Remember the days before ipods and iphones when we actually took the time to talk to each other? Really talk.
Remember when you could go out to lunch as an escape from the pressures of work and for an hour could unwind and enjoy a meal without being interrupted by a phone call about something that could obviously wait an hour?
Remember when love was something magical and special and people didn’t take each other for granted? Or for a ride. We all rejoiced when there was suddenly free love. Trouble is, like most things, people don’t respect things that come too easily.
Remember when music was on vinyl and an album was big and had a beautiful cover that actually looked like a work of art and we carried those albums around with us to friends’ houses as a badge of pride? They had cover notes. They listed what musicians played on what track. What studio each track was recorded at? Who engineered? What time of day or night had it been recorded? Who had written each song? Who arranged it? Who mixed it? The lyrics. It was important to us to know all these things and to respect those who had participated on our beloved recording. It was difficult to skip tracks so it made you listen to every song and appreciate an album as a whole. Now, music has gotten smaller in so many ways. People download things in inferior sound quality and don’t give a damn about who played on it and who else contributed. Now it’s all about beats.
Remember when people used to know their neighbours? And actually care about them?
Remember when a dog was a child’s best friend and there were so many hills to climb and games to play in the open air? It taught us to use our imaginations. Without a computer screen, we could imagine we were Zorro, or Davy Crockett or Geronimo and play in parks for hours having the time of our life. And were safe.
Remember when the smallest gesture was appreciated and treasured?
Remember when we believed that our vote counted for something? This was in the days before the Whitlam sacking (a Prime Minister elected by the public and dismissed by one man), and Kevin Rudd (another man elected by the public but dismissed by his own party).
Remember when our innocence was lost from three bullets fired in Dallas?
Remember when your parents took the time to read you bedtime stories?
Remember when an ice cream and a trip to the movies made you feel like the richest kid in town?
Remember when Christmas was spent with all those long gone family members and we laughed as if there would be no tomorrow?
Remember when the days seemed so long that you could easily fit into each one everything you had to do?
Remember the first time you heard the Beatles and they sounded like nothing you’d ever heard before? It’s hard for younger people to appreciate their full impact on the way things were. Music, hair, clothing, and attitudes changed overnight. Or so it seemed.
Remember when you were small and played with children with different coloured skin and didn’t even notice?
Remember the excitement of each birthday party shared with your friends?
Remember the smell of your mum’s cooking? It seemed like she was some kind of magician. She always knew what you wanted.
Remember when each day was your friend and another chance for an adventure? Where did we lose that enthusiasm for life? I lost it for a whole decade but have worked hard to regain it. Be thankful for each day no matter what you are going through. Each day is a new chance.
Remember when radio stations played any and every style of music as long as they thought it was a hit? It was such a weird and exciting mix of Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Louis Armstrong, The Rolling Stones, Elvis, Anthony Newley, The Shadows, Bob Dylan, The Seekers, Bobby Darin, Paul Mauriat, The Kinks, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey,  Janis Joplin, etc., etc., etc.
Remember when people read books and writers became celebrities?
Remember when Bing Crosby was the voice of Christmas?
Remember romance?
Remember Muhammad Ali in his prime when he glided like a proud eagle in flight?
Remember reading the Old Testament and being scared because God seemed so pissed off all the time?
Remember crying over the loss of your first love?
Remember Noddy in Toyland?
Remember when the circus came to town?
Remember watching man set foot on the moon and knowing nothing would be the same again? It was scary and exciting all at the same time.
Remember when it wasn’t painful to remember?

(c) Frank Howson 2014


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