Blasting to the Past

I was having lunch with some old friends not long ago. These were OLD friends. By that, I mean we’ve known each other all our lives. We literally grew up together. As expected the table conversation centered on our past. There were a few recollections that were painful but mostly our memories of those days were not only good but bordered on idyllic. After all, we did grow up in Mayberry (See earlier post “My Mayberry”) We talked fondly of the soda shop, the dry goods store, the dime store and the old courthouse downtown. We reminisced about those summer days when we went barefoot and rode our bikes farther than we should and how we were detached from any sense of danger or strife.

We all admitted that we knew the lyrics and background vocals to every Beach Boys’ hit.

Somewhere during the conversation, though, I looked around the table and realized that none of us still lives in that small town anymore. We don’t live far away but we had all gone away to college after high school and never returned. Why was that? If that place was indeed perfect why didn’t we all stay there? Our “chase” sent us away but now that we looked back it was as if our past could become our Bimini. The good ol’ days might be the panacea.

Nostalgia can be warm and inviting but it can also be dangerous. I guess that black and white photos, if even those in our memories, filter out the bad and bring forward only the best. And that can be deceiving. Maybe even more deceiving than a dream of a place just over the next horizon.

The past and the future are nice places to visit but now is the place I want to spend most of my time.

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