The older we get, the easier it becomes to lapse into reminiscence mode – sometimes to the chagrin of those around us. Generally the younger, the more chagrined.
A handful of items prompted the latest relapse.
The first was a Denton Record-Chronicle photo of purple-robed 2012 grads throwing their caps into the air at the University of North Texas Coliseum.
As a member of the Denton High class of ’73 (when the town had but one high school), ours was the first to perform that ritual in that building.
Some of my classmates may have grandchildren at DHS by now, maybe even a graduate.
Next was the DRC column that reviews what happened 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago. Starting this week, those 50-years-ago events have more a personal meaning, since it was a half century ago that our family first put down roots there.
Also in the same column was a note about the first airplane flight over Denton 100 years ago. Decatur will celebrate that same milestone in a couple of years, and we will be preparing stories about that.
The final item was a Facebook page that reminisces about Decatur back in the days. One recent thread started talking about local restaurants and soon left the city and the county to talk about eating places in Fort Worth and Denton.
Boy, I could have produced a lengthy list of edible delights around Denton in the ’60s and ’70s.
I still believe the best chopped-beef sandwich ever served on this planet came from Jack’s Little Apple, which was razed to make way for Carroll Boulevard where it crosses University Drive (U.S. 380) around 1973.
Oh, Jack built a new, shiny place just up the road, but it was never quite the same.
I could go on and on, but you already look chagrined. OK, just one more – chicken fried steak platter at the Charcoal Broiler.
Wait, Hickory House, Taco Pronto, Burger Chef and of course, the Linwood Grocery where you went to the meat counter in the back and ordered either a chicken-fried steak sandwich or a burger, wrapped in butcher paper, grabbed a cola from the box and sat on the curb with your lunch.
We rode there on our bikes, in seventh grade, and on the way back stopped at the Davis Bakery for a hand-sized sugar cookie. Cost a nickel, I think. And then on the way home from school was happy hour at Sandy’s with a 15-cent large Coke costing just a dime.
OK, I’ll stop.
All of us fortunate to grow up in places like Decatur or Denton or Bridgeport have similar, fond memories and sometimes even yearn to bring back some of the great things about those nostalgic times.
Whoever said, “You can never go home again” was correct in one sense, because the old place is never the same. None of those places I listed still exist. Or that place near the North Texas campus where you could buy a hero (subway) sandwich by the inch – OK, OK, I’ll really stop.
But in another very real sense, you can go home again, as long as the memories are fond.
There’s a laundry list of things I don’t like about Facebook, but its ability to help us reconnect and reminisce appears to be one of its strong points.
Just wonder what it will be like for today’s teens in 40 years when they remember back to when Facebook had not even a million users and was used only by college students.
Yep, those were the days.