Hey, About Those Ruins….

I don’t understand the idea of ruins. Take the Acropolis, for example. It’s famously been sitting there atop that little bluff for centuries. Tourists go there and get their pictures taken standing next to it. They marvel at the workmanship of centuries-old architects and craftsmen and builders. Somehow it all became a big pile and they just decided to leave it that way. But how does something like that happen? One of my favorite teachers was my high school History teacher. He stressed upon us the idea that history wasn’t just names and dates, but that it was real people, and that these people were more like us than they were different from us, today. He gave us an appreciation for context, too, the idea that nothing happens in a vacuum. The idea that there were people for and against whatever it was we were studying and the events of the day grew out of the events of weeks, months and even the years that came before. So, with that in mind, I try to imagine what circumstances would lead a city like my own to leave, say, a shopping mall in ruins if a tornado leveled it. Just leave the wreckage there. For months. For years. For generations. For centuries. How does that happen? Who thinks that’s a Good […]


I Miss…

The March of Time is, well marching on. And a lot of good things and people and ideas have gone away. I miss them. I miss…  those little vent windows at the front of the side windows on cars. I miss… Peter Jennings doing the ABC News. I miss… the Lands’ End Square Rigger attaché bags. I miss… going to the A&W Root Beer drive in and getting a Baby Beer with mom and dad. I miss… the old Banana Republic catalogs. I miss… the original air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle. I miss… watching Alan Alda as Hawkeye on M*A*S*H. I miss… the thrill of writing my first computer programs in BASIC. I miss… playing guitar really, really well. I miss… my mother’s breakfast of eggs and bread and some other stuff (and Love) in a little bowl. I miss… Sally, Dick and Jane. I miss… the feeling of control over my finances I had when I used Microsoft Money. I miss… the education I got from the old Comer-era Lands’ End catalogs. I miss… putting in the miles on my Schwinn LeTour Luxe bicycle. I miss… being a writer. I miss… Mary Tyler Moore. I miss… family reunions. I miss… people being ashamed of being ignorant, instead of being proud. I miss… the American space program. I miss… Plymouth cars. I miss… the Double-K (actually the Double-KK, but never called that) restaurant. I miss… crossing the country in a time […]