Friday, July 09, 2010

Nostalgia - What Can Be Done?

My parents finally gave up on me ever going through the childhood boxes I had in their garage, and they came over and brought them to my entry way. I have guests coming over Sunday, so I'm finally going through them. This is a very hard task for a nostalgic person! Other than college notes and old birthday cards, here's some stuff I'm finding:An old box for special things. Yes, that's a self-portrait on the front. Can you tell what I'm supposed to be? My grandpa was fire-chief and lived in the firehouse, so I drew myself as a fire-fighter - note the fireman's hat "in" my overly large hand, the badge pinned on my chest, and the fire on the bottom right of the box. I remember drawing this and punching the holes in the box. After all a fire does burn through things right! I was clearly a stickler for realism. My shoes are tied with very precise bows!Here are some of the items from my special box - souvenirs - a train whistle, a pennant, and a spark gun that still shoots sparks because I used it carefully and conservatively as a child!Old Sunday School books. I still remember specific pictures inside! Anybody know a Mrs. Vander Veen who taught Sunday School at Immanuel CRC, Ripon, in about 1970? There's only a last name in my book. Oh, wait! I bet it was Tracy Vander Veen . . . When I got a bit older I was a Dungeons and Dragons wanna be! I didn't know anybody who played, so I just looked it up in books and drew maps and dungeons. It seems my drawing skills improved a bit since my box-lid days. I even bought the polyhedral dice - ones you had to paint to get the numbers to show up! Apparently I also went through a romance-novel stage. I have very little recollection of this, but the quantity of books speaks for itself. I notice some were 33 cents apiece at Raley's! Clearly I was very discerning!And there was also a comic-book phase . . . And here are the results from the career center testing at college. Hmm . . . I wonder if being an INTP on the Myers-Briggs explains the variety of phases I had? Romance novels, Dungeons and Dragons and Little Archie comics?!?!I started out as a computer science major and still have an old program I wrote to prove it. Anybody remember the old green and white paper with the holes on the sides? If so, don't admit it, you'll be giving away your age! How have we gone from those old dinosaurs to I-phones? AMAZING! Ah well, computers weren't for me, so I made my minor, which was math, my major.And there's certainly a reason I went into math rather than sociology. Here are my notes from the first day of class, September 13, 1983. I clearly and specifically remember the first thing the professor said, which is borne out by my notes above: "Why do people commit suicide?" Uh . . . and people dislike math?! Go figure!And then, of course, my own romance - as witnessed by a card I started making for David. Yeah, it's a self-portrait. Maybe I'd better stick with drawing dungeons for D&D!

OK, that all that is just a drop in the bucket. There are other notes and books and letters and cards and puzzles and snatches of poetry I began writing (one to my grandpa - one to my yet-unborn children, whom I apparently thought would be girls!) and old slides and my lucky horseshoe from Columbia with my name engraved on it and books whose pictures bring me back to specific times in childhood. Sorting this stuff and figuring out what to do with it is very hard for a nostalgic person! And, given our recent move, there is no room in our garage! I can't get rid of it, and I can't keep it - so I've been sitting on my entry-way floor sorting and reminiscing for 4 hours.

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