) atop a large pile of couch cushions and a bowl of golden cheesy-noodle warmth in my lap.

Rain on hot cement:
western Washington State in late summer.

Patchouli:
Haight Street in San Francisco

Grey Flannel Cologne by Geoffrey Beene:
My First Crush. A spiky-haired baritone from Vancouver, WA.

Visual triggers...
A glass enclosed shower:
Watching Big Brother.
Honest.
I feel like there should be cameras all around it. Hidden behind mirrors and such.

The number 230:
Seems to haunt me and follow me around ever since working for a restaurant named 230. Takes me right back to those days spent there. Luckily it only lasts for a minute.

Chunks of tar:
Strangely enough every time I see tar now, or smell it, I immediately remember the conversations I've had with my mother about a memory or HERS. She, growing up in the "wilds" of 50s and 60's Alaska, chose a path of rebellion probably regional in nature. But it seems the local "heathens" would take to chewing on chunks of tar for fun. Grosses me out to think about. But as a child I did some pretty weird things too.



I should probably spend more time in the here and now.

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