The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Scribe Notes: Collected in Knox County, KY on 10/18/12 (10,000 Strangers Tour).  Alice recalled this memory after asking me what that “machine” was that “sneezed out goop all over everyone’s hands.”  I explained the concept of hand sanitizer.  “Like soap?” she asked.  “Sort of,” I replied.  “Do you wash it off?”  “No, you rub it in.” “Huh. Here I just thought everyone was just nervous about something.” -M.R. Smith

Artist Notes: Alice's memory was created through a mixed media process with found objects and salvaged paper. Using forms of printmaking, collage and figure drawing, I illustrated an image that not only 
depicts her distant experience but also exemplifies the abstract distortions that often take place when recalling a memory. -Deanna Mance

"You hear that?" my sister asked.  

We were deep in the woods, digging for worms.

"Hear what?"

"The bell."

"What bell?"

"The dinner bell.  Squint your ears."

"You can't squint your ears!"

"Sure you can, listen!" 

And, sure enough: ding       ding        ding!   I broke first, but by the time we reached the yard she overtook me, with her longer legs.  Our mother'd be waiting there by the sink: curly brown hair to the shoulders and a mail-ordered plaid skirt.  "Scrub 'em good," she'd say, knuckles on her hip.  "Scrub 'em pink."  She kept her thumb nail slightly longer than all her others, to scrape out the dirt from beneath our fingernails (or so we thought).  After dinner we'd go outside to play again until dark.  I remember looking over one night at sunset, seeing the rope of the dinner bell still sort of swaying there...or maybe that was just the breeze.

 

Explaining the Concept of Hand Sanitizer to a 99-Year-Old Woman Inspired Her to Share This Memory

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Kentucky

Scribe Notes: Collected in Knox County, KY on 10/18/12 (10,000 Strangers Tour). Alice recalled this memory after asking me what that “machine” was that “sneezed out goop all over everyone’s hands.” I explained the concept of hand sanitizer. “Like soap?” she asked. “Sort of,” I replied. “Do you wash it off?” “No, you rub it in.” “Huh. Here I just thought everyone was just nervous about something.” -M.R. Smith

Artist Notes: Alice's memory was created through a mixed media process with found objects and salvaged paper. Using forms of printmaking, collage and figure drawing, I illustrated an image that not only
depicts her distant experience but also exemplifies the abstract distortions that often take place when recalling a memory. -Deanna Mance

Decade: 1910s
Rating: 1
Recorded by Matthew Ross Smith on January 6, 2014
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