Serendipity | Remembering When



Children and teenagers love looking ahead and speculating about new freedoms awaiting them. They consider each different one a sign they’re growing up. But that doesn’t necessarily mean maturity and ability to make wise choices are imminent. It’s a gradual and often slow process. While youngsters have time in their favor, they rush to what’s ahead for perceived bigger and better choices as their parents try coping with changes happening so quickly.

Older adults enjoy looking back and reminiscing about advantages and fun of yesterdays. Priorities change, and what once seemed incredibly boring may later become very interesting and perhaps even preferred.

After the holidays is a great time to look back and remember. Closets and storage areas are often chock full of interesting papers and letters tucked in boxes to enjoy when all is quiet. January, especially this year, will provide considerable quiet as social distancing and staying home continue. Countless memories are stored away in old newspapers, report cards from decades ago, greeting cards, and even old bank statements have stories to tell. As someone always trying to reduce papers and sometimes even keepsakes, I encourage others to devote time to sorting, remembering, smiling, and maybe even getting teary-eyed as people and moments from the past are revisited. Music from the ‘60s playing in the background helps create the mood.

Sometimes I wonder if mischievous individuals try to confuse me. While cleaning off a horizontal surface, I discovered the West Bluff Word from April of 1988. How did that happen to be there? On the front page it proclaimed The End and the first paragraph explains, “The paper is in its eleventh year” having grown from a “six page, 3,000 circulation to 28 pages, 11,000 circulation” started in 1977. The paper’s finale includes 20 pages chock full of interesting and entertaining advertisements and articles.

Page 2 features Dave & Ernie’s thrifty $2.50 breakfast or lunch special and an ad for Alwan Pharmacy on Western Ave. An entire page dedicated to advertising includes Pula Animal Hospital on Knoxville; Maroon’s auto service on Western; Larson Jewelers on Adams Street; Kallister Realty at 1005 W. Main; Haddad’s Restaurant at 1224 W. Main; and Main Street Coop Tapes and Records.

Peoria Savings was offering 9% interest on an annuity. Jumer’s Castle Lodge on Western advertised a Jumer Weekend for $101.75 that included dinner for two, overnight accommodations, breakfast for two, use of the pool and sauna, and Jumer baked breads to take home. Neil Norton Cadillac on Main Street featured a sale on 1988 models in stock, and Thompson Food Basket reminded customers to get their cards punched for the weekly drawing. Tingleff Pharmacy at Madison Park Shopping Center encouraged people to use the free blood pressure check.

A trip down memory lane with a newspaper, even a brief one, is enjoyable and names of one business or location generally lead to remembering more. It’s enjoyable to share names of places with friends who grew up in the same area. Sort through memorabilia from long ago, but once it gets tedious, put it aside for later. Don’t be afraid to get rid of things, but some of the more interesting items share with others. It’s a perfectly delightful and productive way to reminisce from winter right into spring.

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