I think we can all agree that one of the most interesting things about memories is that they are unreliable. Any time I write a story about something I remember from my childhood, I hold my breath for a while to see if one of my brothers (or my mother) will tell me that I got it completely wrong.

Yesterday I sat down with my mom to make a list of every place we’d ever lived. She and I worked on our own lists and then compared notes. We filled in each other’s holes and she shared terrific details about how we came to live in this house or that. I’ve been working on that list in my mind for the past few weeks so I found it particularly satisfying to write it all out and to do it with my mother.

Another thing I’ve been working on in my mind is my own personal map of Capitol Hill, in particular Broadway, as it was in the early to mid-1970s when we lived there. We moved to Capitol Hill in 1972 when I was 2nd grade and lived in four different houses before we moved to the south end a few years later.

When I drive or walk down Broadway today, I can see the buildings and businesses that were there when I was a kid. But like any memory, the map I’ve drawn of Broadway is unreliable. There are whole blocks I’ve left empty because I can’t remember what was there (and don’t really care, I guess.)

My map is frozen in time circa 1974, before the IGA became QFC and Marketime became Fred Meyer. Very few businesses remain—except Dick’s Drive In, because Dick’s never changes. (Thank GAWD.)

I’ve drawn out my map (not to scale) and added annotations so you can see where I got caught shoplifting, where I admired photographs of ice cream sundaes, and where I nearly won a 10-speed bike.

Offering: A copy of my map, with annotations




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