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{October 17, 2008}   Personal Childhood Icons

Originally published on June 23, 2006

do you ever hear something and are just as shocked by your reaction to it as you are by the thing itself?

when i was growing up there was a man who owned a convenience store at the end of my road and every time i went in there he would give me candy.  this probably started when i was a blonde-ringleted five year old and continued until i graduated high school and moved away. as childhood things will, this man and this place have always been frozen in time in my memory — one of those simple pleasant places in your mind that you never question and always believe will exist.

and then today i hear that this man, this frozen-in-time, dispenser of joy-in-the-form-of-sweets died last night.  i am shocked at its suddenness  and sad for his family. and i am surprised at how sad i am personally — sad that this once solid, stationary part of the fabric of my memory has ceased to exist. sad that this person, who i knew only superficially, but for so long, is no longer around.

i wonder if he knew he was a childhood icon to the little girl down the street who is not so grown up as one might think?

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