|Denny & Connie|
In addition to my brother getting married, it was the first week of first grade. The first day of school I got on the wrong bus and ended up at the high school. When I finally got to the right school, I was put in the same class with all of my kindergarten friends for three days. For some reason, the school administration decided they needed to move some students around. As a result, they moved me from the classroom with all of my friends to another classroom where I knew no one. It was more than I could handle. I broke down in tears and they had to take me to the principal’s office. My best friend, Terry Bowers was the only one who could do anything with me. Dad had to leave work and come take me home.
The school kept to their decision and I remained in the new classroom. I never understood why that upset me so badly. Now, for the first time, I realize how much pressure I must have been under to be just five years old. My older brother had just gotten married and left home. I had to ride a school bus for the first time. It took me to the wrong school with a bunch of big kids. I was in new surroundings. And, they removed me from everyone I knew. That was a lot of pressure for a little guy.
I lived my early childhood during the early 1960’s. I listened to Chubby Checker and entertained my brother’s friends by doing the twist. I listened to everything from the Everly Brothers and Elvis to southern gospel greats like the Blackwood Brothers and the Statesmen. I watched black and white television when there were only two stations. I was loved unconditionally by wonderful parents, family and friends. I was sheltered and innocent.
Several years ago I wrote the following song. Earlier, I talked about playing at my grandparents’ house with my cousins. Now, my generation has kids and even grandkids of our own. My cousin, Gary, died in the early 1990’s from cancer. Right after his death, I penned the following song. I guess this sums it all up:
Words and Music by Michael Gibson
Grandma in her rocking chair
Grandpa with his graying hair
Grandkids playing around the old coal stove
Family sits around and sings about
Heaven and better things
In my heart it makes me want to go
Old time memories seem so distant
I close my eyes and I am there in an instant
Friends and family some gone before me
But in my dreams I’ll always manage to hold on and see
Brand new times are sweeping through
The family has been made anew
Through children I can see memories of old
My mind goes back to simpler times
When life was taught in nursery rhymes
Watching life causing memories to unfold
© 1992 Michael D. Gibson (BMI) All rights reserved.
As I see the man I have become, I see the influence my family had on me. Sometimes, I am short with others and impatient. That is how my brother treated me, on occasion. I am a hard worker, just like my dad. Dad normally worked two jobs to support our family. I can be sweet, loving, but judgmental; just like my mom was. I can pen songs, sing and play the piano and organ; just like I observed my family and Sister Hume do. I can teach and preach, just like I observed Pastor Hume do. After observing the unrest of the early 1960’s, and being a teen of the 1970’s, I am not afraid to be who I am and stand up for what I believe in. All in all, I wouldn’t change a thing about those early years. I am learning to embrace them more than ever before.