I cannot be the only person who has had trouble keeping the days and dates straight of late: there seem to have been at least three Saturdays and Sundays in these last two weeks of 2018! Whatever day it has been or is, however, has not affected my feeling there are some odds and ends I need to mention.
Although the number of times I yell at the TV during news programs has not noticeably abated, my television screen nevertheless also presented a couple of commercials that routinely made me smile. I once again enjoyed an old favorite Christmas commercial each time it appeared: when the Hershey’s kisses wrapped in silver, red, and green wished us all a Merry Christmas during their mini-handbell concert. It is the best kind of commercial – short and certainly sweet! And then there was the non-Christmas one that has been cracking me up, when the Colonel from KFC and Mrs. Butterworth recreate the lift from the last scene of Dirty Dancing. Love it!
I also laughed out loud at a couple of seasonal cartoons making the Facebook rounds this month. In one a doctor asking the Gingerbread Man about his sore knee suggested, “Have you tried icing it?” In the other, a shopper spied Frosty in the grocery store picking his nose. Of course, the famous snowman was in the produce aisle checking out the carrots!
Last week my mailperson delivered the latest copy of the alumni magazine from my college. For a couple of years now I have been writing profiles of interesting Otterbein grads – the position is unpaid but provides a byline. The winter edition of the magazine contained my most recent submission, with my name listed on the staff page as a Contributing Writer. Made my day!
At this stage of life, scarcely a day passes without some reminder that time is relentlessly marching on. Recent security camera footage on the news showed an “elderly” lady going after some young buck who had snatched her purse. Turns out the “elderly” lady was 74 years old. My 70-year-old psyche felt offended, and then resignation set in. There is no doubt that the math of aging will continue to pile up.
It was fun to have some friends from the GHS Class of ’66 stop by a while back. All but one of us had already been inducted into our seventh decade; the “youngster” had a couple of weeks to go, so we advised him on experiences to come.
Lots of us in the Class of 1966 were born in 1948. The big 7-0 will happen to the others in short order. As usual, I did a bit of googling to determine what else arrived seventy years ago.
We are contemporaries with the “elderly” likes of Billy Crystal, Al Gore, Colin Powell, Olivia Newton-John, Christa McAuliffe, Clarence Thomas, Bobby Orr, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Mandrell, and David Eisenhower. And when I was a girl, I read a biography of Queen Elizabeth II multiple times, making plans to marry her son, Prince Charles, who was my age!
New inventions in 1948 included Velcro, bar codes, and Scrabble. Tupperware parties and jukeboxes were all the rage, and the whole NASCAR thing began on the beach in Daytona. Dewey “won,” but Truman became President and Time Man of the Year. The two Koreas established separate constitutions, while America established the Marshall Plan to provide aid in rebuilding West European economies after World War II. The Cold War was on as Russia blocked all ground transportation into and out of Berlin. The Americans, the British, and the French broke the blockade with a ten-month airlift of food and fuel to Berliners.
I always look forward to the annual celebration of the Kennedy Center honors, although my enjoyment last week was tinged with a sense of advancing age. Honorees are routinely well beyond my age, as were composer Philip Glass and jazzman Wayne Shorter this year. But Cher has a mere three years on me, and Reba McIntire is still in her sixties!
It was the finale of that program on Wednesday, however, that transported me back oh so many years. Cyndi Lauper and Adam Lambert recreated on stage the number Cher and hubby Sonny Bono used to close their weekly program in the 70’s. The Lauper/Lambert rendition moved the entire audience to spontaneously stand and join in singing “I Got You Babe.” For me and all those Washingtonians in that august setting, the years simply fell away. We were all in our twenties again, we were all in the 1970’s again, we were all that age when everything seemed possible in our young lives. Tears and smiles all around, including in my living room.
Yes, the past is the past – but a new year is here. As concerned as I am about national and international affairs, I am still plowing ahead with new ideas for my sewing, new topics for my articles, a few new Lizzie stories, a couple new submissions to my alumni magazine, and these realistic but encouraging words from L.R. Knost echoing in my soul: Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.
Shirley Scott, a 1966 graduate of Graham High School, is a native of Champaign County. After receiving degrees in English and German from Otterbein College, she returned to GHS in 1970 where she taught until retiring in 2010. From 1976-2001 she coordinated the German Exchange Program with the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Springe.