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Banking on memories

Once we make them, they are always there for us to draw upon

Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 7:00 a.m. CDT

So, I’ve been working on my class reunion along with a small group of classmates. One of the fun things about being involved with the planning is hearing from people I haven’t seen in five and even 10 years.

It has brought back a flood of good memories. Truth be told, I need those memories. When everything is not going as well as one would like, memories are like money in the bank. Except you can draw a little out and still have the same amount.

One of the first people to respond was Mark Smalling. His late uncle owned the Monicals Pizza restaurant in town — a must-have for us out-of-towners when we visit. I remember when Monicals moved to its current location; Mark and I went there the day before it opened and ate for free so the staff could practice their new routine.

Mark lived a couple of blocks from me and I would sometimes spend the night there. We might stay up late playing Monopoly with his sister or spend our time playing in the family room.

One night, I couldn’t sleep and was terribly homesick. I don’t know why that was. I had stayed there a couple of times before without any problem.

I remember that Mark was so empathetic and tried his best to appease me. He stayed up with me weaving potholders to try to take my mind off of being homesick.

Remember the old wooden looms? You’d stretch fabric loops over pegs on a wooden square. When you were done, you’d pull the loops off and they would form a potholder resembling a small rag rug. Funny the things one remembers.

Mark eventually became a commercial photographer and started his own business in Chicago. I don’t think I’ve seen him in at least 10 years. Life has a way of happening. You blink your eyes and suddenly, yesterday becomes a decade.

The memory bank is different from the money bank in other ways. I wouldn’t trade my memories for money, and I would buy back lost memories if I could.

Fortunately, what I lack in memory, I make up for in imagination. Time robs and filters our memories, and I suppose that’s not all bad. My childhood was much greater in reruns than it ever was in primetime.

There is a way to reclaim some lost memories, though. And that is to visit with the people who helped make them in the first place. Sadly, some of those people aren’t with us anymore. As we get older, the conservators of our collective experiences become fewer and fewer — all the more reason to go see them.

———

© Copyright 2013 by David Porter who can be reached at david@ramblinman.us. I’m looking forward to reclaiming some lost memories and making some new ones.

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