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my earliest memory
eugene kaufmann's earliest memory
My earliest memory dates from living with my parents in a Nissen Hut which was on a Married Quarters camp of the RAF in Old Catton, Norfolk, England. My father worked as Ground Crew at RAF St. Faiths, a couple of miles away.
I was lying in a pram which was close to a blue wall in one of the rooms. Someone looked over the side of the pram at me, a female, and held their face quite close to mine - just looking at me. I could not have been more than a year old - 1945 or so.
I remember thinking that the face looked extremely primitive - not what I was used to at all.
It was rough, lined, not neat and smooth. I remember thinking that it was undeveloped, basic, unintelligent, and I remember thinking (though not in so many words) that I would have no trouble with this lot at all - they were gauche, rude, silly, backward, and should be humoured. Everything was so rough, hairy, uneven, unequal - almost like an animal. I had expected the face to be clean, perhaps shiny, square, metallic, even, with clean, tidy lines.
That's it. That's the lot. But I've remembered it for 60 years as just a curious incident that I can never forget. I have not mentioned it to many people, but those I have thought it was very interesting and slightly weird. I just take it for granted - as a simple memory.
Eugene Kaufmann lives in Reepham, Norwich, Norfolk, UK.
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