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Ol Smoke

Having a photographic memory isnt a good thing.

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My father was born with what we used to call a photographic memory and he had total recall.  I got it from him.  But after years of drugs and stuff my memory

isnt what it used to be.  But the reason I told you this is not about anything but the misery of having this "gift". 


I was talking to a very old friend of mine the other day, who used to drag the gut with me in the late '60's.  His wife had died recently and he found me on Facebook.

In an instant, my memory started bringing back those old days of dragging the gut and sitting in the Safeway parking lot with our muscle cars.  I could recall every

one there, what was talked about and what they were wearing and what their GF's wore and everything.  Safeway had a sale on ground beef for 33¢ a pound.


But then I kinda came out of the daydream and it hit me like a bolt of lightning.  All those people in the parking lot that night....are now 65 to 70 years old.

My time of being a teen and having just a wonderful period of time to grow up in, just went up in smoke.  You see, those memories are so vivid that I can still recall how

the cars sounded, the music that was playing, each person's voice, the smells, everything.  If I close my eyes and fade a little it is like I am still there.  We had a reunion

about 10 years ago, and there were 50 or more there.  Most of them I remembered, but some were the kids from the '70's and I didnt know them.


We were just a bunch of old people, in SUV's and Honda's showing pictures of our grandchildren.  We weren't the tire smoking, hot rodding, beer drinking, cig smoking

kids of 1965-1969.  I sold my old Falcon hotrod in 1971 to go to college.  Only one guy, Tom Childers, still had his rat 454 1969 Chevelle SS.  It was perfect.  The last

muscle car I had was a 1969 Oldsmobile 442 W30 and I sold it in 1975.


To them it was a party of remembrance, but to me it was just another painful journey into old age.  You see, in my memory, all that happened just yesterday, not 48 years ago.

I would look around the party and see all these old people and I couldn't place them in my memory, but when they talked about old times, then I could see them sitting

behind the steering wheel of their hotrod and we would be talking about cars and stuff.  To put this into context for you young guys; I had just installed a 4-track Muncie tape

player into my 1960 Falcon on that one day back in 1968.  I had two tapes.  The Beach Boys "Surfin' Safari" and The Supremes with "Baby Love".  That was one great night and

I can remember every minute of it.  Right down to the taste of that Shakey's Pizza we had.  But then I wake up and see this old man I am and I just cant see how 48 years has gone by.


The only thing that was ever good about my memory was school work.  I never studied, I just looked at the books and what was written on the chalkboard. 

Someday I will have a memory stroke of some kind and I will be like a 4 year old kid with no knowledge of anything.


No matter what old people tell you,  we all live like this and only the things in our rearview mirrors are clear to us and make any sense at all.  The older it is, the clearer it is.


When you go to bed at night try this.  Close your eyes and remember everything you did that day, from when you got out of bed and then got back in bed.  You will notice that the

next day, you will remember yesterday more clearly.  When you are out with your friends and having a great time, stop for just a moment and look around and try to remember

everything you see, hear and smell.  Bury that memory deep and recall it before you go to bed.  One day it will all be over and your friends are gone to other places and you will

want to remember that night.  Life is fleeting that it seems like last week I was at the movie theater watching "Gold Finger" with my brother. 1964.   Fifty-two years ago.


I can recall playing :Blind Mans Bluff in Winston, Oregon  I was 4 years old.  I remember the face of every kid there.


But today,  I can't remember if I took my medicine this morning.  So when you see an old person hobbling along, don't get angry because they might hold you up another second,

say something nice to them and see if they could use a little help.  Just a smile goes a long way with older people.  Before you realize it, it will be you holding up the line.

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Good story, I enjoyed it. I wish I had your photographic memory ability. I'm a bit of a slacker when it comes to learning things I don't like. It seems like you resent getting old to some extent. Which I feel you shouldn't. Unfortunately you can't stay young forever. Surely as a man is born, he will also die, its the natural order of things.

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The Smoke became one of my favorite writers here. Always nice stories to read :)

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The Smoke became one of my favorite writers here. Always nice stories to read



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