Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Coat of Arms

We are in the process of cleaning and purging the contents of our basement. We’ve held on to a lot of crap alongside a lot of important items from our collective and individual histories. Over the last few days and nights, I’ve been working my way through boxes of exclusively my stuff. Folders, photo albums, cartons of action figures and toys, baseball and football cards, cards from my wife, letters from friends… the same sorts of things you probably have in your basement.

I had a particular photo album that had all my organized sports team photos and all my class photos from grade school, along with all my choir and school programs, and miscellaneous items (like an autographed picture of Lindsay Wagner and a clipped story from the newspaper about Michael Jackson’s record setting eight Grammy awards win). But in the front of that album, on the very first page, was this…

I wish I could remember what year I made this. I am sure it was a school assignment – a “Make Your Own Crest” type of project. And I can still remember the reasons behind each and every item:
  • Purple and orange because they were my favorite colors (purple still is one of my favorites).
  • The basketball because, despite my size, I always loved to play it (just like my kiddo who faces the same size challenges).
  • My name in calligraphy because I was into art and my mom signed me up for a calligraphy class at the local art shop.
  • The tent because my family camped while growing up, and it was a huge part of my childhood (although we camped in a hardtop camper, not a tent, I took some artistic license here).
  • The Walkman, baby. Music has always been important to me.
  • Pitfall! I loved my Atari 2600, and I loved Pitfall.
  • A comic book. Note: Even as a kid I was apparently sensitive to copyright infringement issues and, instead of rendering my favorite Marvel comic cover, I opted to go generic. Or, at least, that’s the story we’ll go with to cover the fact that I probably spent my entire artistic bankroll interpreting the Pitfall screen capture.
So, yeah. It was crazy to stumble on this and realize just how accurate a representation of the kid version of me it is (clearly, I took this assignment seriously and put a lot of thought into it), and although I don’t go camping and I don’t play a lot of video games anymore, I do still enjoy shooting hoops with the kiddo, appreciate art, love music, and continue to read comics. I guess four out of six ain’t bad.