Anything like this ever happened to you?
I was scrolling through Facebook when I ran across a “shared” article about Roundup weed killer. The article was interesting and certainly informative about the dangers of Roundup, but I must admit that I did get distracted when it reminded me of something that happened almost seventy years ago.
This memory is very vivid. In my mind, I am about five years old, standing next to my dad who is talking over the backyard fence to a neighbor. I don’t remember the neighbor’s name, but I do have a clear image of his face. They were having a friendly discussion about all sorts of topics when the neighbor began educating both of us about a new wonder chemical called DDT. According to him, it had been developed recently and showed promise of revolutionizing farming everywhere. He was using it on his backyard garden, and he recommended that my Dad do the same.
That’s it. I remember virtually nothing else about the episode. Just that DDT was the best thing since sliced bread, and everybody would be using it. It killed all kinds of insects and was earning its developer, Paul Herman Muller, a Nobel Prize. That all sounds strange now, given what we eventually learned about the long term effects of DDT. In 1972 the US Environmental Protection Agency cancelled all use of DDT on crops.
That memory of being told about DDT is almost as old as I am, and I can remember it as if it happened yesterday. What do you suppose are the odds that this memory might be a figment of my imagination? Or at least seriously out of whack? And how can I find out? Continue reading WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD THE ONE YOU REMEMBER?