Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Slice of Life: #52Stories, 4/52 True Confessions

As part of my #52stories project for 2020, I'm looking at monthly quizzes with prompts from Family Search. The January category is Goals and Achievements. While I won't commit to following the prompts for each story, they do provide a starting place. And this week's memory is about a recognition I received that has always troubled me a bit. 

I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. We were making posters for a contest sponsored by a local insurance company. The theme for the contest was encouraging safety on the streets by not jaywalking. We learned about how good posters rely on an image and a few words. My idea was to draw someone on crutches, with a bandaged head and the words, "Yes, I jaywalked."

The idea was all mine. However, when it was time to move the idea from my head to the paper, I realized a major flaw. I couldn't draw, art projects always terrified me, and drawing a person was an impossible challenge. Each time I tried to work on the drawing I would end up in tears. Enter my friend, Elaine, who had mad skills in the drawing department. She helped me sketch out the person on crutches. I outlined and colored the figure, and added the caption to the sketch.  Imagine my surprise when our teacher notified me that I had won third prize in the contest. I remember my dad taking me to the bank and helping me open a savings account with the $15 in prize money. This savings account became the repository for my college savings.

More than fifty years later, I sometimes wonder -  Should I have split the prize money and recognition with Elaine? Should I have refused the prize since I had help from a friend? I wonder if Elaine remembers helping me. I've never forgotten her help. Maybe it's time for me to send a note and half the prize money to Elaine. 


  1. This story has a powerful hold in your memory. It might be interesting to connect with her and get her memories. We often have different perspectives on the same event.

  2. Ramona, what a great story, the details and the reflection. As kids, we don't think of things such as splitting the money. It sounds like you are still in contact with Elaine. Take her to lunch.

  3. It was what it was. Now it is a memory. :)

  4. Sometimes, we rethink our actions and ponder too much. Your friend was super generous with her time but I am sure she loved every bit of what she did. Connecting with Elaine and enjoying the memory as longtime friends would be a wonderful option.