And now for something completely different…

Those were the days. Somewhere in the early 1970s I watched an episode of All in the Family. It was somewhere between ages 9 and 12, I’d think, so just under forty years ago. I saw this scene once. One time. Just once. And somehow it was burned into my memory. Ever since that single exposure to this scene I have thought about it whenever I was tempted, for one reason or another, to put on one sock, and then the corresponding shoe, before putting on the second sock and shoe. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of times in my life I have thought about Archie and Mike (Meathead) sitting on Mike’s bed arguing about how to put on shoes and socks, and Mike’s “I could hop around on one foot and stay dry” rebuttal. Now, I had forgotten some details. I did not recall that they were supposed to be in a hurry, nor that Archie left yelling that Mike should do it the right way the rest of his life. But still, given that I often find myself staring at the screen wondering why I opened a browser just now, knowing I had intended to do something, it is simply amazing the power of a memory from three and a half decades ago.

I had this brought home even more forcefully just a few days ago when I noticed a song by a favorite artist of mine from my youth that I did not have in my iTunes library. As I started looking around I realized that somehow I had failed to get a bunch of his music into my library. As I searched through albums on iTunes, and clicked on song titles that looked familiar, a song would begin and I would find myself not just singing the words, but remembering everything about the song, the tune, the cadence, even remembering trips I had taken as a young man while listening to that very music. It was all still there, locked away, waiting for the proper prompt to bring it back to mind. I’m sure most of my older readers have similar experiences. Just thought I’d share mine!

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