Re-living the Short-agos

Sep 2, 2016 | 0 comments

And on it goes...

And on it goes…

When Christian Hawes was about four years old and was having trouble with a recent memory, he told his Uncle Dick, “It’s not the long-agos that are hard to remember; it’s the short-agos.”  Amen to that!  For years it has been heartening to know that a boy of such tender years was having the same difficulties as we elders increasingly experience.

But, there are some upsides to that phenomenon.  Sort of.  Among my many failings (or maybe it’s just a peculiarity) is the addictive habit of converting my life to scrapbooks and albums.  But, unlike our late friend Gordon who spent time updating his scrapbooks every morning, I sometimes go months (or even years) before I catch things up.

To be sorted, organized and...

To be sorted, organized and…

In the meantime, piles of things get saved in my office – theater programs, ticket stubs, photographs, invitations, and stacks of Chinook Observers that I want to cull and clip.  When it gets so I can no longer maneuver safely from office door to computer or when the rains come and I can’t be outside… then I go on a sorting binge.  It can take weeks before I have things organized by month and year and I can actually get the scrapbooks going.

Last week, maybe in anticipation of the rains that are now here, I ‘got the urge.’  I began with the stack of newspapers that went back, I discovered, to February 2015.  My intent, as always, was to just whip through them, clipping out my own columns and articles and just a few other items that should be added to my files – the June 2015 article about Tony Johnson and the Chinook Tribe, for instance, or the ongoing drama of the ghost shrimp on Willapa Bay.

It’s all a slow process, mostly because I only vaguely remember the details of the short-agos and it’s a great opportunity to reacquaint myself with relatively recent news.  Plus, it is ever-fascinating to see how our thinking segues from one idea to another as, for instance in the matter of Verna Oller’s swimming pool.  So, I re-read old news, once again, shaking my head over the Letters to the Editor and enjoying the columns by Cate and Wayne and Victoria and Matt.

Pile in Progress

Pile in Progress

According to media analysts, the average lifespan of a newspaper’s news is until the next edition comes out – in the case of the Observer, a week.  When you’re dealing with a memory like mine and a proclivity to save and re-read, it’s much, much longer.  And, makes for a (mostly) pleasant rainy-day stroll down memory lane, I might add!


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