Life and Deaf – Chapter 9 – Old Movies

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Back to Life and Deaf.

Scooter with his birthday dog.

A memory pops into my mind, so clearly, of Scooter showing his spirit while hoding his teacher, Sunny Bates’ hand in the parking lot of Marineland. He’s stamping his little foot, shaking his head no, next to the old Dodge station wagon we bought from Grandma and Gaga Patterson. He doesn’t want to go home and accept the fact that the excitement and spectacle of watching the dolphins and whales jumping, singing and dancing for us is over.

It all started when my TV cable went out. For a decade I’ve been piggy-backing off a cable that wasn’t supposed to be live. Holding on to the attitude of Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book era, I didn’t feel too bad getting a little free cable from a big rich conglomerate. I started cleaning out the space getting ready for a new big legal flat screen variety and there, mixed in with the almost obsolete DVD’s and CD’s, is a copy that says ‘super-eight movies’. I pop it in and begin to watch. OMG, the beginning of our family: Scooter learning to walk. I laugh, I cry as our family life goes scrolling by. I do a quick calculation, 1968 – 1978, from Ormond Beach, FL where the children were born, through our lives as hippies traveling the country in a van, settling in Boulder, CO and our return to Sarasota.

After 1½ hours and a decade roll past, I’m emotionally drained. A smile soothes my face. My memory has been so easily nudged with these genuine images from the past. It’s all on a movie

Nicole and Scooter in Ormond Bch

lost, then found in the clutter of life. I sift through years of gift opening in front of endless Christmas trees, fancily dressed toddlers precariously carrying baskets of brightly decorated eggs, crowds of neighbor kids adorned in peaked hats in front of blazing, then smoking animal-shaped birthday cakes. But in between there’s real life: Scooter’s first steps,first run, first fall, picking himself back up and continuing on; no crying or laughing, just pure inquisitiveness and determination.The kids model silly wild outfits I sew them for Christmas. I sew myself  sexy ones to go with my bleached blond hair. We enjoy drunk,crazy fun times with the grandparents at their 25th wedding anniversary. I discipline Scooter and drag him away when he won’t stay of the street.We dancing and party with friends at a neighborhood New Year’s Eve bash where Ray passes out on the couch deeply enough to ignore us taking the drink from his hands as we continually change his hats. We take old Boulder Hippie friends boating to Sarasota’s topless beach (Sarasota was not so staid back then) and return to romp nude in our backyard.

Crazy Xmas robes I made for kids.

But let me pick up the thread where I left off. Scooter’s new teacher was with us on that Marineland trip. Miss Sunny Bates, the best teacher a child could have, had become a close friend of the family. She loved that boy, his spirited independent ways, quick intelligence and potential to move into the hearing world, and we loved her. After our shaky beginnings with oral education, she took the ball and ran with it, giving him the background he needed to successfully inhabit a hearing world.

Granted the circumstances weren’t perfect-a class of children with mixed disabilities: deaf, emotionally disturbed, cerebal palsied, autistic, aged 2 ½ (or potty trained) through 5. With Sunny at the helm, it worked and I became a volunteer teacher’s aide to pick up the slack, my first job since teaching elementary school in El Paso, Texas. What an eye-opener and education for me, too.

Hope my alterations and changes are not too confusing. Next time a different perspective – a memory from the horse’s mouth – my son.

 

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Jill Green

I’m a lazy writer trying to get tech savvy. I’ve blurted into blogging to get some of my thoughts, cravings, interests, writings out into the web world. I live in Costa Rica and Florida. Most of my somewhat autobiographical writings are about those places. If you’re interested check in.

4 thoughts on “Life and Deaf – Chapter 9 – Old Movies”

  1. Hello – I grew up in the very same neighborhood, and during the same time, that you lived in Ormond Beach. I recognize the backyard pool area your children were photographed in as being the Fain Family’s backyard. I was friends with Tamy and in the same grade as she was. I’ll never forget the octopus she had in a salt water tank in her bedroom and the times Mr. Fain took us crabbing on his boat. I’ve enjoyed your recollections of our neighborhood…you definitely captured a lot of the essence of that time.

  2. Dear Andrea, What a surprise to get your comment. I’m forwarding it on to Tamy Fain. I’ve stayed in touch with them and being good friends through the years.
    So glad you found my blog, especially sinced it recently got hacked. My son has just fixed it and I’ll be back posting shortly. Tell me a little bit more about yourself and family. Thanks, Jill

  3. Dear Andrea, What a surprise to get your comment. I’m forwarding it on to Tamy Fain. I’ve stayed in touch with them and being good friends through the years.
    So glad you found my blog, especially sinced it recently got hacked. My son has just fixed it and I’ll be back posting shortly. Tell me a little bit more about yourself and family. Thanks, Jill

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