Nostalgia cues

The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean

I’m taxing my memory with this photo. I took either on the shore in North Carolina or South Carolina. I’m not sure which it was. Neither can I recall the year when I took it. I know it was after I moved to Lafayette and before I started dating Cindy, but the exact year is a mystery to me. The only thing I’m sure of is that I like the picture.


It happened again this morning. I was listening to The Beatles; you know, the white album. Waves of nostalgia started washing over me. That has been happening more and more in the past few weeks. While it most often happens when I’m listening to music that I first listened to when I was younger, it has also been happening when I look at look at old photos. It has even happened when I saw a scene on television that reminded me of something I saw when younger. This nostalgia thing is almost getting out of hand.

I say “getting out of hand” because along with the nostalgia comes the realizations that a) things were never as good as we remember them to be (we suppress so many bad events in our life); and b) often with the passing of the initial nostalgia comes a feeling of depression. I’m not sure, but I think the depression is caused by the knowledge that life will probably never be as good again as we want to remember it to be in the past. Does that make sense to you?

Anyway, there have been so many nostalgia cues in my life lately that I’ve been feeling more depressed than usual. It doesn’t last long, but it does bring me down for a few hours at a time. Honestly, I’m getting tired of it.


On the other side, some nostalgic lapses don’t drop me into depression. Yesterday morning, on Morning Joe, they were doing a short rap-up of the previous day’s baseball games. All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, the name John R. Tunis popped into my mind. Right after that the book title The Kid from Tomkinsville popped in. Tunis, of course, wrote that book. He wrote it in 1940, even before my time, but when I read it as a young boy, I loved it. It is the first book in what turned out to be a series of books about baseball. It has been called the first juvenile fiction sports themed book. Thanks to the county library bookmobile coming to the school, and later the little one room extension library in Rolling Prairie, I was able to read the entire series.

I have to admit that I’m not sure if I became a (Brooklyn) Dodger fan because of the books, or if I liked the books because I was already a Dodger fan. Let’s see, I was eleven years old when they became the Los Angeles Dodgers, so it could have been either way.

Oh, and Tunis dealt with topics such as racial intolerance, anti-Semitism, and other social issues in the pages of his books. Perhaps if more people had read those books when young, we would have a kinder society now. I guess nostalgia can also lead us back to hope.

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