Ever find yourself lost in a childhood daydream – at 65? When we were kids, we’d daydream about the future. Today, we daydream about the past – our childhoods. Imagination is remarkable because it can take us anywhere we want to go.
I love daydreaming – closing my eyes and reflecting upon a cold winter night 55 years ago, gazing into the darkness through frosty glass dreaming of the future, wondering what was out there waiting for me. I’d stare at the streetlights and think of how lonely it must have been out there in the cold. Lights in neighbor’s windows, wondering what was going on in there. Was there peace and happiness or was there chaos and unrest?
I’d watch our neighbor’s power antenna start revolving on its motor drive and wonder what they were watching. In those days, we had four channels not including UHF – Channel U. The power of that antenna didn’t mean much because there was so little to watch – yet we enjoyed TV even more than we do today.
We didn’t have cable TV then.
Today, I think of that frosty glass and wonder what that same spot is like today. What would it be like to sit in that same bedroom on a cold winter night and take in how different the place is in the here and now. Back in the mid-1960s, I’d pop Herb Alpert onto my portable photograph and listen to the Tijuanna Brass, wondering what Los Angeles was like. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 29 years and have passed the old A&M Studios on Le Brea Boulevard dozens of times in three decades. It has often been challenging to make the connection between what I heard on those TJB albums and the old Charles Chaplin Studios at that same address.
Los Angeles is so very different than my native Maryland and Virginia. I sit at my desk wondering what the Mid-Atlantic is like today. It is surely quite different than it was 55 years ago.
Life is one big irony after another. We always long for where we are not. We are here and we want to be there. Wanderlust never really dies. It keeps mankind on the move. As I slip into my twilight years, I think less about wandering and more about staying close to home. It is the vulnerable nature of being older, and remembering what it was like to be young.