Slice Of Life Story -The First Time Is Often Memorable

This morning I found myself talking and writing with a group of Year 9 high school students. They were generating a list of potential writing ideas for a narrative and one student suggested making a list of ‘firsts.’ They began to think about all those first times in their lives. The talk began to flow easily. I sat and listened and began to think.

Our lives are punctuated by so many of these first experiences. Some of them are profound and unforgettable, others somewhat regrettable or embarrassing. Sometimes the first time we experience a thing becomes the last time as well, for we determine never to repeat that event. As one student told the group, ‘The first time I ate onions was also the last!’

Suddenly a thought rushed into my head -I know where I was the first time I heard ‘The Beatles!’ I was not exactly sure where that came from, but it surfaced without warning, so I decided to work with it and began jotting down notes in my notebook…

I had just stepped off the school bus and dragged myself across the road to the local milk bar (drug store) as teenagers do. I had change in my pocket and a couple of my school mates in tow. In those far off times chocolate bullets were so cheap. You were able to buy 8 for a penny!

A juke box had just been installed and it was playing as we entered the shop. The song was ‘From Me To You’ and I was immediately drawn to its energy and sound. At that time I did not know who it was serenading me, but I found myself moving towards the player to check it out. I needed to know. My curiosity was aroused. Music has always been a strong force in my life and this compelling need to identify the performer indicated that same musical force was evident on this occasion. I had not heard of the Beatles, so the name was unfamiliar as was the sound. Soon it would be everywhere. Soon it would be everything…

Through the mists of time, the memory of that day came floating back. It is such a strong and clear recollection and it arrives as a pleasant surprise.


  1. As I am reading your piece, I am singing the song in my mind. This was a very pleasant way to start my day. Their music was and is very uplifting, especially the earlier pieces. I have never thought about firsts being lasts but now I will.

  2. Chocolate bullets, eight for a penny-- nice detail! And, what a quintessential song for your first time.

  3. Music must be a theme today because I wrote about the same type of thing! Isn't it interesting how a song can bring you straight back to a certain memory associated with it. Check mine out if you would like:

  4. Nice. I can't remember the first time I heard the Beatles. I feel like they were always part of the soundtrack of my childhood. I love how you walked us right back through the memory.


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