Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on August 9, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 2 comments

Not to be confused with Twitter


“Whoa, the games people play now,

Every night and every day now”

Games People Play – Joe South

It’s midsummer quiz time, folks.

Put away your Wordle and Canuckle. Put down that deck of cards. Leave the Scrabble game on the shelf. No bingo today. I know that you’re all brilliant people. After all, you read my posts every Wednesday!

So, here we go. What do all of these things have in common?

The United States ended its involvement in the Vietnam War with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. A lot has been written about the ill-advised decision of the United States to get involved in this conflict.

If you happen to be a horse racing fan, Secretariat became the first horse since Citation to win the Triple Crown of horse racing. Secretariat set a dirt track record for the one and a half mile Belmont Stakes with a time of 2 minutes and 24 seconds.

Roe V. Wade made abortion a U.S. constitutional right. In 2022, the supreme court stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion.

Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match.

Popular movies: The Exorcist, Deliverance, Jesus Christ Superstar, American Graffiti and The Sting.

“Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. This is one of my all-time favorite albums. I wore out the grooves on this vinyl album. “You’re so Vain”, “Delta Dawn”, “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”.

Canada’s Prime Minister was Pierre Trudeau.

The cost of gas was .40 a gallon or roughly .10 a liter.

Which brings me to the whole point of this quiz.

Ah, you’re too smart by half.

It didn’t take you long to figure out that all of these events took place in the year 1973. If your mental arithmetic is good, that was 50 years ago. And why, pray tell, am I turning back the clock to that particular year?

Last week, I received mail from the Alumni Office of my alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University. It included a schedule of events and a registration form for Homecoming this October. “Class of ’73 The Golden Grads Homecoming 2023. I stared at the correspondence in disbelief. How in the hell did this happen?

My elementary school was situated on the same footprint as our local University. Because I am incredibly lazy and don’t want to repeatedly have to spell out the name of this university, we’ll just call it “X” which is what most grads call it. Not to be confused with the new Twitter logo. Back in the early 60s when I was attending Morrison Elementary School, the graduates at X used to line up very near our school for their march to convocation. I remember thinking at the time that these grads must have been very old. I was 10 at the time. The X students would have been in their early 20s. When you’re young, everyone seems so much older.

In 1973, I graduated from X. I would receive my education degree three years later. Homecoming is a big deal for universities. Yes, it is an opportunity for alumni to get together to exchange old war stories, but it is very important for the university to remind former students of their glory days and to nudge them to support the university with ongoing donations to various endowments and scholarship funds.

Because I was a local, I attended many Homecomings over the years even when it wasn’t one of my class years. I was always struck with the arrival of the “golden grads”, people who had graduated 50 years ago. I viewed all of these Q-tips (white haired folks!) as old farts. I couldn’t imagine ever being “one of them”. But after opening my mail last week, it was abundantly clear that I am now one of those “old farts”.

I know that when I meet my fellow grads, we will all say the same thing. “Where did the time go?” I have written many times in this space about the passage of time. It really is quite shocking.

Now, I could have done the easy thing and registered for Homecoming online, but I filled in the registration form the old-fashioned way with a ballpoint pen and hand delivered it to the Alumni Office. The Alumni Office is located in Confusion Square, the name affectionately given to a courtyard in the middle of the old campus. I love wandering through university campuses, especially ones that have been around a long time. Many of the buildings at X have ivy climbing up their walls. And walking through campus in the middle of summer, when it is quiet, evokes so many memories.

I pass the library where I occasionally studied but most notably, where I learned to play bridge in the basement! I pass the reserve library which was firebombed in the spring of 1971 when the students went on strike over “open housing”. That year, we wrote take home exams. Many of my classmates completed these exams at the local tavern.

I haven’t had cause to go to the Alumni Office for many years. As I approached the building, I realized that it is housed in what used to be the campus bookstore. Not only did the bookstore carry textbooks but it also had a very good record section of vinyl albums. Fifty-one years ago, I stood in this very room purchasing one of my all-time favourite albums, “Harvest” by Neil Young. I chatted with the woman who accepted my registration form and regaled her with stories about the old bookstore. One thing I like about trips down memory lane is that they don’t cost anything (with the cost of gas these days)!

I’m sure the reunion will be a blast. It’s a privilege to have lived long enough to be a golden grad.

I still love “Dark Side of the Moon”.

“Breathe, breathe in the air,

Don’t be afraid to care,

Leave, but don’t leave me,

Look around, choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly,

Smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry,

All you touch and all you see,

Is all your life will ever be.”

Breathe – Pink Floyd

Have a great weekend.

“There’s a time for joy, a time for tears,

A time we’ll treasure through the years,

We’ll remember always,

Graduation day.”

Graduation Day – The Lettermen




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