I do a lot of reminiscing through this column each week. This week is no different. As I sit and listen to or watch the basketball tournament it just makes my mind go back to those good ‘ole days. The days when the Atlantic Coast Conference only had eight teams and no matter which team was your favorite, the coaches of each team were awarded a sense of respect that put them on a much higher plateau.
We, as nothing more than kids, could name every starter for each school along with the top two or three subs as well, and every player including the non-scholarship walk-ons for our favorite and most hated teams. It was exciting to watch without having twice as many teams involved.
But reminiscing is what brings us back to the some things that we forgot we loved. Take the old fly fisherman who spots an old fiberglass rod that resembles one of his first he ever used. He picks it up and remembers the feel and balance. That first trout he landed becomes a vivid picture in his mind. Before long, there he is fishing with it, having put the high priced and before cherished bamboo up. He still catches fish. He still has fun. And he remembers.
The old upland hunter now chases pheasant, quail and grouse with a custom Benelli over-under shotgun. But once upon a time, the shotgun was not weighted as well and would occasionally jam on the shot shell ejection. The choke at the muzzle was not designed to have a screw in adapter to change the patterns costing several hundred dollars. But every once and a while, he sees that old gun resting and the gun cabinet, and thinks back. What fun it would be to be reunited with that now rust covered metal and vintage wood stock. He can still hit the birds and drop them. He still has fun. He remembers.
We gradually go to the new things because they are fascinating. “What an upgrade that would be over what I have!” is the whispers we get in our ears from our inner conscience. We have to have the new, sparkly, what-ever-it-is that everyone else that knows what they are doing is using and has.
However, we enjoyed the outdoors before we had the next big thing. And we will enjoy the outdoors whether we get the next big thing or not. If we get the new toy, we will use it with pride.
Then one day, maybe years from now, we will spot something somewhere that reminds us of the times when we were young or when we had a special trip with someone, and we will become envious once again, but for something old rather than new.
We will seek to have that one last memory. And we will remember.