Now that we are entering the fourth quarter of the calendar year (as well as entering the 31st week-give or take-of when this whole COVIG-19 episode started to take its hold), there been a lot of changes that people have been experiencing over these long and challenging days, weeks, and months.
This article will not go into some of the crucial points that’s been taking its grip, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and a distrust of those that are suppose to be in charge. But we will point out on a few of the positive things that has come to the surface. Many of these points were long overdue for some folks. A number of them saw these changes as the “kick in the a$$” that was long needed to finally get around of accomplishing tasks and events that they never got around in doing!
One elements that has seen a rise of interest of late is a feeling or emotion called “nostalgia”. Nostalgia, according to our friends at Wikipedia, calls this emotion as a “…sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations”.
Nostalgia in this form comes in a variety of emotions that play a part in a lot of people. Some see it through objects that range from a vase that may be sitting on a mantel, to a dingy t-shirt that plays a significance in somebody’s life. (A “lucky” t-shirt that is worn by a fan when one’s favorite sports team is playing on the field). Many see nostalgia through a form of media, such as a song (“our/my song”), a movie (“our/my movie) a television program (“our/my TV show”), and the list goes on.
Many view this sense of nostalgia as an elements that is part of what’s called “The Good Old Days”, describing an moment in time where those days of yesteryear were “good” in their own unique way. But seeing those days as “good” are known in the period of “now”, rather than the time of “then”.
Recently, a person that I know that subscribes to one of those many steaming services that has experienced a recent uprise of subscribers, has been binging on the series The Office. (The American version!) One of those characters, Andy Bernard (played by Ed Helms), once stated in an isolated episode, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
Andy makes an amusing point. He’s speaking of pure nostalgia. There is a synchronized emotional experience in which one gratefully recalls how it was back then yet laments over what isn’t here anymore. Thus, one has a hearty helping of “the good old days”!
So makes up what is (or was) “the good old days?” Was it a time long before the standard responsibilities and overall tasks one had to maintain? Was it before a loss of a person or persons one once had at their disposal but are no longer around due to a relocation, a death, or perhaps going through a different direction in life due to various reasons only know to the now separated people? Or was it before the COVID-19 epic threw a monkey wrench in the machinery?
When one recalls those “good old days, you have to ask yourself, or anyone else for that matter, on why didn’t you take advantage to what was going on to enjoy those moments further? How come you didn’t realize how great you had it then? Why are the good old days only in the past, but never in the present?
Of course, those thrilling days of yesteryear had its flaws and errors just like the present moments have its own idiosyncrasies! So what makes them so “good?” Perhaps the answer to that $64 dollar question is that we recall being with a someone, having a something, or doing a something that was engaging enough to swamp out the not-so-good things going on at the same time. To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered how lousy anything was back in those days just because we had something that was “good” enough!
It’s a well established fact that a lot of things, events, and parts of culture from those days past are not as great as they once were, let alone being part of something that was indeed “good”!
F’instance, when it comes to popular music, there are a lot of songs people can recall as being the best as they were. However, many of those same tunes that were great then didn’t survive through the same tastes of now as they did back then. I can give examples, but I know that I am gonna get a lot of flack from fans of that type of music that will claim that I don’t have any “good taste”! I know of some folks that were fans of 1980’s-era heavy metal music and the bands that went with them. You can wear out those now out-of-print albums recorded from Iron Maiden to the Scorpions and say “Man, they sure don’t create ‘em as they used to!” While at the same time, another person that was tuned to popular music back then preferred the recordings played on any top-40 radio station that was “hip” and “in the know”! From hearing old radio station air checks listed on some online sites such as ReelRadio (http://www.ReelRadio.com), one can hear those songs from that back in the day and even say to one’s self “What were they thinking when they put out that stuff?”
In other words, one person’s nostalgia in another person’s bad vibes!
But for the most part, nostalgia is good, but only to a point. When I was starting out in the media archive biz, one person who served as a distant mentor, a fellow by the name of Chuck Schaden based out of Chicago created a weekly radio program called Those Were The Days where he programmed recordings of radio shows that aired from the 1930’s through the 1950‘s that aired long before the advent of television. He once said, “Live with the past, but not in it!” It also goes to an idea the program always followed, starting out each weekly episode noting that the show’s purpose was to bridge the sound gap between yesterday and today. What this all means that it’s great to remember the things from days past. Just remember to live in the present since that is where you are now!
For those that want to relive those days when radio was king, one can hear back episodes of TWTD through the website called Speaking of Radio
(http://www.SpeakingOfRadio.com) that offers many back episodes of this series to hear or hear again. And the program, now taken over and hosted by Steve Darnell, is still heard every Saturday afternoon from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM (CST) over station WDCB-FM in Glen Ellen, Illinois. Hear it live streamed at http://www.WDCB.org or through TWTD’s quarterly publication, The Nostalgia Digest (http://www.NostalgiaDigest.com).
So are the “good old days” only limited to existing in the past? Not necessarily! Those good old days can be right now! Granted, everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket for the moment. However, I can bet a paper face mask that twenty years from now, people are going to look back at the start of the 2020’s and say “Remember when everyone wore face masks, were forced to work from home, and had to hoard toilet paper?? Man, those were the days!!”
And just to keep the nostalgia alive, yours truly has set aside a stack of paper face masks for my archive, as well as a few lawn signs that state out message that range from “(Name of school) class of 2020 graduate lives here” (fun nostalgia), to “Black Lives Matter”. (Not nostalgia per se, but does relate toward issues of importance!)
So as Dick Clark used to sign off his 1980‘s weekly radio program called Rock, Roll, and Remember, he would say “Go make some memories of your own!”.
After all, we can all use as much of the “good old days” that we can get!!
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