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.