Have you ever thought about a memory you have, but you’re not sure how much of it is really what truly happened?
When I was a kid, my dad took my brothers and sister and me to the Dupage County Fair. It was your typical county fair, with games and rides and attractions and food and music. I think he probably took us more than one year, but this one time sticks out in my memory.
We had gotten to the fair early, so there were not yet a lot of people there. And we were milling through the section of the fair where all the games were. My brothers loved the games and tried to get our dad to let them play. I, on the other hand, loved that silly machine where you pushed a quarter in a tiny slot and tried to get it to fall so that the bulldozer would push a lotto winning’s worth of quarters into the catch tray below and you would become rich.
So I don’t know if it was because we were at the fair so early, or what had happened, but in my memory, I was the only person at this “game.” And as I walked around the square of machines, I noticed a pile of quarters on the counter in front of one of the games. I looked around; there was no one who could have been playing and simply didn’t collect their winnings. So I swiped the pile of quarters into my hand then put them in my pocket. And in my memory, there were a few other machines that presented me with the same situation. And I responded the same each time. I amassed something like $25 worth of quarters. Maybe it wasn’t that much, but I can remember my pockets being weighed down heavily.
In this memory, I used the money to play other games and maybe bought a souvenir or two. I also recall coming home with some of the money. But the weird thing is, it’s one of those memories I’m not sure really even happened.
Guess I’ll have to ask my dad how he remembers it.