The Time Capsule
You find the most interesting things inside time capsules, if you ever get the opportunity to check one out. I did recently, when my friend with whom I went to high school, paid me a visit up here on the mountain. John lives down in SoCal but has two adult children who have relocated to the Bay Area, one who has presented John and his wife, Brenda, with their first grand-baby
John and I graduated in 1970, so that’s a cool forty-five years ago. The first thing you think (I imagine) is, “Man, that’s old.” And that’s one point I am making. You can’t do this stuff until you are old; otherwise, it’s not much of a time capsule.
This particular time capsule contained memories, and those are the best kind. The interesting thing, though, is that John’s memories and mine would occasionally find themselves at odds with one another. For instance, he mentioned in passing that he remembered in particular, swooping me up when he was with some friends, and whisking me off to a Neil Diamond concert, one hot summer’s night.
Now I was a Neil Diamond fan, and John and I attended many concerts together, but I never saw Diamond in concert. So when John mentioned that little anecdote, I had to tell him that it was not I who went to that concert with him, since I had never seen the man perform. He was dumbfounded and even debated with me about it.
Then he got serious and googled the specific concert (“Hot August Night”) and came up with a date: August of 1972. Ah ha, I exclaimed, finally able to prove to him that I had not been along on that particular gig. Where was I in August of 1972, I inquired of him, and then he got it.
7,000 miles away, defending my country on hostile shores, in the Land of the Morning Calm, South Korea. (Actually, I spent sixteen months in an office where we cut orders for those lucky enough to be going home.)
I countered with a casual mention of a particular friend who I thought I remembered John mentioning had passed away. He looked at me in surprise. “Jerry?” he asked. “No way. He is still with us. You say I told you that?”
“I thought you did but maybe I was dreaming.” What I might have said if I were talking to someone here on the mountain, is “I thought you did but I may have been high on the s**t.” With John there was still that conversation to be had.
When I wrote “Scraps of Tin Foil” (http://markyswrite.blogspot.com/2015/05/scraps-of-tin-foil.html) the other day, I alluded to an earlier conversation in which I had expressed concern that my need to take my meds (a bong rip) every so often, would produce discomfort with my SoCal guests. I was going to ask him before he left how that all worked out for them, but I didn’t find the ideal opportunity, so I passed on the question.
Another huge bubble was burst when I found out he was not a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. I was flummoxed because we had attended several games together in the company of a big part of our social circle. It turns out that he had been an Angels fan since they arrived in 1962 and had gone to the Dodgers games because it was fun and that’s where the rest of us were going.
The reason why this revelation was so significant, is because it opened the door for some remarkable dialogue between the two of us, since we were fans of two different leagues. I admit I had been anticipating asking him [as a Dodger fan] how LA folks could tolerate the antics of Yasiel Puig, but when I found out he is an Angels fan, it made things sweet.
I told him that I had been impressed with Mike Trout and how he had seemed to possess all of the five necessary tools to be successful in Major League baseball. John thought that was great because he said that often fans did not seem to give Trout his due. We watched parts of a couple of Giants broadcasts and it was highly enjoyable.
The time seemed to fly past when John and Brenda were here, and Annie and I enjoyed the visit immensely. I had a thousand questions lined up, and I only got about one-tenth of them asked, so I know there will be a repeat engagement.
Down in SoCal, perhaps?