“Back in the day” is a large part of your conversational repertoire. And there’s that yearning for things nostalgic. You want to insert them once again in your graying life. Maybe you don’t. Perhaps is just my mental processing and not yours at all. But bear with me. And imagine! And process! One of the places I always wanted to visit was the Crayola Factory. It conjures up thoughts of
elementary school, your rooms with planked wooden floors, recently oiled for the start of school. When chalkboards were made of slate, and the erasers were cleaned by clapping two together out back. You yearned for being chosen eraser duty. It meant more time outside at the end of your school day.
If you had that dime, you got chocolate milk with your morning break. Fridays mandated that tomato soup and grilled cheese would be the midday highlight. And you know exactly where you were when you found out the first Kennedy had been shot. You practiced defending yourself from a Russian bombing by kneeling under your desk with your eyes covered.
Or even better, you went into the basement with all the other boys in your class, putting your arm over your eyes as you faced the wall. Restrooms back then were always in the basement. Ok! OK! I digress. Let me get back to that classroom Your teacher hands you that first tablet of the year. Yep, it’s that Kurtz Bros. notepad with the white cover and the blue-limed yellow pages. Your a bit moved. And then she stands at the front of the room with a few small boxes, opening them and withdrawing that yellow No.#2 pencil. You just can’t wait to smell that eraser. And the other end, it’s really lead in there and not graphite. No one knew then that lead could lead to cancer. By this time you’ve grown anxious. An now, for the coup de grace, here come the green and yellow box from Binney and Smith.
Your eyes focus and excitement overcomes you. Their going to pointed for the last time, allowing you to stay within the lines more easily. My daydreaming is over, and I want to visit the Crayola factory. So we made plans, took the two hour trip and exited at Easton, the last so chance before entering into New Jersey. Easton is your typical, small industrial town of Pennsylvania, who has since seen better times. And we are greeted with the notion that the original factory closed some 15 years ago.
The hoopla now is a hands-on conglomeration of activities being manned by hundreds of hyperactive pre-teens. What a bust. No factory! No actual history! Only hordes of questionably mannered youngsters. No nostalgia today, Leroy. I manifest good thoughts of the wonder years, making them much more exciting in my mind than did in actuality. I settle for thoughts of more ‘Back in the Day’. I realize again that as life moves on and yesterday is just a memory, that today still is, in many ways, so much better than we give it credit.