My Story begins where every one else’s does…the Water Tower.
My story begins at no place better suited than in the beginning. Where all life starts, where all existence begins; in your ordinary, run of the mill, Water Tower. Okay, well maybe not everyone starts there, but for 12 years that’s where I was certain I first appeared in this world.
I was born in Limestone, Maine, Loring AFB, Valentine’s Day, 1974. My very first diaper was military issued, probably camouflaged or maybe Air Force Dress Blue and probably stamped “Property of USAF”.
I have always been blessed with an intense memory and from a very early age I have been able to retain so many things with such vivid images in my mind. When I was very young my mother had pointed in the direction of the Hospital and told me that’s where I was born. I, as a toddler saw only this tall oddly shaped figure. It was large, round and sitting high a top many, very long spindle legs. I must have assumed at that point that it was a special Maternity ward.
For the years that followed every where that I went I saw these Maternity wards. I would point every time with out fail and tell who ever would listen to me, that I was born in one of those. Everyone thought I was so cute and I never understood the laughter that would follow. I only remember wondering to myself why they would make a pregnant lady climb all of those stairs.
Years later, I think I was around 12 years old at the time, I made the comment yet again as we passed the Maternity Ward on Griffiss Air Base. When my Mother laughed, I asked her what was so funny about that. I think it floored her to realize that I had no idea what that facility actually was.
That what I had thought for my entire life was a Maternity Ward was actually a Water Tower. The ride home that day was filled with her explanations, my misinterpretations, along with my utter and complete embarrassment for supplying the punch line of a 12 years long joke that I never quite got.
To this day I still drive by water towers and hear that naive little voice in my head saying “I was born in one of those.” It gives me a recollection of simpler times filled with everlasting innocence.