Do you remember when ...
It seems the older we get, the more we use that phrase. Or, we like to say "when I was a kid ..." and the person who is the younger one of the group - if it is a significant age difference - probably rolls their eyes and thinks "Here we go again, another story about the good old days."
But the truth is everything changes: sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes things just change. There was a conversation I had a few months ago with a guy who is much older than me who was trying to tell me that everything was better years ago. I got him to concede a few points that were easy, since he was carrying a smartphone. Still, I understood his point even if I didn't agree with him.
Then, of course, I had to think about conversations I've had with my staff here. We have several staffers who are in the their 20s, so I'm sure they roll their eyes at times at my recollections. But heck, I don't know why because mine are so cool, hip and with it (yes, for the Sheldon Coopers of the world, that was sarcasm).
The funny thing is I think most of our recollections and happy memories revolve around things that just don't happen anymore because of change. Looking back, many of things I remember probably aren't better than they are now because of safety concerns, etc.
When I was in Little League in Mancelona, our road games were within a 20-mile radius. We always traveled as a team, so we were at the field at the same time. While there were always multiple drivers, invariably, most of us piled into the back of our coach's pickup - 10 kids in baseball uniforms going down the highway in the back of a pickup is not something you see today. Thankfully.
In high school on the Friday of homecoming, there was a snake dance. I don't know if they even have them anymore. For the uninitiated, it's a line where people join hands and run through the streets back and forth like a snake. In Mancelona, it always led the parade with the floats.
Fun times, unless you think about it - you have people being pulled back and forth across a paved street while running. One slip and down they go. And who led the snake dance? The football players and cheerleaders. A football player was one nasty spill away from not being able to play in that game. (Side note: Our class won the homecoming float competition every year from seventh grade through 12th except for eighth grade when we had to have a combined junior high float).
Because I played sports in all the seasons, many of my memories revolve around the sports. And band, since I also was in the band and we traveled to competition.
I used to chuckle when my parents talked about Alpena when they were growing up. Anybody of a certain age, or with parents of a certain age, has heard the names of all the businesses of years gone by; they've heard of they way things used to be.
Now, I find that I'm telling tales (Holy aging process, Batman, I'm getting old). The only difference is many of mine don't revolve around Alpena. Some do, but many don't.
The funny thing, to me at least, is that I'm not really pining for the days of old, just remembering them. I think that's the way it is with everybody unless they had a traumatic childhood or other stage of life, so I'm not going to speak for everybody.
I like the changes that occur as we progress and society changes. I might not like all the changes, but I still appreciate that time and life don't stand still. I love new ideas, new people in our lives, new music, new technology - the list goes on. We might not always like it, but change happens and we need to enjoy it.
To steal a song from the Black Keys, "Things ain't what they used to be." But you know what? That's probably a good thing.