Back to the Future still holds the record as the movie that I saw the most times in the theater (5). Given the cost of movie tickets and the availability of Netflix, it is hard to imagine that record ever being beaten, unless my daughter insists on seeing Frozen 7: Thawin’ on Spring Break over and over and over.
So that film holds a special place in my heart and head. Thirty years has become my standard for when a thing becomes comically “old” – Marty McFly being transported back to 1955 is like me being transported back to 1990. Instinctively it doesn’t feel like that would be as much of a culture shock as 1955-1985, but it would be pre-Internet, pre-cell phone, pre-DVR. Things were okay. Slower, but simpler.
It was sort of weird how the subject of time travel kept coming up in this week’s podcast (and only partially coincidental that my guest is actually a first cousin of Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis). Maybe it’s to be expected that we focus on old times when I talk with someone that I probably met in 1990.
I’ve been accused – by myself, mostly – of dwelling on the past. I probably have an overdeveloped sense of nostalgia, nurtured by American popular culture that seems to operate in a perpetual state of retrospection. I feel I am too young to drone on about the “good old days,” but at the same time I lean on that old saw by Kierkegaard: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
My guest this week is Maria Rose (Nespeca) Cook, fellow Webster High School graduate of the Class of 1995. As I suggest in my introduction, Maria is perhaps the best example I know of a teenage caterpillar who got her butterfly degree at college. And now she’s a doctor butterfly, prescribing precise amounts of sweet nectar to her ailing patients.
Referenced during this week’s Eulopology is the Jack Rabbit, Seabreeze’s historic wooden roller coaster. As coincidence has it, the Icon on the Ontario turns 100 years old in 2020.
Speaking of rollercoasters, Maria was probably the best friend of my first love and high school sweetheart. I feel bad that Maria got stuck in the middle when that relationship collapsed and I probably should have apologized for making it worse by being kind of a dick afterward. But I didn’t want to bring that up on the podcast because it would have been a real sour note on which to end. And anyway, that apology could probably be directed to dozens of people I knew back in 1996.
I have toyed with the idea of inviting that ex-girlfriend to appear on the podcast. We remain on polite terms and I still think of her as an important and, ultimately, positive influence my life. I have plenty to say and ask her. But I know that I could not do that interview in a satisfying way without us jointly reviewing the timeline of our courtship and decoupling, and asking her to devote her time to that kind of public autopsy … feels ghoulish.
What do you think?
At any rate, I thank Maria for sticking by me, then and now, and for her enthusiasm for this project. She remains a delight.
Today is Valentine’s Day. Here’s a Shakespearean Sonnet for all you lovers out there.
A Sorry Valentine
Dear Valentine, forgive me all my flaws
As I forgive yours each and every day
And lest you criticize my love with cause,
Recall, if I were e’er to go away,
What substitute would be for our romance?
Are you prepared for modern dating trends?
A thousand dudes who want into your pants
A thousand guys who want to just be friends
A marriage of convenience ours is not,
As freedom would much more convenient be
But for the dick pics, sorry and unsought,
You might as well remain right here with me
… And so, with roses red and baby’s breath
… Do take my hand and follow me to death
(No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred. I love my wife.)
Sending my best,