When Jimmy Was Five


Spanish Flamingo Dancer circa 1950 – Photo credit unknown

When Jimmy was five, he got in the car with Mom and Dad and they went for a ride. Jimmy was worried when they drove through the little town with all the broken buildings. Little boys and girls like him had no pants on and were going wee-wee in the ditch. Why didn’t their Moms and Dads give them clothes?

When Jimmy was five, Mom and Dad took him to Sevilla. They walked and walked and walked through museums and up and down streets until his feet were really sore.

When Jimmy was five, Dad dressed him up in a costume with a short blue cape with glitter on it and a black bolero hat. They went to something called a Fiesta which was a big, big party all over the city. Dad wanted to take Jimmy’s picture with two older Spanish girls, but he was too shy.

When Jimmy was five, Dad took him outside one night and showed him the stars in the sky. Then he pointed to something bright in the sky and said it was Sputnik. Sputnik was something people had put in the sky by launching it on a rocket. Dad said someday, rockets would take people into space, too.

When Jimmy was five, Mom did the laundry by scrubbing it in a big tub and then putting it through wringers, which she worked with a crank to get most of the water out. Then she hung the clothes out to dry on a rope strung between two poles using big wooden pins. When the wind and sun dried the clothes, they felt all rough and stiff.

When Jimmy was five, Mom and Dad took him to the beach. Near the beach were something called Roman ruins. The Romans lived a long time ago and built all kinds of stuff, but that was so long ago that it all fell apart. At the beach, Dad had a big inner tube from a wheel of an airplane. He pulled it into the ocean, sat in it, and put Jimmy in his lap. Then Dad used his arms to row them out into the water. It was fun, but Jimmy wondered if there were any sharks around.

When Jimmy was five, Dad barbecued outside, but the barbecue sauce burned on the chicken making it black. Dad trimmed rose bushes and took pictures of Jimmy with a movie camera he won in a contest.

At Christmas time, instead of Santa Claus, one of the Three Kings that visited baby Jesus rode around the neighborhood in a fancy coach pulled by a horse. The King wore robes and a crown and Jimmy got his picture taken with him. Mom and Dad took Jimmy to the base’s PX where he got his picture taken with Santa Claus, too.

When Jimmy was five, he had a cowboy hat and a cap gun. He liked to take the caps and rub them on the sidewalk until they popped. The smoke smelled good but sometimes he burned his fingers a little.

When Jimmy was going to turn six, Mom and Dad took him on an airplane. They were going to fly back home to America. He’d get to see his Grandpa and all his Aunts and Uncles again. It was fun being five, but six was going to be fun, too.

I wrote this for Tale Weaver – #173 – May 31st – Days Of Old hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Today, we’re supposed to weave a tale around something from days of old. Ideally, we go back before personal computers, telephones, televisions, and such.

I’m not quite that old. We had a television set before I was five, but then, my Dad, who was in the Air Force, was stationed in Spain to a base near Seville and we didn’t have a television. We lived there for three years, and right around age five, all those things I remember happened.

That was all nearly sixty years ago, so I can’t say how accurately I remember things, but I do recall a very impoverished village where the kids urinated in an open ditch. All that other stuff happened as well. As I was writing, it occurred to me that most of my memories of my parents from that time were of my Dad. I suppose that’s the age where little boys are very impressed with their Dads.

Sometime around my sixth birthday, we got on a plane and flew back to America.

3 thoughts on “When Jimmy Was Five

  1. I also remember my family’s first television when I was five years old, though Sputnik had been launched already at least 6 months before that. But maybe folks were not all aware of it initially, and continued to point it out during the next few years as the US space program tried desperately to catch up after this particular Russian success; because I can remember being told about it at a time that had to have been later than that initial launch in Oct 1957. Curiously, I can’t seem to place any conscious memories earlier than that, say, when I was only four; but “days of (five years) old”, sixty years ago, I can. But I suspect that 1958 was a booming year for television-set sales, given multiple reminiscences I’ve encountered from a number of Americans of similar age. I can’t seem to find online any particular justification or validation for that, such as a decline in television set pricing, and such sets increased in number significantly within the preceding five years while commercial television broadcasts of well-recognized programming extend back more than ten years prior. Even the original “I Love Lucy” series ended its five-year run by 1958. Nonetheless, to pitch a story altogether before the earliest invention of television technologies one must go back almost to the American Civil War, and similarly for telephone technology.

    What, then, may be considered truly to constitute “days of old”? Must they precede the Industrial Revolution, or the Enlightenment, or the Renaissance? Perhaps they should be medieval, as in the poem:
    “In days of old, when knights were bold, and Barons held their sway,
    A warrior bold, with spurs of gold, sang merrily his lay; sang merrily his lay.
    My love is young and fair, my love hath golden hair;
    And eyes so blue, and heart so true, that none with her compare.
    So what care I, tho’ death be nigh, I’ll live for love or die.
    ( repeat twice) I’ve fought for love, for love I die. For love I die, I die.”
    Written by: Steven Adams (real name Michael Maybrick), born in Liverpool 1844. Called: “A Warrior Bold”.

    This poem incidentally raises a criterion other than technology to characterize the period, which is the political and social structure of feudalism and fiefdom that could be accompanied by despotic monarchy (as distinct from modern parliamentarian limited monarchy). But there are, no doubt, other historical and cultural markers by which one might delineate the notion of “days of old”. While the above photo depicts a Spanish Flamenco dancer circa 1950, the art of this dance extends back almost two-and-a-half centuries (or a bit short of two centuries prior to the photo image). And then there are measures to take us back a thousand years, two thousand, or four. But perhaps that would ignore a possible distinction between merely “old” and “ancient”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was an excellent response James, you had a very interesting 5th year of life. When I was 5 I started school, my cousins lived up the hill from me and I walked with them for the first term. I don’t remember a lot I know that.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.