Well it happened again yesterday morning while I was driving to work. I had just turned right on Fenimore Ave. and was heading north when I suddenly realized that Fenimore is in a direct line with the big white, letter ‘A’ painted on one of the foothills above Azusa. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taking this route and never really noticed the alignment before. Then it happened! That overwhelming nostalgic feeling. Yes, my mind took me on another little trip down memory lane. It seems to be happening more and more lately.
As I drove on I was thinking about the big ‘A’. The story we heard back in the day was that sometime back in the 50’s a group of Azusa High School varsity football players had hiked up the hillside armed with shovels and several bags of lime and over a seies of weekends cleared the brush away to form the ‘A’, then limed it all in. For decades it was a tradition. However for a number of years the ‘A’ was not maintained and was faded and overgrown with brush. Thankfully the tradition was revived several years ago.
As I pulled into the school parking lot I wondered why the players hadn’t aligned the ‘A’ more in line with the high school which is a block west of Fenimore. I got out of my car and looked up at the ‘A’. It became obvious why they’d put it where they had. The hillside directly north of the school and west of the ‘A’ was much steeper and not as easy to accesses as it’s current location. Whatever their reason, I’d say they made a pretty good choice. It’s visible across the city. It was always a favorite hiking destination. Girls thought it was really cool when you told them you’d been up to the ‘A’. Actually once you got up there it really wasn’t much to look at, it was one of those things that is better appreciated from a distance.
All day at work in the back of my mind I kept thinking about all the memory flashbacks I’ve been experiencing lately. What the hell was that all about? Flashbacks triggered by ordinary sights or sounds? It was sort of like a ‘senior moment’ in reverse. I worried if maybe this nostalgic wave that washes over me from time to time was a symptom of some illness or condition, or if maybe I simply getting more sentimental with age? Now ‘senior moment’s’ I can understand, another crazy term we baby boomers have managed to come up with to describe those occasional bouts of forgetfulness that are a part of the aging process. But what about bouts of remembering, what’s that all about? I suppose I shouldn’t complain, I should be happy that I’m recalling more often than forgetting. Besides, ‘senior moments’ are no longer reserved for seniors. Everybody has them, no matter what age they are, senior citizens just have them more often.
Interestingly enough that afternoon I had an 11th grader in my office who, when asked a question, looked at me quizzically for a moment then said with a smile,”Sorry, senior moment.” I looked at her kind of strange and thought “how can a sixteen year old have a fricking senior moment? If anyone can have them, at any age, they should be called something else. I don’t know, ‘brain fog’ maybe, ‘brain fart’, ‘brain freeze’, ‘brain block’ anything but ‘senior moment’ would be more appropriate.
If you actually stop and think about it, having one of these memory lapses at 16 or 26 is not a good thing and maybe laughing them off as ‘senior moments’ is the wrong reaction. Perhaps these memory lapses should not be taken lightly especially if they occur often. A ‘senior moment’ is serious business to a senior. It can be the precursor to more serious conditions and should not be taken lightly. I’m sorry but the term ‘senior moment’ should be reserved for seniors citizens damn it! And I am telling you the term is being grossly misused. A ‘senior moment’ should refer to things other than forgetfulness. ‘Senior moments’ could be so much more! My recent flashbacks should be termed ‘senior moments’, new period in a senior’s life, their accomplishments, adventures and moments when they come into their own, are true ‘senior moments’, moments worth having often, moments to look forward to, not to fear…