'Nam, 1980s, 80s, Abbott and Costello, Alien, arcade, Authors, big data, bigots, bikes, Card Catalog, celebrities, Coffee, Cold War, common cold, conventions, Custom Car Shows, David Bowie, Dewey Decimal, Donkey Kong, Fonzi, Freddy Mercury, gps, Heavy Metal, Henry Blake, history, Jaws, Jimmy Page, Kurt Cobain, Led Zeppelin, libraries, Madonna, MC Hammer, Monday Blogs, organic, Ozzy Osbournse, Pacman, Peace, primetime, Prince, purple heart, Queen, Rock Hudson, Saturday mornings, smoking, space shuttle, space shuttle disaster, Star Wars, steel, streamofconscience, teachers, The Car, The Shining, Twin Towers, VCR, violence, world hunger, World Trade Center
Once, I sat with my Great Aunt Hilda and she told me of days gone by. She was in her nineties, no small feat for a woman who had spent most of her years in the grip of the Twentieth Century. Allow me to sit with you for a moment, sip coffee made in thirty seconds on a Keurig so I can share tell a few things I remember…
I remember drip percolators brewing a fresh pot in twenty minutes or so, as the family talked (occasionally yelled) about steel jobs going to Japan and trolleys being far better than bus transit.
I remember Saturday morning cartoons and Abbott and Costello on good days, walking half an hour to cut my Grandfather’s grass on the very best.
I remember before we got a VCR and live prime time.
I remember the Car, the shark, and the Shining being scarier than the zealot.
I remember when my pay check wasn’t correct and there were real humans who had the sole purpose of making sure people were paid for hours worked.
I remember when the common cold was simply that.
I remember when we were the good guys.
I remember peace-time.
I remember when U2 sang about terrorism.
I remember taking a bus and going to record, comic, hobby, and book stores with my friends with two bucks in my pocket.
I remember libraries for more than toddler’s story time… and learning the Dewey Decimal System.
I remember riding my bike to an arcade and playing Pacman and Donkey Kong after exercising.
I remember the World Trade Center and not gasping every time I see it in a movie.
I remember hard love and disappointing my parents.
I remember when everything was organic.
I remember the milkman and knowing my mail carrier’s name.
I remember Kurt’s voice blowing my mind, Prince’s guitar shredding bubblegum into something legitimate, Jimmy’s haunted castle where the Devil wrote sexy lyrics backwards, Ozzy biting bat heads, and laughing at my little brother’s MC Hammer phase.
I remember Freddy and Rock, the whispers of unashamed bigots and a new thing called AIDS.
I remember the space shuttle Challenger.
I remember the time before big data and global positioning.
I remember friends showing off their older sibling’s Purple Heart from ‘Nam during show and tell.
I remember seeing Bambi, Star Wars, and Alien at the drive-in theatre.
I remember before trickledown economics.
I remember cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, and alcoholic beverages in all settings… ashtrays in the classroom and hospital.
I remember department stores before shopping malls.
I remember violence as a bad thing except in self-defense.
I remember things I’m afraid to talk about openly, for the first time in my life.
I remember when we cared about world hunger and the homeless.
I remember the Cold War and how close we were to pushing big buttons (oddly enough for the same colors as Bloods and Crips).
I remember when the Custom Car Show was the only convention to get celebrity autographs for five bucks.
I remember crying when Henry Blake died.
I remember Fonzi jumping the shark.
I remember enough things to write this blog every day but I also remember it’s a bit boring until you too begin to reminisce of memories great and small.