Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

August 15, 2013

Gary's World: Magical history tour an epic failure

CROSSVILLE — On a recent, brief trip back to my hometown in Northwest Indiana, I was amazed at how much had changed.

My son and wife accompanied me and I told them I was going to give him the family heritage tour of Northwest Indiana.

Such a tour consisted of taking him past many of the memorable places and landmarks of the town and the Calumet Region. The tour was of the places that had the biggest impact on my life and contributed to the development of my being.

It was what I called a “Magical History Tour” or “Your personal heritage tour.”

Although the names of the tour sounded grand, meaningful and historical, I must admit, the tour was pretty much an epic failure.

Most of the places we drove past seemed so small now, they were buried behind trees that have now become so large they cover the streets. The traffic was a nightmare to navigate through.

The first stop was my childhood home.

As we drove down the street, I was amazed at how large the maple trees had become. The trees that were once so small I could fit both my hands around their trunks have become so tall and cumbersome the branches on each side of the street touch each other in the middle, overhead, almost forming a tunnel.

The neighborhood in which I covered frequently on my Schwinn Stingray seemed so much smaller to me. In fact, it had changed so much I nearly drove past my old childhood home.

I took him past my old elementary school, middle school and high school. The excitement for him was not much of the thrill I anticipated.

And then again, it wasn’t for me, either.

It was disappointing at best.

I took him past the first apartment my wife and I shared and Purdue University Calumet, where I learned about writing for newspapers. I drove through neighborhoods that were on my first “beat” of the first newspaper job I had.

All of it seemed as lackluster as seeing a pile of leaves being blown around, or as mundane as watching someone take their garbage out to the curb.

Normal stuff.

I will admit it was interesting to see Jean Shepherd’s childhood home on Cleveland St. in Hammond, IN. Shepherd is author of A Christmas Story.

It was also nice to go to the city — downtown Chicago — and see the buildings and wonderful architecture once again. And it was wonderful to once again eat a deep dish pizza at Gino’s East — my all time favorite pizza place.

Another highlight of the trip was taking my son to his first Chicago Cub’s game at Wrigley Field. He is a fourth generation Cub fan and going to Wrigley Field was a great experience for him.

It reminded me of all the times my father used to take me to Cub games in my childhood and teens. It was a great day and yes — the Cubs lost — blew the game in the 7th inning.

However, we still had a great time together and shared an experience we both surely won’t forget.

Which brings me to my point, Thomas Wolfe may have written the book and the famous expression, “You Can’t Go Home Again.”

And I guess you really can’t.

The trip made me realize you can go there, but everything may be different. You can’t experience or relive the same feelings, just by going to visit a building, driving in the traffic on the Dan Ryan Expressway, or driving past your childhood home.

What matters and what makes the difference is sharing your experience or event with a friend, family member and someone you love. Those experiences, no matter how great or small, are what make lasting memories.

It’s the people, relationships, love and friendships that create a home. The experiences in and around your home with loved ones then become memories that can last a lifetime.

• • •

Gary Nelson is a Crossville Chronicle staffwriter. His column is published each Friday. He may be reached at gnelson@crossville-chronicle.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice