Fandango’s Flashback Friday — March 25th

Not quite a flashback, but close. Originally written March 2020, yet entirely relevant in March 2023 with a couple of minor adjustments.

The title comes from an episode of “The West Wing” which we are watching again in this early spring of discontent and dismay.  The series is even better now, a great mental prescription from COVID — which we finally caught after dodging the bullet for three years — and while our country hunts for a political hangover cure.

Many of us, struggling with the present, have rose-tinted memories of the past, recent and distant. There’s the yearning for the good old days when our lives were more stable and strife seem relegated to small countries on the other side of the world. We were younger, more innocent. So naive.

The Currier and Ives (or Norman Rockwell) images dominate our collective memories. It’s a return to Main Street, white picket fences in Pleasantville that never really existed except in TV Land. You can almost smell those Sunday dinners with the family gathered around the table, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, hot buns and the smell of apple pie baking.

The memories seem so real you can almost touch them.  We yearn for them now in this time of neverending plague, fear and uncertainty. We ache for days when we could believe in our political leaders and sports was a relief from the headaches of yesteryear and yesterday. When Mom and Dad could calm our fears and we weren’t responsible for our lives. The way we were. Or were we?

We don’t remember Mom and Dad quietly wrestling with problems we didn’t understand because we were kids. We usually were told that there were no worries.  “You’ll understand when you grow up,” we were told. We took those reassurances to bed, sure that everything would be okay in the morning. Our tomorrows usually erased our youthful, short-term angst.

Many of us are now in the autumn of our years.  Mom and Dad are gone and we are left to make sense of today’s madness for our children and grandchildren. It’s difficult to explain, to find answers for all that’s gone wrong. How do you make sense of a world turned upside down before your eyes?  We’re not living Currier and Ives lives and really, we never were. We’re left wondering if those romanticized images of our youth had any truth.

Maybe it’s easier to believe that those were the good, old days rather than trying to stomach reality.  It’s like clinging to the images of old films with Hollywood endings. We’re desperate for heroes, good news, and happy endings for the long dark nights that drag into the morning. We’re not Currier and Ives but it’s nice to recall times when life seemed easier. When we could laugh and look forward to tomorrow.

Here’s something to think about. Give yourself a break. If there’s nothing you can do to fix it, do nothing. Enjoy what can be enjoyed. Everything is in motion, everything is changing.

Who knows what will be coming down the road? Today might be “the good old days” a month from now.

Categories: #Health, #News, Coronavirus - Covid 19, Culture, Garry Armstrong

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14 replies

  1. I liked Currier and Ives, and Norman Rockwell images but never lived in that world. The good old days were scattered about. Nothing from my youth was perfect, as I recall. The Norman Rockwell homes did not exist for us. We often had to make do, as the saying goes.
    Now there is no hope of capturing such an existence. In the late 60s and early 70s we hoped to change the world for the better, not for what it has become.


  2. I have a weird mix of cynicism and sentimentalism often about the same events. It depends on how I choose to look at them. The one thing I’m clear on is that this world — our “now” world — seems to have little to do with whatever I learned while growing up. It’s a very strange place in which we have landed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This now could be the second feature to one of our current looks at Hollywood.

      By gum it never gets old — and that cause for thinking, eh?


  3. That’s really true that we view yesterday with a rosy outlook!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said, Garry. Sad truths…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So good to keep in mind

    Liked by 1 person

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