Those Were the Days

11 02 2013

“Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end.Image

We’d sing and dance forever and a day.

We’d lead the life we choose, we’d fight and never loose,

Those were the days, oh yes those were the days.”  Mary Hopkins

There are many things in life that separate us from each other and secure our position as individuals, one of those features are memories.  All of us have at least one moment in time, be it a certain year, month, week, or even as little time as a day that we cling to its memory as being extraordinary, perhaps it even shapes and defines who we are today.  Of my favorite recollections as a child, the top of the list would have to be summer visits with my Great-Aunt Pearl back to my birth state West Virginia.  I was saddled down with so many insecurities back then that just getting away and into those hills was healing to my soul and emotional state.  The added joy of seeing extended family members who always had kind words, warm smiles, and loving hugs was worth its weight in gold. That’s a memory I’ll keep a lifetime.  For my Lady, it would be the summers her and her parents spent at their trailer on Lake Erie.  At the end of each school year the Lenharts would close up the house in Fremont and head up to Marblehead, Ohio, right on the lake. Cathy would spend the season hanging with her laker friends, going roller skating, and of course that all important matter when summering by a beach, working on a tan!  Good times, good memories.  Like I said some memories can be reduced to a short time slot. One buddy of mine came from a family of nine kids.  The father worked while mom stayed home and raised the kids so money was always tight, no extravagant trips for them, except one day every year.  The company my friend’s dad worked for had a large picnic for its employees each summer at Cedar Point Amusement Park.  The family would pile into their station wagon early on the morning of the picnic.  The mom would be armed with boxes of donuts they would eat on the way there.  Arriving, the older kids would get their arm bracelets that allowed them to ride everything in the park and off they would go while the younger ones went with the parents to the kiddie rides.  Everyone would meet back up for the company picnic at a designated spot to eat, and then back to the rides and sights there were to see.  To this day my friend looks back at that time with joy as he relives the rush feeling he got from the roller coasters, and just the excitement of feeling so alive, as he puts it.    

As I stated, memory and actions of a time period sometimes define who we are today.  I have a friend who did a tour in Viet Nam during the height of the conflict.  He was to be there a year, but was cut short when he was wounded and shipped out.  Here it is some 45 years later and not a week passes that you won’t find him relating the whole episode to someone.  He once told me in the early days he had to talk about it to keep his sanity. Later, he used the tales of war to help others who might be struggling the way he had.  He’d say, “I believe God put me in that war and then brought me home safe for a purpose, not just to be a soldier, but to be a help to the hurting and the scared.  Believe me; I know what that’s like!” 

I’ve spoke of my “15 minutes of fame.”  That’s a statement by Andy Warhol that every living person will experience 15 minutes of fame in their life.  My came and is gone and I think I had 13 minutes left over.  I’ve been a musician all my life, mostly on small venues like most.  For a short period of time, I got called up to the “Bigs” so to speak.  There’s nothing like the feeling a musician gets when bright lights hit you in the face and the sound of an audience resounds to a roar.  Suddenly the music explodes from the stage with an incredible, pulsating power and you realize, you’re part of the energy that’s creating that musical explosion; awesome!  Yep, short and sweet (kinda, but that’s a different story) my moment in the sun in the music industry; but it’s something I’ve never forgotten, or ever will.  Did I learn something from that experience?  Sure, that God gave me a love of making music for any size of listeners from 10 to 10,000.  That’s something I’ve always had and I always will, especially if I can do it to His glory.

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”

Never consider that those little moments in your life don’t mean anything to anyone else. It’s this man’s opinion that God gives each of us different circumstances for a reason. Maybe it’s to prepare for something else, maybe to be a help to others, even perhaps to relate them to someone else that may need a little sunshine in their day, brought by what you have to share.  I hold to the belief that memories and experiences are like my Aunt Pearl’s kitchen, nothing ever goes to waste, and everything has a taste, so everything has a use.

Yes, I understand not all memories are good, happy and uplifting, but is that to say they can’t be used to still be a help to others.  Not having a dad as a child to role model after, I was scared to death of how I raised my children, so I gave them my own saying.  “Take the things I do wrong and make them right, take the things I do right, and make them better.”

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1Peter 4:10

If anyone has a story or a memory they would like to share, I’m sure others would love to hear it.  Who knows, your experience just may be the story someone has needed to hear. Awesome!!!




One response

12 02 2013

“God gave me a love of making music for any size of listeners from 10 to 10,000. That’s something I’ve always had and I always will, especially if I can do it to His glory.”
Me too Dad.

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