Thursday, April 12, 2012

Remember that time when....

Here is a suggestion for a fun exercise when you are sitting around with not much else to do.  Try to remember.  You might be surprised at how much comes back to you when you make a conscious effort.  But be advised – it might not all be good.  Special places, ideas you had, things you meant to do, people that made you angry or happy, events you thought you would never forget, but did.  So here are a few things I have remembered lately. 
I recently came across an article about how the Voyager I spacecraft, launched in 1977, has now reached the very edge of our solar system and could cross over into interstellar space at any time.  No man-made object has ever gone this far before.  I recall my excitement when I first read about the mission, and the items being carried by the Voyagers (there are actually two flying around out there).  Both carry a 12-inch gold-plated copper phonograph record containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on earth.  It’s kind of a time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials.  I had forgotten all about this, but now I’m excited about the prospects again.  Let’s just hope whoever (or whatever) finds it has a killer stereo system to play it on.
Speaking of time capsules...what about those?  Do you realize how many cities have buried time capsules over the years?  It was the cool thing to do back in the decades of the 70s, 80s and 90s.  But I suspect many of them are probably forgotten now.  An internet search for time capsules in this region came up with Sioux Falls, Jefferson and at the State Capitol in Pierre, South Dakota.  I also found references to time capsules buried in Laramie and Evanston, Wyoming, and Helena, Montana.  I’m sure there are many more.  Anyone remember if there’s one in your town?
Then there are all those congressional pay raises over the years.  Congress voted themselves more than $56,000 in raises from 1990 to 2003!  There have been more since.  Every time it happens we get mad and vow to “throw the bums out” if they don’t shape up and start earning their pay.  But they know we’ll forget about it in relatively short amount of time.  And they are right.  We do.
Most baseball fans have forgotten about the ’94 strike.  Not me.  I said at the time if there was a strike I would be done with baseball for good.  I was fed up with a bunch of whiny overpaid steroid using cry babies with absolutely no respect or consideration for their fans.  They went out in August, and didn’t come back until April of the next year.  No playoffs.  No World Series.  I have not watched a baseball game since.
On a lighter note – here are a few memories I’ve conjured back up after being buried for years that may spark a similar memory for you.  Perhaps only the time and place or the name will be different.

    •    Mert’s CafĂ©.  It’s gone now, but…oh those homemade burgers and fries.  So greasy and so good!  “What say Mert?”

    •    Going over the fence for a late summer night swim in the pool.

    •    Family vacation to Yellowstone.  Every time that old Buick would overheat we would just have a picnic and wait for it to cool down.  Bear jams, giant moose, trout fishing, and endless amusement chasing chipmunks around the campground.

    •    The airline that lost our luggage.  We arrived in Hawaii right on time, but our luggage apparently went on to the Philippines.  It caught up to us a couple of days later – after we had been forced to blow nearly our entire trip budget on t-shirts and shorts.  I swore I would never fly that airline again.  Now I can’t even remember which airline it was.

It’s not always easy to remember things.  Sometimes you have to work at it a little bit.  But it’s usually worth the thought and extra effort.  Just don’t let old grudges go too far.  Like that baseball thing of mine.  I may have let that one get out of hand.  Play Ball!