Tissue in the Attic

I had a ‘Chevy-Chase-in-the-attic-moment’ today. Remember ‘Christmas Vacation’ when Clark gets stuck in the attic and takes a trip down memory lane? That was me today, except I wasn’t stuck physically. However, I was frozen in time for an hour or two.

A found newspaper feature about my father (written by Les St. Pierre) which paralyzed me for a moment, insert ‘Clark in Christmas Vacation sentimental moment’, minus the turban. It was an article about the McGuire name being associated with championship baseball in Claremont and the scholarship set up in his name. It thoughtfully described my father’s spirit, as he quoted friends who had played ball with him. I thought of the song ‘Glorious’, that mentions you die twice – once when they bury you in the grave and the last time that someone mentions your name. Someday, people will no longer mention his name, sniff.

Today’s attic clean-out brought me to happy and sad tears, of both losses and gains. Our attics can hold a heaping amount of our history. Just a few boxes can contain decades of our lives.

I came across high school prom pictures. Interestingly, our family was discussing (not even an hour earlier) how prom styles have changed. I described my high neck, Gunne Sax style dress, which I wore my freshman year of high school. I now had the proof, in hand. What I had forgotten was the lovely laced gloves. One of many questionable fashion choices I came across today.  My world paused for a couple hours as I opened boxes of keepsakes, photos, newspaper articles and various odds & ends, each striking a cord of my sappy heart. The endless pictures of our children had me wondering if I had savored this time enough. These foundational days are timeless gems. I have no regret, just an urge to go back and feel things one more time.

These memories are stuffed in boxes and bins, just waiting to be remembered. They carry the power to melt our hearts, the very hearts that they molded. I willingly time-traveled back to my childhood, high school, college and adult life, fondly remembering family & friends along the way. Our past has a depth that flavors our soul and constructs the stage of our lives.

During my exploration today, I found pictures of McGee’s (our business in the 90’s), evident was the way it brought people together, the same people that held us up when my father passed. There were plenty of good times, too.  I have the pictures to prove. One of my favorite memories was a night when New England Sound Machine (pioneers in the early DJ years, who always came with props for their audience), were wrapping up the night. Last call was served. They played ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ and a customer got his violin from his car and began playing along. Others were playing ‘blow up’ instruments and dancing ensued on top of the bar. I stepped back and took it all in. It was pure joy (combined with alcohol). It was a crazy sight on a fun night, no inhibitions, only the freedom and comfort found in friendships. This is how I remember the McGee days.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention Twisted Fitness. Found were plentiful clippings of community spirit, business building and accomplishments – from the beginning to the bitter end. The salty end has turned sweeter by the passing of years, erasing the bad. For almost two decades, this was our way of life and it was filled with forever friends, ones that any life would be happy to have. These years also held personal challenges that eventually resulted in our family four pack. The village supported us, continuously. Collectively, the times were twisted. Maybe this was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At each glimpse of a picture or keepsake, a shuffling of experiences flooded my mind, triggering pages and chapters of emotion. I’m coated with a satisfaction, these fifty years have been abundantly good.

I’ve fallen deeper in love with the past; all the twists, turns, pivots and outcomes. The dots of our lives connect when our minds walk down these rearview roads.

This year’s April Stay-cation included a worthwhile trip to the land of lost treasures, my beloved attic. I highly recommend that you book a trip to yours.

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