LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Leaving good memories just where they belong

I did something earlier this year that I will never do again — attended my 60th year reunion at good old Felton High School.

I’ve always been a forward-looking woman, viewing the past as a foundation for future endeavors. As one of our speakers opined — we wouldn’t want to live in the past but it’s a nice place to visit. There was a lot of “visiting” in the auditorium that night.

Dorsey Hammond reviewed our class history in light of the state of the world, our country, and our individual lives. He remembered the coming-out of America after World War II’s necessary restrictions were being lifted. Families could afford better homes, cars, and that box everyone wanted in their living rooms, the TV set.

Job markets had changed, new inventions were popping up everywhere, and education beyond high school was beginning to be seen as necessary instead of a luxury. One thing we were all spared was the daily enlightenment of all the bad things still happening in the world.

All of this brought to mind the many people of my age who readily reverse their time travel to go back to the past. I listen to my husband and his sister rehash the history and residents of their hometown. Each can remember where someone lived many years ago, a lake that just disappeared one day, who used to roar through town in the newest automobile, or the movies they saw at the now-demolished movie theater. Many of the town residents’ surnames can still be found living there or nearby.

Do you ever wish you could turn back the clock to an earlier, much simpler era? I have never entertained that idea until the 2016 election, which left me wishing we could just remove that year or 16 months from the realm of time.

I, personally, would have to go back much further and I still couldn’t pick a particular time which was actually ideal. As I said, I am a realist who recognizes that life, no matter where you stand in it, is only as memorable as each individual makes it. And memories are always better (or worse) after being seasoned with passing time.

So what is the message in all these ramblings? No particular message, just a reminder that we have one life and we should treat it and those we encounter with kindness and respect. The reason I have not written lately is the wall of hate, misery, anger that seems to permeate society these days. Is that what we want to remember five, 10, or more years from now?

Just give it some thought and the next time you feel it is your right and duty to expound on some perceived slap to yourself, think for a few moments and consider the consequences of your verbal or written tirade. Is this something you really want to have people to remember about you? And will it really benefit anyone?

Personally, I’m glad I’ve learned a few things during those 60 years after high school!

Evelyn Good Pearson

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