Partly for this reason, I've been drawn to the memoir observations of my old friend Shirley Showalter. As former president of Goshen College, and before that my senior mentor in the Lilly Fellows program, and long before that a Mennonite farm girl, Shirley lived in but not of much of American culture while younger, and has blogged recently on what that feels like. On her blog, which is about the practice of reading/writing memoirs, Shirley has recently reflected on her experience of going to her first rock concert (the recent Dylan-Willie Nelson-Mellencamp fest) and the experience of longing for a television when younger, in part so she could be in the know of her contemporaries' conversations, but even more so because it seemed like television was magic (and also her thankfulness at being compelled to experience other worlds while those contemporaries were staring at the screen).
Some girls want ponies. Some want Barbies. Some are generous enough to think of others first, asking for world peace or food for the hungry. Others go straight for a million dollars. I would not have asked for any of those.
The thing I longed for was magic. All the other kids seemed to have it. At the first recess of the day lots of conversations began with “Did you see. . . .?” And everyone else jumped in to share their impressions of what they saw the night before.