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Time traveling can be fun, overwhelming
by Chris Alllen Baker, The Scott County Times
Jan 30, 2014 | 91 views | 0 0 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We're in our third full week of 2014, and it didn't take long before circumstances whisked my thoughts away to the past in remembering a number of qualities about my childhood.

It started almost a week ago when I posted to a group on Facebook that includes my high school classmates about an inquiry on plans for a possible reunion. This year will mark the 25th year since we graduated on June 4, 1989, from Winona High School.

We have had two reunions since then, one at the 15-year mark and one at the 20-year mark. Those were fun reunions, and I enjoyed them. I was fortunate with the first one to be able to have Emily with me. We had just started dating by about three months, and we were married by the second reunion.

But there is something that feels different about the 25-year mark. I guess it's just the passage of time that can overwhelm you sometimes. This one will be extra special because it will be the first one for me to bring Aaron. Almost all of my classmates had already had children before Emily and I met so I was a little behind the curve on that one.

I have kept up with many of them, and Facebook has certainly helped keep lines of communication more open.

I was excited to read later all of the responses from my classmates that they are interested in getting together again.

Then came another blast from the past. I received a message through Facebook from a classmate I had not had any contact with since 1984. He moved to Winona in 1974 and was a regular at my birthday parties growing up. We were good friends. All of a sudden, in 1984, he was gone. His family moved to another state, and no one in our class has heard from him until now, that I know of.

Turns out that he lives just a few miles from Emily's family in Florida - what a coincidence. He was so close to where we would visit on a regular basis, and I didn't know it.

The old times kept popping up this week right here in Forest. I was making my way around town gathering news the other day when I spotted a replica of the General Lee car from the Dukes of Hazzard television show. Parked at the courthouse, it was the same make and model and looked pretty close to the real thing, right down to the Dixie theme when the horn button is mashed on the steering wheel.

Just as many people do around here these days, I instantly took a picture of it and posted it to Facebook to share with friends, jokingly commenting that I was waiting to see Bo and Luke Duke come running out of the courthouse any moment.

I had a chance to speak with the owner for a few minutes, making arrangements for a possible story for this newspaper, and during that time several passersby stopped to ask if they could have their picture taken with the car.

Oh the memories that car brought back from my childhood, as I am sure it was the same for those people who stopped for pictures.

Then, this week, I learned of the death of Russell Johnson, who played the Professor on Gilligan's Island. Only two actors from that television show are still alive now.

To top it all off, I realized that we are one year away from another movie reference. If you remember, 2015 is the year Marty McFly goes to in the "Back to the Future II" movie.

So the past week strolling down memory lane has been quite exhausting but a lot of fun as well. Who knows what is next!

Chris Allen Baker is a native of Winona and serves as the managing editor of The Scott County Times in Forest. He can be reached by e-mail at cbaker@sctonline.net.
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