Pages from the Past

I like to hop in my time machine on occasion.

Inside a box in the bedroom closet, beneath an old baseball glove, newspaper clippings and a college diploma, are four spiral notebooks.

They are my journals.

For more than five years, from October 1981 through November 1986, everything I considered meaningful was written on those pages. It is a nod to my mother, who, as my high school English teacher, made her students keep the digests as part of their grade.

Perceptions can deceive. Memories can fade.

A journal, however, breaks through the gray with an absolution of ink to paper, moment to recorded history.

These snapshots are a mix of family, college and a young man trying find a niche.

I buried my grandmother in these pages, and we visited the World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1982 on a vacation out West, my father wanted to take a photograph of a picturesque saloon in South Dakota. A plump Native American woman would have none of it.

“You’re not going to take my picture. You’re one of those highfalutin ones, aren’t you?”

She threatened to kill him.

I apparently packed a lot of life in my four years at Mizzou.

Road trips. All-nighters. Study breaks at The Shack. Struggles, then triumphs, with my first foreign language class. A Long Island Tea Party and two wicked hickeys.

Scared shitless as a cub reporter, I was ordered to interview curmudgeonly coach Norm Stewart, who broke the ice thusly:

“Have an orange. We’ve got plenty.”

We shared Vitamin C but little else.

The notebooks also chronicle part of the courtship of my future wife, whom I met on a Florida beach in May 1986.  One of the last entries is from November of that year, a month before I proposed.

The page is loose from the spiral, yellowed at the corners.

“She already knows me like no one else. She wants to have children — two. She will make a terrific mother. I love Sherry so much. I will love her forever.”

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4 thoughts on “Pages from the Past

  1. It is one of the main reasons we blog. Alyson slurps it the end of each year and has it printed into a book.
    She says it’s for Alyzabeth so she will better understand who we are – “were”…
    peace
    fm

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