The Relevance of Memories
Somehow or another I have written weekly articles pertaining to my memories of growing up in Louisa, KY. That was a pretty finite period of time in my life, but really only a small part of a lifetime of memories. Like most people, I have regrets over a few things but I have tried to live as to leave a positive memory for my family and friends. At this time of life I think it is normal to want to be well thought of, but once this shell of a body becomes totally useless in death, I suppose my memories will go with me.
I have focused on the positive, admitting full well that negative things certainly have happened in my life. Some were my fault and the guilt is sure enough earned. Others were successes and worth reliving time and again. I take no credit for the good times and try to avoid claiming credit for the bad. After all, for now I have to live in these memories. They are what has made me as I am. Wanting things to be different isn’t going to really change the truth of history, is it? It merely paints a different picture over the old. Regardless of how well the new brightens the room, we remember that painting hidden underneath.
Still, it is pleasant to enjoy the good times; the way things were. I remember for example how I liked so many people that made up the enriched environment in which I was nurtured. Certainly, I heard rumors of things about others that darkened my feeling for a moment, but those were pushed aside that I may continue to love and respect my fellow man regardless of an indiscretion, or an ill-deserved maligning by someone with a vendetta.
Yes, it is the good times in which the soul can bask wherein we soak up a warmth even all these years later. Such is common to man and is altogether right. Indeed our souls jump when we hear the sound of the grade school bell. Quincy is remembered for being pulled into the air by the bell rope only to return to the landing where another pull was made. This sweet man allowed me to ride with him hanging onto the rope, up and down, and then again.
The smell of pine hits and energizes the olfactory and pictures of Christmas fills the screen of our minds. We can almost taste the Christmas candy, the cooking odors wafting out of the kitchen. We can visualize the rising of the yeasty rolls. We can almost hear the chopping of onions and celery, and the mixer whipping mashed potatoes. Familiar laughter spills out from folks long gone, but remembered with love. Our hearts are full, if only for a moment.
Special events build memories often. Things such as the movies we saw either on the Saturday Matinees or those very special ones where the school board marched us to the Garden Theater to see epic files such as “The Ten Commandments.” Granted, that couldn’t happen today because of a perceived requirement to avoid Christian involvement by the schools.
Family gatherings such as a summer picnic, a carnival, a day at the Dreamland swimming pool, or another day at Camden Park, were important to me. I can almost taste the chlorinated water or the smell of cotton candy or candied apples. Throughout that early living I remember programs at church, band parades, football games, community gathers to watch professional wrestling in the high school gym, a donkey basketball game at the same venue, or junior and senior plays in the auditorium of the old school building.
I remember long bus trips for the band to march in parades at Morehead or Frankfort. I remember singing the song ’99 bottles of beer on the wall’ as we rode through the darkness to reach our destination. I recall a trip to Carter’s Cave and another for our Little Leaguers to Cincinnati’s Crossly Field only to find the game rained out. The stadium was pretty in spite of the puddles and tarps spread over the infield. I remember school dances, basketball games, and especially an outdoor graduation at the football field.
I remember friends. I still see their smiling faces and hear their laughter. Who could forget the fun we had at Cabwaylingo? Whether there or on school property I can still see the wild antics of Mary Eva Berry, Linda Sue Salisbury, Cookie Roberts and Clara Jones and the hilarity that followed them everywhere they went. I remember the crazy actions of Kay Varney at band camp and anywhere we gathered. I remember Johnny Bill Boggs, Billy Elkins, Harry Richard Cyrus, Teenie Van Hoose, Creep Chandler, Jimmy Mullins, and Stanley Brown. I look at the annuals and see faces jumping alive with fresh memories enough to truly make me nostalgic. For those who were there for me, I say “thank you.”
If there’s anyone who thinks that memories have little value, then perhaps they haven’t lived as richly as might. Just maybe I’ll take a moment, sit on my deck and do some serious remembering. How about you? firstname.lastname@example.org