The Year in Review
Everyone amps up their nostalgia and reminisces about the year just past this time of year. My way is typically not the way of the herd, however this year I will join in and give you my perspective. I decided to review the year also; the year I chose, however, will be 1973.
Chocolate malts, whist and “the Carol Burnett Show” were popular Saturday night activities around the Nelson household in 1973. My memories of playing cards were that I held my cards too far forward so others could them with little effort; this really took away my competitive edge. I loved Carol Burnett, especially when she turned up the house lights and answered questions from the crowd. I must have been approaching puberty at the time as I found Carol Burnett’s brand of humor not only funny but very attractive, a thought that is uncomfortable about which to write. I typically gave into a food coma early on Saturday nights, laying in front of the heat register where we dried all of our winter gloves.
Early morning television was also fantastic in 1973. I used to get up early and watch the test pattern on the television screen until “the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show” came on about six in the morning. I loved the inventions that the coyote ordered from the generic “ACME” company is his attempts to capture the Road Runner. Bugs Bunny was equal parts suave and manic, I do believe he and Hawkeye from “MASH” formed most of my sense of humor. I liked the television series MASH so much that I even performed it’s title song for my trombone solo in grade school. Alan Alda later made MASH into a vehicle for his own activism and absolutely dulled its former edginess. It was fantastic though, in ’73.
I was recently reminded of how important a first knife is to a young boy. My first Kabar came along in 1973. One large blade, one small blade, and a rough, bark-like handle into which both blades folded into neatly and compactly. This was the classic Kabar and I was proud of mine. I also got my first compass that year, the kind you pin onto the lapel of your jacket. I’m not sure I even needed a compass but every boy in our family got one for Christmas that year. I’m not sure if 1973 was the year of my first Daisy bb gun or not; however it was right around that time I was first introduced to this fine little lever-action. I still like guns however I learned a lesson the year I received my Daisy. I shot a Robin with it and I felt like the worst person that ever lived after which I stayed with barn swallows. I later learned that swallows eat mosquitoes so I know leave all birds alone-too bad I didn’t know that at the time. The lesson was that sometimes you can’t take it back.
So that is my year in review, probably not what you expected. 1973 was a good year and deserved a review; I’ll leave 2009 to everyone else.