All that

A red fox traipses across Walker Park early in the morning as we set up for the Rockford Fringe Festival.

Today’s #Bloganuary prompt is, “What is your earliest memory?”

I am participating in this challenge on my personal blog as well as on the Rockford Fringe blog. The personal blends with the professional and vice versa, of course…

I wrote in the early morning sometime before I went to work and as my kids were getting ready for school. In other words, I wrote in a hurry and without much focus.

I wrote a list of whatever early childhood memories I could remember. Normally, that’s how I start writing: I brainstorm and then pick one thing to write about. But I didn’t have time to finesse, so I basically wrote the list, added a couple sentences and hit “publish.”

Writing and then reviewing the list was eye-opening for me, to say the least. At the risk of sounding dense, I had no idea how much my early childhood shaped my entire life thus far. (I’m 53.)

My memories of the early 1970s involved being barefoot outside, picking up beetles, original songs and performances, utilizing the latest recording technology, pronouns, bike riding, news, politics, art and theatre.

I had all that in my early childhood just as I have all that as an adult. My values haven’t change that much over the years. I’m incredibly moved by the realization of how incredibly full my life has always been. And grateful.

But I, as the Rockford Fringe, still haven’t answered the question, “What’s your earliest childhood memory?” Let me try.

The Rockford Fringe’s earliest memory is when Connie’s mom talked about all the things you could do in Chicago and how most of them were free. (Before moving to Rockford, Connie’s family lived in Chicago.) When Connie was listening to her mother, she made a mental note to start creating public arts events that were free. This “lightbulb moment” coupled with Connie’s lifelong pursuit of theatre, news, originality, music and the outdoors have created the fully human outdoor experience that is the Rockford Fringe.

Thanks for reading. See you at the Rockford Fringe. -Connie

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