Thursday, January 1, 2015

Leery of relativity

When I was a boy (oh, God, here he goes again), the local paper had a little Sunday magazine that carried a feature listing local events that had occurred 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years before. I remember thinking the 10-year-old stuff wasn’t really all that long ago, but the 20-year-old stuff was pretty antique, and the 30-year-old stuff was nearly obscured by the mists of time.

The same paper has apparently been doing something similar these days on its sports page. A friend asked me during the fall if I’d seen it a few weeks previous. Nope. “Well, there was a little piece in there about a cross-country race you won 50 years ago.” We naturally had the requisite laugh about how superb we were then and how old and creaky we are now, and moved on to local politics.

Of course, to me now, the fall of 1964 can seem like last week. I can still smell some of those crisp afternoons, tempered pungently with Essence of Cramergesic. On the other hand, 50 years before that was 1914, which only existed in books and the obviously addled memories of the utterly ancient.