Saturday, August 29, 2009

An interview with Frank McCourt

Collage by Lani

Around the time that Frank McCourt died, CBC radio replayed a wonderful interview with some great quotes about childhood and poverty that I thought were worth repeating here. So I requested that they replay it, and amazingly they let me introduce this podcast. Fun!
Here are the quotes about Frank McCourt's childhood which I found most interesting and inspiring.
You dream constantly...
We were constantly dreaming...
We were always excited. We played in the streets. Our cheeks were flushed all the time. We were ragged, our shoes were broken, but we were always out creating our day, playing in the streets, climbing walls... I thought God put walls there for me to climb. I never saw a wall that I didn't want to climb...
When twilight came and the mothers started calling us home, we didn't want to go. We were so excited. ...Our lives were our own creation. Nothing came between us and our lives, no TV, nobody else's music, we sang our own songs, we danced our own dances, we had our own adventures. So that was genuine stuff.
I think we can live our lives this way! We can dream and be excited! We can play when ever we want. We can create our own days and we can certainly climb walls, challenges, and barriers! We don't have to have anything come between us and our lives. Our lives can be "the genuine stuff"! Hooray!

7 comments:

Bea said...

What a wonderful childhood he had. If only all children could experience that joy. :)bea

Bill C. said...

This is so wonderful, Lani. Your collage is perfect for it. I'm so glad you made this post. It is very inspiring.

Bill

Lani Gerity said...

I'm so glad that CBC does this listener request thing so that I could listen to the interview again!!! I loved the interview!

Bill C. said...

This just popped out of my mind after reading your post:

Lost Childhoods

My computer use to be
a vacant field
the builders left behind
with gullies and dirt mounds
just right for riding bikes
and finding bugs
hidden in rugged weeds
that refused to give way
when the techno-monsters
rode across their nature home.
My TV use to be
a backyard sandbox
where I dug to China
and made dinosaur caverns
and spent hours in the sun
dreading the time
when I heard words
“C’mon in. It’s almost bedtime.”
What memories
will our children write about
when all they know
are the fantasies
someone already wrote for them?

Bill 8/30/09

Lani Gerity said...

SO well put, Bill!
Excellent! Thank you!

A,M. said...

Bea, I think "wonderful and joy" are the last words to describe Frank McCourt's childhood. Honestly.

Lani Gerity said...

Dear A.M.,
You might not associate "wonderful" and "joy" with Frank McCourt's childhood, but he certainly seemed delighted with it, the realness of it, the excitement, the dreams...

"When twilight came and the mothers started calling us home, we didn't want to go. We were so excited. ...Our lives were our own creation. Nothing came between us and our lives, no TV, nobody else's music, we sang our own songs, we danced our own dances, we had our own adventures. So that was genuine stuff."