Time machines…and other ways to take you back

I was about 12 years old the other day when I walked across the parking lot to the mailroom of our subdivision. My new/old fishing lures were supposed to have been delivered and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.

My dad and I were bait fisherman until we encountered the son of a man on whose farm we fished in his several stock ponds. His son introduced us to Abu in-line spinning lures and our world changed.  In addition to getting hooked on that style of lure, I was smitten with the young man’s reel:  a Garcia spinning reel. I still have the one that I bought shortly after I was introduced to the brand and the style.

The lure style was mimicked by Shyster and other manufacturers.  My dad went all-in for fishing lures, picking up varieties at little shops as he travelled through small towns for his work; back in the “old days,” a lot of little gas stations and convenience stores had lures on cardboard displays tacked to the paneled wall behind the register or in the “fishing section” of the store.

I could share scores of wonderful fishing memories with my dad, and hundreds that came later with my sons. The new lures that I purchased the other day take me back to old times when I had the earlier versions of the lure, when I could be found practicing casting in the front yard (sometimes with friends), when I caught a bass that had a baby duck’s feet hanging out of its mouth, when my friends and I would ride our bikes to Oshman’s sporting goods in Town and Country Village to patrol the aisles of fishing gear, when… and on and on. The memories are fond, the emotions sweet and my energy picks up like the corners of my mouth as I recall those times.

The point is that there are a variety of things that serve as time machines that take us to times that help us better understand the present, that connect us to our periods of change and development, that remind us of friends made or accomplishments achieved, that make us smile anew or sigh with healed sadness. 

I chose the lures because I aim to fish again in the less stressed, more playful ways of my youth and I wanted to go back to those times to re-learn the style.  The internet hosts more time portals that you can travel. I have sought out other time machines there, too, like songs from specific years, candies from when a quarter in a young boy’s sweaty palm would yield a small paper bag of sugared smiles, toys from specific birthdays or Christmases…again, the list is endless.

Time travel.  It’ll do you good.

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