I read once that a person's earliest memories are usually from about three years of age. I'm sure there are people who remember events from earlier in their life, but for me, events during my third year are the earliest I remember.
I was three-and-a-half when my brother Rob was born in October, 1950. I remember Dad taking me to a diner (yes, a real old-fashioned sidecar diner with barstools and greasy burgers) for dinner a couple of times because Mom was in the hospital. I remember standing outside the hospital, because children under 12 weren't allowed in except as patients, waving to her in a second floor window.
Grandpa and Grandma took us in Grandpa's 1947 Cadillac to pick up Mom and Rob. When we got home I wanted to hold him and Mom said no but Grandma overruled her and it was the first time in my life I saw my brother, who I also just saw a couple of weeks ago, over 58 years later, and the first time I ever held a baby.
There was an earlier incident that has stuck in my memory. A friend and I were in the next block over from the suburban Salt Lake City street where we lived. We were cutting through someone's property to get home, climbing through the slats of a white fence. A young girl, dressed from head-to-toe as a cowgirl from a Western movie, was sitting on the fence and asked us how old we were. I held up three fingers.
I remember thinking of her as some sort of vision and doggone it if seeing cowgirls haven't always given me sort of a buzz ever since.
The cowgirl in this picture is Yvonne DeCarlo, lifted from Starlet Showcase. Isn't she pretty in that outfit? Makes me wanna holler "Yeeeee-haw!" Yvonne later went on to another sort of outfit--the one that immortalized her to us Baby Boomers--as Lily Munster. But all thoughts of Lily were erased when I saw her perched on this white fence. The memory of that longago day in 1950 and "my" cowgirl, my earliest memory, came rushing back to me.
Here's a song that also helps explain it: