Thursday, November 3, 2022

A peek at pre-recorded history

GIVE PETE A CHANCE: Embedded journalist.

How old are you by the time you start remembering stuff? Five? Four? 

One of my earliest memories actually has me in my parents' bed, lying between my mom and dad, so I must have been awfully young. 

Then again we're talking about a youngster who -- if you're like, "Hey Siri who was the most spoiled child in all history?" Siri would respond, "Peter."  I likely slept between my parents until an unhealthily advanced age. 

Not every night. Just when I had a scary dream or there was thunder or something. 

And this just occured to me: Is there a link between my trips to Tom and Huena's bed and the fact that I was the last baby they had?

But that's not what we're here to talk about. The night I'm recalling, when I was still awake between my folks, somebody else came into the bedroom. A grown up. 

It was either my big brother Tom or his friend (a guy who worked for my dad) Charlie MacMillan. Both they and my parents are gone now so I can't phone and ask if the memory's accurate. Besides, the tiny details don't matter.  

The important thing is, the visitor had with him a briefcase-sized thing with lots of switches, some lights and two big reels of what looked like film on the side. 

Turns out it was the first tape recorder I'd ever seen. 

To demonstrate the magic Tom (or Charlie) held a microphone up to my little face and I recited this following: 

"Do you want to hear a story about Johnny McGorry? Shall I begin it, that's all there's in it." 

Then Tom (or Charlie)  made the wheels whirr in reverse,  he hit a switch, and out from the speaker came my mousey little voice, reminding the world once again that I couldn't say my r's very well and to this day I believed I have too many r's in my name. I wonder if that's why I ended up marrying a speech and language pathologist. 

 JOHN AND YOKO'S COVER VERSION of Tom and Huena in bed.

I forget the point I started out to make here but the fact that my mom and dad talked to visitors in their bedroom on a regular basis makes them sound like John and Yoko, who hosted bed-ins in the Amsterdam Hilton in Holland in Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel in an effort to bring about world peace. 

Having groups assemble in Tom and Huena's room at any time of day or night wasn't at all unusual. I remember on more than one occasion so many sisters, brothers and maybe cousins or the odd employee like Charlie MacMillan sat on and around the bed the frame actually broke and mom's mattress hit the floor.

The more I think about it, the more I know my parents had in common with John and Yoko.  

My parents were pacifists, they made babies and never fought and my dad and John Lennon were both born on Oct. 9. Also, somebody brought a tape recorder into the Yoko-Lennon bedroom too.

A couple of differences? My parents' pacificism predated Lennon's. And my mom sang beautifully.



  1. You were blessed to have such beautiful, cool parents.

  2. You write beautifully.

  3. I have no idea how accurate this memory of mine is, but I have one of Tom and Huena in bed! My Mom and Dad and I standing in their bedroom talking to them. It seemed so natural. I believe their bedroom was on the main floor and I remember cases of pop. Does any of that make sense? I must have been four or five!

    1. Parents were Albert and Mary Wickie and I am Margie! Just realize this was posted as anonymous and I didn’t want you to thinking strangers were lurking in you parents bedroom! Just wonderfully good friends!