A brief look to the past

Jam of the Week: “New York Kiss” by Spoon

Trying to remember the good times is a common sentiment, but one that I think myself and others often overlook.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to host one of my closest childhood friends for the night in Webster City. He was heading from southern Missouri up to the far northern reaches of Minnesota for a family reunion. It just so happened that Webster City lies right in the middle of the 16-hour trip between his home and his destination.

Having not seen this friend since visiting him at college, I was extremely excited to see him. It was the kind of excitement that makes you not care about deep-cleaning your residence all day. It was the kind of excitement where you make long lists in your mind of things to do because that’s something I thought that good hosts should think about.

Of course, my over-thinking was mostly for naught. Unsurprisingly, my friend was pretty tired after driving for eight hours to get here. I had to drastically condense my list of must-see things in Webster City to a tour through downtown and dinner at Lomitas. Maybe next time he’s here I’ll add on a hike through Briggs Woods Park and sitting quietly in Kendall Young Library.

After dinner, we went back home and caught up. Mostly, we caught up on music that we were listening to. To benefit one reader who told me recently that she enjoys my column but doesn’t like it when I get all crazy about my taste in music, I’ll try to keep this point brief. I don’t blame the reader for saying that, since it proves the following point.

We always shared a slightly odd taste in music. It’s something that I don’t usually share with people. You’re probably looking up to the jam of the week with a raised eyebrow right now. I enjoy all of my jams and each week I attempt to find something that other people might like as well.

Anyway, our taste in music lead to us creating a band in high school. It was, in all honesty, subpar. Aside from this friend, no one else was well trained on their instrument. More than anything, we practiced in our drummer’s basement much to the dismay of his parents. We didn’t really play for other people often.

When I brought up the band, I summoned up an odd face which took the form of a smile and cringe at the same time. I admitted to him that it was pretty embarrassing to recall how many notes I messed up in front of others on my bass guitar. He, on the other hand, said he preferred to remember the good times of us practicing in that poorly-lit basement.

Even if that point wasn’t particularly brief, which I apologize for, it leads me to what we did next. We ended up talking about other goings on in high school and rummaged through my storage to find the yearbook for our senior year.

As with my band, I often recall the more embarrassing parts of my youth before anything else. There’s some value to that. For instance, I’ll never give a speech in front of a group of people with my suit coat on backwards again. However, going through that yearbook with him, it was comforting to remember all of the great times I had with him and many others in school. It’s even kind of nice to remember the bad or awkward times to see how far I’ve come.

This weekend, if you have some time and haven’t cracked that dusty tome open in a while, check out your yearbook and see what you can remember. I hope it brings all sorts of memories back to you.