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WEEK 1: PROMPT # 1 

My bedroom was pretty sparse. Remember bean bag chairs and shag carpeting? Did you have a color scheme or posters on the walls? Did you share a room with a sibling? What stuffed animals adorned your bed? Or what did your parents prevent you from doing to your room that made you unhappy?

Stories Submitted

My Childhood Bedroom - Claire


My childhood bedroom for the first 2 years of my life was a room I shared with my parents in
my maternal grandparents’ apartment, in which my 2 uncles and my aunt also lived. My mother
was the first of her siblings to marry. It was post WW2 and apartments were hard to come by.
My father had just returned from his service in the Air Force and so my parents moved in with
my grandparents where they all awaited my arrival.
We lived there until I was 2 years old. We were 7 adults and 1 baby for 2 years and I got loads of
attention. They spoiled me and showered me with love. When I was 2, we got our own one
bedroom apartment which became a bedroom for 4 when my brother was born.
Things stayed this way until I was 9 and we moved to a new development in Queens where I got
my own bedroom and my own furniture and even, at some point in my teens, my own (old) TV. I
was in heaven.




My Childhood Bedroom - Ruth


My childhood bedroom was small and I shared it with my sister, who was 10 1/2 years older than
I. We had a rug but no carpeting. Our player piano was in the room.
My sister and I did not get along too well. She was the big “cheese” at home for 10 1/2 years,
and then I was born. She told me everyone paid attention to me and not to her! I had a small
pillow that was my “security blanket.” I carried it everywhere and sucked my thumb.
Because our house was small, there was not an extra bedroom for my sister. She often went up
into our attic to escape.
When I was 8 years old, she left for nurse’s training at Beth Israel Hospital. She became an RN,
and I even helped her study for her Board Exams.
I was glad to have the bedroom to myself. Of course, at vacation times, she came home. She met
her husband-to-be in her senior year. She was 20 when they married. I was “free at last!” I had
the bedroom all to myself!




My Childhood Bedroom - Janet


We lived in a small row house, in a lower middleclass neighborhood. Our home had 3 small bedrooms
and one bathroom on the 2 nd floor. My sister and I each had our own bedroom, next to each other in the
front of the house. My room contained two twin size beds with dark brown mahogany headboards and
footboards. The extra bed was for a girlfriend sleeping over, or, if we had company, my sister would
move into my room. There was a matching chest of drawers and a rather small closet. The room was
utilitarian, no pictures or wall décor, plain white sheer curtains on the double windows, and matching
generic bedspreads. There was no way to distinguish whether the room was for a child, teenager or adult,
except perhaps by the trinkets on the dresser.
One day my father came home with a beautiful antique marble top dresser which found its home in my
room, there not being anywhere else in the house to place it. It had a beautiful mirror with two small
shelves on either side to hold a gaslight or a candle, and three drawers with black onyx hanging handles.
The ornate carvings at the top only added to its beauty. I remember being very careful not to spill any nail
polish or perfume on the marble top. This dresser lived in my home for many years and now resides in
the dining room of my daughter’s home.
My mother had a summer and winter arrangement for the beds. In winter, they were across from each
other, each resting against the opposite wall. But in the summer, she would place the beds next to each
other with a night table in between, headboards on the same wall so that the breeze from the open
windows would pass over the beds. I remember being terrified by the shadows cast on my bedroom wall
from the big oak tree in front of our house. I would hide under the sheet and turn my back to the window.
On Saturday mornings my younger sister would come into bed with me and we would listen to the radio,
which sat on my night table. Our favorite program was “Big John & Sparky.” During the show they
would say, “We’re getting our magic mirror ready—we’re going to see what you’re doing in your house.”
We were convinced they could see us. I remember jumping out of bed and running out of the room.





WEEK 1: PROMPT # 2 

My favorite radio show was “Let’s Pretend” at 11AM on Saturday mornings. I still remember eating breakfast and listening to that show on the radio that sat atop the kitchen refrigerator. And running home from school to watch “American Bandstand.” What was your TV or radio like? Where did you sit? Did you have a radio or TV in your room?

Stories Submitted

Music Lessons - Ruth


Music lessons were something I really wanted. I took piano lessons at Chestnut Grove School. Mr. Stobel was the teacher, and
he was very nice. He was also very patient. I think I was only 8 years old or younger. We had an
old player piano on which I practiced at home (Wish I had that piano today!). I remember the
book was red, and I believe it was John Thompson’s Modern Course for the Piano.
Then my mother hired a music teacher, Mr. Rubin, to come to the house. His brother owned a
piano store in Nyack. I remember she put fifty cents on the dresser for him each week. He was
mean. He sat next to me on the bench and hit my knuckles with a ruler when I made a mistake,
which made me dread lessons. I never told my mom or dad what he did, but I was nervous
every time I had a lesson in case I made a mistake.
My sister happened to be home and heard me throw up in the bathroom prior to my lesson. She
told my mother about it, and I had to confess what Mr. Rubin did to me when I made mistakes.
That was the end of my piano lessons!





