13 March 2016

Meandering through Memory Lane

It looks nothing like it did when I graduated
thirty two years ago
The last few days found me in Arizona for the great annual event known as Mom's Tax Roundup. It can be as fun as it sounds, believe me. This year, though, we were totally on point. I don't know if it's her previously mentioned "Over the Rainbow (or as I like to call it, 'No I really am dying this time and I mean it!') Project but things were a pinnacle of organization this go round. As a result, I had a little more time than usual before meeting with our accountant (P.S. if you are in Arizona, you should be doing business with him). So that time allowed me to meander through Memory Lane, something I don't normally do while I'm back in the state where I spent my childhood.

High School
For whatever reason, I decided to go see my high school. To say that it has changed in the thirty two years since I graduated was an understatement. I hardly recognized it and I suppose that's a good thing. High school for me was not great (I've posted some of the pictures of myself from those years and that's the least of the reasons why it can be described as not great). In the immortal words of another one of America's wisest philosophers, Ferris Bueller, "It's a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school." Nailed it, Ferris. Since it was Spring Break (because Arizona students needs a break from the horrific winters they endure), I was able to hang around about without looking, well, pervy. I  about died when I saw this on the administration building (a building that did not exist during years there):

"A+ School of Excellence" - let me assure you that excellence was the furthest thing from the mind of both the students of the august Class of 1984 and its administration. Somehow, like most of us, I survived the house of horrors that is high school and I was glad that I left smiling as I drove away after seeing it again after so many years.

Spring Training
As a baseball fan, growing up we got to a few Spring Training games, and I've been able to get to a few more of the years as an adult. A few years ago, we took my late father to a Cubs game and one of the best pictures we have is of him standing with Ronnie Woo Woo. I don't think Dad knew who Ronnie was but it's a great picture just the same. So with the Cubs playing the White Sox this past Saturday, I decided to relive that memory as well. Armed with a cheap ticket off the StubHub on a glorious day, I took in the game alone (baseball games and my mom aren't an ideal match) until another memory literally manifested itself in the row in front of me.
See, I told you it was an amazing day!

At the bottom of the first inning, a woman comes to the row in front of me and blurts out my name. I knew instantly who it was, in spite of the fact that by our calculus, it's probably been 30+ years since we've seen each other. She used to 'babysit' us! Now I should say that there's only a three year age gap between us but still she had the hard task of 'babysitting' my siblings and I when my parents would go out of town before I got a drivers license. Thanks to my incessant posting in the lead up to the game and her son's eagle eye, they found me. We had a great time talking and getting caught up. So funny that now we are both grandparents!

The last time she stayed with us, as I recall, I was pretty annoyed because I was pretty close to at least having my driving permit and I could not understand why a babysitter was required while my parents were gone (again, I wasn't legal to drive). Anyway, one Sunday morning we were driving to go get religion and this poor girl, Shawna, was behind the wheel of our Suburban when the power steering failed and failed big time. She was struggling mightily to turn this land yacht and I was having none of it in terms of jumping to her aid. I was in the front seat (the boss bench seats only years for the Suburban) and still seething that I couldn't drive, I was in no mood to help. I'm (mildly) proud to say that I did decide to help her turn it and we got it into a parking lot. I'm pretty sure she doesn't remember that but that memory had me laughing through the rest of the game, which the Cubs won (please, please, please be a good omen for this season)!

We live in a small world. The likes of the Instagram and the Facebooks make it even smaller. Those forums serve as a "Trapper Keeper" for the memories we capture today. It was good to meander through a slew of memories this weekend. I'm still smiling.

No comments: