Of course this is a guess—how can anyone truly know what their earliest memory is? Or maybe it’s not so much a guess as it is a choice: I am choosing this memory to stand in for my earliest. It may or may not be a lie.
It takes place at the house of my great-grandmother, my namesake: Ellen Lavendahl Hart, Grandma. The living room had true-green carpet. Her rocking chair and rocking foot rest were mustard yellow, the fabric worn a bit rough. Directly in front of that foot rest sat the television. I remember sitting in front of that foot rest, the world and room dark, watching “The Lawrence Welk Show” and eating homemade (or supposed homemade) banana pudding, rocking along with the music and my grandmother, as if we and the chair and the foot rest were one.