WEEK 2: PROMPT # 3 

As a child I always wanted to take piano lessons. I searched the newspaper every week for used pianos for sale, but my parents didn’t have money for a piano, let alone for the cost of lessons. What about you? Did you play an instrument in school? Did you take lessons? Did you love it or dread it? Who taught you?

Stories Submitted

Music Lessons - Ruth


Music lessons were something I really wanted. I took piano lessons at Chestnut Grove School. Mr. Stobel was the teacher, and
he was very nice. He was also very patient. I think I was only 8 years old or younger. We had an
old player piano on which I practiced at home (Wish I had that piano today!). I remember the
book was red, and I believe it was John Thompson’s Modern Course for the Piano.
Then my mother hired a music teacher, Mr. Rubin, to come to the house. His brother owned a
piano store in Nyack. I remember she put fifty cents on the dresser for him each week. He was
mean. He sat next to me on the bench and hit my knuckles with a ruler when I made a mistake,
which made me dread lessons. I never told my mom or dad what he did, but I was nervous
every time I had a lesson in case I made a mistake.
My sister happened to be home and heard me throw up in the bathroom prior to my lesson. She
told my mother about it, and I had to confess what Mr. Rubin did to me when I made mistakes.
That was the end of my piano lessons!





WEEK 3: PROMPT # 5

Spanking was not uncommon when I was a child. It might be for doing something I was forbidden to do or for telling a lie, or just for extreme misbehavior. What did you get in trouble for? Any excuses that got you out of it? What kinds of punishments did you receive?

Stories Submitted

Being Punished - Andrea


I remember my mom would sometimes give my brother and me a smack across our faces if we
were naughty. I can still feel the sting of her ring on my cheek
BUT My dad never spanked or raised his voice to me. .......except for one time......
My mom was at a school meeting and my father was in charge. He told me that an important
client was coming over so just play nicely in your room. The client arrived and my dad shouted
from the living room "It is time to get ready for bed. Please go in like a good girl and TAKE A
BATH”.
I must have been about seven years old and was totally embarrassed that this strange man knew
that I would be naked in the bathtub. Soooooo... I closed the bathroom door, turned on the bath
water and got in the bathtub. I sat there sulking and the water ran and ran and ran and ran. My
father and the client were having their meeting when suddenly daddy noticed something strange.
The floor in the hall and foyer were all wet. He came slouching on the wet floor and opened the
bathroom door. There I sat in the overflowing tub with the water still running. My dad for the
first and only time that I can remember lost his temper and gave me a hard spank on my wet
bottom. He wrapped me in a towel and carried me to my bed.
I found out later how upset he was that he had hit me. The client, I assume, was sitting there
laughing. By the way, my dad was more upset than me and I certainly deserved that spank.





WEEK 3: PROMPT # 6

Stories Submitted

Being Punished - Andrea


I remember my mom would sometimes give my brother and me a smack across our faces if we
were naughty. I can still feel the sting of her ring on my cheek
BUT My dad never spanked or raised his voice to me. .......except for one time......
My mom was at a school meeting and my father was in charge. He told me that an important
client was coming over so just play nicely in your room. The client arrived and my dad shouted
from the living room "It is time to get ready for bed. Please go in like a good girl and TAKE A
BATH”.
I must have been about seven years old and was totally embarrassed that this strange man knew
that I would be naked in the bathtub. Soooooo... I closed the bathroom door, turned on the bath
water and got in the bathtub. I sat there sulking and the water ran and ran and ran and ran. My
father and the client were having their meeting when suddenly daddy noticed something strange.
The floor in the hall and foyer were all wet. He came slouching on the wet floor and opened the
bathroom door. There I sat in the overflowing tub with the water still running. My dad for the
first and only time that I can remember lost his temper and gave me a hard spank on my wet
bottom. He wrapped me in a towel and carried me to my bed.
I found out later how upset he was that he had hit me. The client, I assume, was sitting there
laughing. By the way, my dad was more upset than me and I certainly deserved that spank.





Did you wear a school uniform? Did your Mom choose your clothes for you? What did you wear after school when you went out to play? Whether it was something from when you were little or the hottest thing in high school—what was your favorite piece of clothing you never wanted to give up?

Stories from Session 2