methow grist 2011-2014 archive


Memories of the Methow

I can remember as far back as when I was two years old. That's not to say I can remember everything, however I can remember sitting on Santa’s lap when I was two with my brother Dawane in a Spokane store. I can recall how I hated the wool P-coats my mother (bless her heart) had made for each of us out of adult P-coats she had bought at a Goodwill store. I can recall I could not move around in it. I was four when we moved back to the Methow Valley from Spokane.

My earliest memories of the Methow are of staying at our cousins on lower Bear Creek prior to my folks buying the Old Bing Place. I can remember Bobby Johnson throwing a shovel over a fence and it sticking me in the back of my head. I still bear the scar.

Why do some memories stick with us while others slip away? Now, if we could just find the answer to that. Why do some memories run so deep in us? Memories like driving up Mazama in the winter with four feet of new fallen snow on the sides of the road and the falling snow flakes so big they created a white-out. With John Lennon shouting LOOK OUT!, and Paul McCartney belting out ‘She Came In Through the Bathroom Window’ on my prized eight-track tape player in my parents ‘59 New Yorker Chrysler with a 413 Hemi and push button transmission, while on my way to pick up that all-important someone.

Memories like this are so strong that when I close my eyes I can feel the energy of that moment lived so many years ago, now so many years estranged. It's as though that moment I lived in the past had leaked into the present. The sheer energy of that moment reigniting in me, and I suddenly breath deeper and all my senses seem sharper. A welcomed euphoria from an age ago. Eyes closed I feel I could reach out and touch it yet it remains just beyond my grasp. Its memories as powerful as these that can bring a tear to an old man’s eyes, a longing to his heart, and beckon him back home to the Valley. Back to where he belongs.

My name is Steven C. Johnson Just a man who sat in front of his key board and fell head first into the abyss of my own fertile memory.