How I spent my summer vacation

Some of our memories are buried; others rest just below the surface. And then there are those that inhabit some nether world from which they’re chivvied out by a picture or a place, a familiar taste or a song, a word, a prompt from the unconscious. My “adventure” in the summer of 1980 was hiding under some bad times that I had no desire to recall, but once it popped into my head, I could hardly wait to write about it.

The other thing about memory that struck me as I worked on this piece in particular is that you may think you don’t remember much about a time or event, but once you start dredging it up, more and more detail surfaces, things you never expected to appear.

So here’s “Fruit Tramp” – a story that even my nearest & dearest haven’t heard. I couldn’t be happier that it was selected for publication in the University of San Francisco’s outstanding literary journal, Switchback.


About Alice Lowe

I am a freelance writer, avid reader and Virginia Woolfophile in San Diego, California. My personal essays have been published in more than 90 literary journals and can be followed on my blog: I have published essays and reviews about Virginia Woolf, including two monographs in the Bloomsbury Heritage Series published by Cecil Woolf Publishers, London: "Beyond the Icon: Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Fiction," and "Virginia Woolf as Memoirist."
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4 Responses to How I spent my summer vacation

  1. Dave Lowe says:

    Very interesting. Quite an adventure. Good show, Sis…. Love ya

  2. You are such a good writer. We enjoyed reading it very much. I particularly like the phrase “And over the years my memories of that summer have faded like a pair of Levis after repeated washings”. Though the story seems to just be a well told story about picking fruit, you were able to give us a much bigger and more intimate appreciation of you and your life. Also very thought provoking in many subtle ways – like how hard it is to live and work together day after day, night after night. I will never look at cherries the same way again!

  3. It has been a while since I picked cherries, and a longer while since I devoured a written piece! Some of the passages made me admire you, “Books under the mattress,” and others will stay with me for a long time, “The rough edges of discomfort and resentment have worn smooth.” Your best metaphor may be where you recycle the phrase, “cherry picking.” Food for thought, and lots of it!

  4. Shary Hover says:

    I’m so glad I met you today and that meeting you brought me here to read Fruit Tramp. What a beautifully written piece.

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