Caroling, Life Timeline 0

Welcome to Caroling's Timeline 0, my first 20 years 1934-1954. Art is It details my art life. Timeline is life following 1954.
  1. Two parents from farms in northern Minnesota leaving their protestant faiths met at the Unitarian Church in Minneapolis and here I come.
  2. Born on the December solstice, winter, didn't know summer for months.
  3. Her family had dubbed mother the intellectual one. She was a teacher, retrained as dental hygienist, turned housewife. She loved to stay up at night with her sewing, crafts, reading, and do-it-yourselfing, but I woke her up at the crack of dawn.
  4. My father was a middle son of 11 children, chosen to go to school. To pay for his room and board with the uncle in town near the school, he had to get up at 4 to do the chores, feed the livestock, and milk the cows. His uncle read an early version of a Prevention-like magazine, turning dad onto health food. Dad became rural postman delivering mail by pony. As the depression set in, he moved to a supervisor's job at the Minneapolis post office.
  5. They brought me up as a plant, watering me and giving me lots of sunshine. Flowers all around. Sand box. Swing. Badminton. Croquet. Trees. No crime. Played outside a lot.
  6. At four, my sister appeared to share my family life.
  7. At five, I went off to kindergarten where I aspired to be the best at doing what teacher wanted. Loved following directions. Loved hearing, "Look at Carol."
  8. First grade, best speller.
  9. Second grade, best reader.
  10. Third grade, trapped on the school stairs by the popular, rich, Catholic girl asking if I believed in God. I was unable to answer (still am, rephrase the question, please).
  11. We had some diversity at school. A Jewish girl. Two half-Arabians. A Chinese-American. I learned something about prejudice in others. Didn't suspect my own until decades later when the embedded WW2 feelings about Germans surfaced. We had rationing and air raid practice. My parent's victory garden got bigger each year and didn't stop at the end of the war. We had wonderful home grown food. Picking raspberries and putting them in a pail.
  12. At puberty, boys and dancing cheek to cheek became exciting and for the first time I misbehaved in class by giggling and was punished, sent out of the room back to kindergarten for the day.
  13. We had a Ford and drove to see the grandparents (Mother's family in Fergus Falls) or farther on summer vacations. Once to Montana and California and Washington State.
  14. I learned that the world is not always fair. I also learned how it feels to be unable to get help for what you know you deserve and what you know is right. Described better in "Art is It".
  15. I struggled to get benefits that my rich friends got. After lots of begging I got a bicycle. Sister loved it since she got one too. I didn't get ballet lessons, tan from Christmas trips to the south, horse riding, lots of storybook dolls, and many cashmere sweaters. But I did get piano lessons and an even shorter stint on the violin. I'll never forget the feeling as we played in concert and no sound came from the instrument. I went through the motions and only later learned about rosin that I should have put on the bow.
  16. Socially I did OK being a member of "the little four" that was just below "the big three".
  17. We lived near a chain of lakes. In the summer, every night when my dad got home from work, we went swimming. No air conditioning. Winter we slid down snowy slopes or skated on the frozen ice. Hot radiators kept warm by shoveling coal into the furnace in the basement. No TV. Party line telephone.
  18. For Eighth grade graduation, I gave the commencement speech with little notes in my palm.
  19. Ninth grade, junior high was a wake-up call transition. We had to take a bus and cross a park where I saw my first pervert. I got a scholarship to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for Saturday classes. I only went once because it seemed so easy to draw the model and there was no instruction.
  20. High school worked for me. I was the only one in my grade school class that was rushed by all the social clubs, I guess for my good grades and coping ways. Classes were interesting, although Physics was a challenge and I got a C in golf. After school clubs were tennis, Latin, art, yearbook, and newspaper. Usually I walked two miles around Lake of the Isles to and from West High with friends.
  21. My sister and I got a used canoe (although we had to patch and paint it) and we could navigate the lakes independently. A few of us went beyond the grade school girl scout troop to become mariner scouts. Jane had a sailboat where we could practice. The leaders taught us how to smoke cigarettes. I guess they thought it was an important and fun adult skill. My parents did not and I learned how to deceive and sneak.
  22. The ever-present problem of having a date on Saturday night persisted. For awhile I went steady, and learned to drive his parents car, until he went off to college. I had a drummer boy friend and we all went to Jazz at the Philharmonic. One boyfriend became a pilot and took me up in the air to fly over our neighborhood. Later his mother suggested that I major in home economics, which was the least of my interests.
  23. When my parents got a new Ford car, I was the only one who knew how to drive an automatic shift. On my first try getting it into the garage, my father yelled "Stop". I pressed the accelerator by mistake, damaging the car. After that, I didn't drive much again for about 30 years. Everyone else had cars, cities had good mass transit, and I told myself I was saving the environment.
  24. When one of us was 18, three friends went on a ski trip to Wisconsin where it was legal to buy liquor. I drank scotch and coke and felt nothing, so I determined drinking had no purpose.
  25. A friend and I went to work at age 16 at the library, shelving books. First contact with spirit books. My senior year I became a long-distance telephone operator. I was the ballet dancer in the school play. I gave the commencement speech as valedictorian, on the topic "Human Relations in the World". The salutatorian talked about human relations in the USA. Honors students talked about them locally.
  26. Going to the University of Minnesota was my first big break. I wandered into the basement of the Journalism school, meeting all kinds of interesting people doing things like developing photos in the darkroom and creating daily papers on their typewriters. Suddenly the narrow economic structure (called class-based now) lost its confining bindings of conformity. We were all equals on an open adventure, where the future was undefined and full of potential. I bought a Rolleicord camera, took pictures and developed them too. As a sophomore I became assistant editor of the yearbook, the Gopher, and enjoyed designing the layout. Got into sex, experienced pizza and Mexican food. Worked in the Journalism Department office clerically.
  27. As junior year approached and I needed to choose a major, instead, I decided to go on a trip to Europe. My high school friend and I had been saving to go together (which had been her idea) but now she couldn't go, so I took off by myself. I had been taking conversational French classes (French became my minor) and had taken Latin in high school, which helped communications. That trip certainly changed my life and charted its direction. See Art is It and then my Timeline.

See also Resume and Life Plan.

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© 2011, 2012, 2014 Caroling. All rights reserved. Page created: 2011-01-26. Last modified: 2014-10-13