Thursday, May 4, 2006

Something with a pig on it (!)



(This continues a series of entries explained below in ‘Something I’ve Made’)



I never thought it would come to this in a public forum, but I will simply state for any eyes which care to read that I am not a pig person.  I don’t dislike them, but I’ve never had an affinity for them either - so put me solidly in the category of pig-neutral or pig-ambivalent, whichever you prefer.


For this reason, my searches for something on-topic proved fruitless and I was moments away from running to the local grocery and buying a pound of bacon to photograph when something clicked in my head and I remembered a t-shirt stored well in the back of the closet.  As you can see from the date, its been there for awhile and, as you can also see, its been worn very infrequently, if ever.


I was invited to this party by a friend who was an acquaintance of the founders.  Legend has it that this event was founded in the late 70s by a group of students at I believe the University of Pittsburgh.  They made it an annual event and continued the tradition well past graduation and through marriages and families.  By the time I was invited, it was a three day festival, held at one of the organizer’s family cabins along the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania.  And for those who wonder, ICAC stands for ‘Iron City Athletic Club’, Iron City being the (cheap) beer of choice of the founders while still on a student’s income and Athletic Club having no discernable relevance whatsoever, from anything I saw.



But this entry – like most things in life - isn’t about the resolution of the quest, its about the journey itself.  As I combed my memory banks for anything that might be in my possession that contained an image of a pig, my thoughts took me back to my youth – and then to my father’s attic to explore the artifacts from that era which might still exist.


There I found old story books, instantly familiar for their well-worn pages – and the remembered feelings and sights and smells of my mother and grandmother as they read to me.  There were no images of pigs, but I no longer cared as I allowed the simple comforts of youth to descend upon me for a few precious moments on the cool attic floor.


Next I found some of my mother’s own childhood books – two ‘Big Little’ books to be accurate.  One was a Li’l Abner tale, the other Little Miss Muffet – still no pigs, but wonderful, warm images of my mother as a carefree and happy little girl to fill my senses for a time.


Finally, I found the box of ‘Disneykins’ from my youth.  These were small plastic figures, usually sold in sets of cartoon characters and children’s stories.  Although jumbled together, each piece – despite the fragility of its construction – was intact, cared-for and appreciated even when my hands were considerably smaller and perhaps less cautious than today.  There was the Yogi Bear series, the Flintstones, Captain Hook and Peter Pan, Mickey and Daffy and Donald – but no Porky to be found.  But by then – eyes closed now -  I was again seated at my grandmother’s kitchen table, carefully grouping and displaying my little plastic treasures and crafting adventures for them – and the lack of a pig was the furthest thing from my mind.


I came back down from the attic empty handed – but with a head spinning in sweet memories and warm remembrances, and a heart full of people I can no longer touch but who will always be with me.  Pig or no pig, it was a wonderful day.


mutualaide said...

The unexpected joys of the quest! Lovely.  And well, you did find a pig, after a fashion!  

inafrnz247 said...

I never thought about it until now, but I think there are more pigs around here than any other type of animal!  (with the exception of teddybears..)  My girls both love them...the newest being beanie baby "Corkscrew" my daughter recieved as a birthday gift from her sister.  I guess they are either popular in one's household or not!  Glad you enjoyed your short trip down memory lane ~ enjoying your stories, Michelle

bedazzzled1 said...

::recording the date that you publicly announced you are not a pig person::

Bravo for coming up with the pig shirt, instead of resorting to snapping strips of bacon. Iron City beer, eh? Maybe the lifting of each beer was considered athletic? ::laughing::

The biggest bravo, though, comes for finding memories of moments from times past that left you with a feeling of warmth.

(And I just bet you were darling when you played with those little Disneykins figures!)