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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Dec 20, 2013

My memory is not what it used to be. At least, that is how I remember it.

I am trying to remember now if this is a subject I have covered not that long ago. I think I did, but it seems a distant memory of maybe five, possibly six weeks.

I have resorted to doing what people do when they want to remember – I make lists.

Sure, they are the usual lists of things to do and things that need to be bought.

Actually, I enjoy a grocery list. Without it, I will get home and of course, look for something I was supposed to pick up at the store.

My to-do lists I do not do so well with. They are written down to remember those important tasks and then a week later, I see the list and those same tasks are still not done.

Usually, they haven’t been started.

But they are on the list. Maybe I need a list to remind me to read the list.

And now my lists have the goal of remembering really important things such as my favorite jokes. Really, I’m not joking.

Most of them are at least 40 years old and many of them I still cannot tell without cracking up before I get to the punch line. They are that good, at least to me.

Jokes fall into two categories, the kind you can tell your mother and the kind you can’t.

Most of mine I could tell to my mother or my mother-in-law. I can think of one that I would have to pick my audience carefully before telling it.

So, that is what happens when something that has been so reliable starts to fail. A person has to find other ways to compensate.

I find myself going back in time 40 years or more and retelling some event in great detail and then wondering why I can’t remember what happened yesterday.

There is an advantage in telling about something from long ago.

Chances are the only person who remembers it is you and no one can point out to you that you have the story wrong.

Usually, little details from that event of long ago take on great importance that is significant to only you. One of my favorites from way back when is trying to remember what kind of car we were driving at that time.

Was it the two-tone blue ’54 Pontiac Chieftain or the blue and white ’57 Pontiac Chieftain?

Or was it the turquoise and white ’56 Chevy Bel-Air with the 265 Power-Pack my mother had? It seems like yesterday.

If it was one of my mother’s family members, which Oldsmobile was it? They loved their Oldsmobiles.

If it is about farming, then I resort to tractors. Was that the Farmall M, the John Deere 720 diesel, or the 4010?

No list is needed when I go back 40 years or more. Nostalgia takes over and a list would hold me back.

Nostalgia fueled by sentimentality, what a great combination. It is why people recreate events and put up museums. We don’t want to forget those moments as we minimize the bad moments and put a rosy glow on the good parts.

Here we are in the computer age where memory is so cheap, when we run out of memory, we go buy a few more gigabyte’s.Who needs a list?

Oh, I just remembered another joke. I better write it down. Maybe I can tell it to my mother-in-law.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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