From The Archives: Memories Can’t Wait

This is a slight revision of a Facebook post from May 2017.

The prep for my music posts regularly includes some Internet research, part of which is looking for videos on YouTube. While digging for Honeymoon Suite goodies for the previous post, I saw in the list of suggested videos another of their songs, “Bad Attitude.” The title sounded familiar but nothing played in my head in reaction. I clicked on the link and soon realized that I did indeed know it. It has to be close to 30 years since I’d heard it, but there I was, singing along with the chorus after the first verse: I belted out “Twisted views, (bad, bad attitude)” and “No one likes to lose” right on time! I can’t place which stretch of 86 I heard it enough to internalize some of its lyrics, but this was an unexpected, joyful (re-)discovery, and while maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised, it did take me aback a bit to have lyrics to a song I’d long forgotten right on the tip of my tongue.

This brought to mind recent experiences I’ve had with memory, forgetting, and what can resurface suddenly; here’s one. Just over a year ago I had my 30th college reunion, which allowed me to reconnect with some old friends. A few weeks later, I came across photos that featured many of these friends (but not me). I scanned and circulated them; the recipients went scurrying for their photo albums and diaries, but in the ensuing lively conversation and sharing of other pix, NO ONE could remember the occasion, date(s), etc. One, a picture of my friends on a boat on the Kentucky River, was particularly vexing. Was it from 85, while we were in college, 86, right after we graduated, or 87, later still?

TU3

In January, I went down to the dark recesses of our basement and dove into my bin of correspondence from the 80s (I was once a big letter writer. Email has fairly killed off the need for that, but I really miss it sometimes.). Talk about bringing back things you’d forgotten! The prize of this excursion, though, was a letter that pinpointed the gathering from which all the pictures came. It described who attended and group’s activities, which included a trip on the Kentucky. August 87. I didn’t remember anything about it because I didn’t attend–I was in IL, prepping for some exams that would allow me to move on toward my degree. Of course, I’d forgotten that my friend had sent me the pictures in that letter!

Sometimes I feel like I spend entirely too much time living in the past, including listening to the music of my younger days. But then something like a 30-year-old picture or “Bad Attitude” comes along, bringing me unforeseen pleasures from way back when and likely ensuring that I won’t stop these trips particularly soon.

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