This was a romance magazine from about 1968. I was reminded of it when I was describing to a class for new police sergeants, the way Denver looked on a weekend afternoon in the late 1960s. I said the area from City Hall to the Colorado Capitol building was “wall-to-wall Hippies.” One of the younger people in the class laughed and said, “Oooh, you mean Beatniks or Peaceniks or just Long-Hairs?” Several held up their fingers in the “peace” sign and swayed back and forth. They were just joking and I realized that since they were nearly all born after 1985, the term sounded antiquated.
I think I called them Rat-Finks and Young Whippersnappers. But for just a moment I wished there was someone in the class who had shared that memory of Denver with me.
When my Dad was in his final days he talked about family members who had passed away, many of them decades before. He said, wistfully, “All the people I could talk to about times when I was younger have been gone for years.” I knew how he felt, but have come to understand it more every year since then.
That is probably one of the biggest values of reunions (both high school and family), retiree associations, and casual get-togethers with those we used to work with. Sure, some of the memories are a bit (or a lot) exaggerated, but at least it brings back shared times and reminds us of the way we were, individually and together. Even if you’re not so very old, there are times past that won’t come again and that are fun or interesting to recall with someone who was there.
This week, send an email, make a phone call or go visit someone who might enjoy remembering some the of the things you remember. Pick a time or situation and start the old-fashioned way: “Do you remember when…..?”