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FAILING MEMORIES, ENHANCED THOUGHT, BOOMER BRAIN

failing memories

courtesy of the Howe Collection

Failing memories include a list of golden moments that show up online more often than it should.

They’re supposed to invoke a better time, but for the wrong reasons.

Someone needs to set it straight, but who?

Could be you if you saw the television shows first hand, been alive for events, and remember.

The big one is remember, that and report without nostalgia. You know, enough detachment to call it what it was without sounding like a victim.

You could probably do better if you had the time, but…you don’t.

Comment if you have time before failing memories take over.

  • IF YOU WERE RAISED ON HEE HAW…

No one was raised on Hee Haw any more than Duck Dynasty raises anyone.

The whole celebrity hillbilly thing ran it’s course after superb musicianship turned to ZZ Top beards and no guitars.

Hee Haw was Must-See-TV for eighth graders in 1969. Why? Because it showcased Playboy Bunnies.

Laugh-In topped out with Goldie Hawn.

Was it a little creepy seeing Grandpa Jones with babes? Or any of the rest of the old guys with young women?

Today they’d be poster boys for ED products. Failing memories recall Hugh Hefner as a cool cat, not a Hollywood pimp.

At least Goldie moved on.

  • HAD A CRUSH ON ANY OF THE DUKES…

The Dukes? The biggest crush on Dukes of Hazzard was their car General Lee.

Who didn’t dream of a car that raced and flew through the air and kept running.

The enduring legacy is ladies wearing jeans cut off to there like Daisy Duke.

What are those called?

  • ONLY WATCHED CARTOONS ON SATURDAY MORNING…

This one disrespects Popeye on the after school nautical themed shows like Cap’n Johnny to the big time Captain Shipwreck, then Ramblin’ Rod.

Saturday mornings were great, but don’t forget the Sailor Man.

Robin Williams played him perfect.

  • PLAYED IN THE DIRT…

Also known as the backyard.

After the old man covered it in fresh chicken manure he called fertilizer we found a new play spot across the street.

It was a sand dune. Easy choice. Behind the dune were the woods. No chicken doodle.

  • GOT YOUR BUTT WHIPPED WITH A BELT OR HAD TO PICK YOUR OWN SWITCH…

Or whipped with a shoe, or extension cord, or coat hanger.

Punishment came in many varieties, which you might expect with kids who shot up the house and a little brother with a BB gun, broke the front room picture window by banging on it to make it sound like thunder, or had a klepto in the family who always got caught.

Whipping children doesn’t make them better people, or the whipper a better parent.

Someone had to break the chain, which doesn’t mean ending the swat.

It means you shouldn’t work your kids over until they break down with a response that satisfies you, like begging for mercy.

Did you grow up and whip your kids? How’d that work out?

With failing memories it’s PTSD inducing.

  • HAD A ROTARY PHONE

There was no other phone, and it had a party line.

Shortwave radio worked then, too.

Now it’s facebook party line.

  • HAD 3 TV CHANNELS…

We had two channels, one for Cap’n Johnny, one for Captain Shipwreck, on a black and white TV.

And it was enough until a new kid started talking about their ‘color’ TV and ruined the curve.

The biggest shock of childhood for some, like yours truly? Spoiler alert:

Watching Wizard of Oz for the first time on a modern TV when the black and white intro turned to color when Dorothy stepped into Oz.

  • SCHOOL STARTED WITH “THE PLEDGE”…

And it wasn’t a matter of choice. Show up, stand up, say the Pledge of Allegiance with your hand over your heart.

No exceptions.

You wouldn’t get whipped if you didn’t, but then again you might if the teacher called home.

Imagine a parent leaving work because of something a kid did at school and offering two choices, a whipping in the school office, or outside on the sidewalk.

Keep in mind this was an era when teachers and principals kept their back swing in tune for more than golf.

Failing memories recall them as beloved.

  • HAD A BEDTIME…

If you had a brother with a radio as a roommate, bedtime was different than clock time.

The old man had a radio that pulled in stations from around the world.

That was living.

  • RODE IN BACK OF PICKUP TRUCKS…

Kids and dogs in the back.

We didn’t have a truck or a dog, but it looked fun.

  • RECORDED THE TOP 40 FROM RADIO ON CASSETTE TAPES…

Way too technical. Just buy a 45 and spin it until the needle wears out.

Besides, in the time before cassette tapes, and there was such a time, no one recorded.

If we wanted to hear a song we had to remember it and sing it.

What the favorite song for thirteen your old boys in 1967? What did they sing?

Tommy James and the Shondells ‘I Think We’re Alone Now.’

  • PLAYED IN THE CREEK…

Swim around, swing on a rope. All good fun.

Until I noticed the flies around the cows into in the creek upstream drop a load.

After one of these start buzzing up you swimsuit and doing what they do, the fun turned into something else.

Does this shake failing memories?

failing memories

  • RODE YOUR BIKE ALL DAY WITHOUT A HELMET…

Those were days before the X-Games.

Hopping a curb was the biggest death defying stunt. And riding a wheelie.

We had crummy football helmets. The idea was kids couldn’t hit hard enough to hurt anyone.

The coaches didn’t feel a thing. If they did, they rubbed some dirt on it.

Failing memories or CTE?

===

Times change, so do people. Either keep up, or get out of the way.

Remember Grandpa telling you about the good old days?

My favorite: “The only reason to go to school past the eighth grade is if you’re afraid of work.”

This coming from a man who broke his back working in the woods.

Talk about frightening.

What are your good memories and realities?

Let’s share. No time? No memories? It’s all good.

About David Gillaspie

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