Archived Story

Certain dates mark our timeline

Published 9:23am Friday, September 13, 2013 Updated 11:24am Friday, September 13, 2013

There are certain dates that stick in our memories. Sept. 11, 2001 is one for most of us. This week, we relived that moment in time, as people tend to do on anniversary dates both celebratory and somber.

We are a compilation of our experiences and memories. They change and mold us. Shared memories can unite, give us a common ground even a commonality of spirit.

So, during this week when we may be remembering that day back in September 2001, I thought I’d recollect some not so earth-changing experiences that most of us share. Some are serious, some joyful and some silly because that’s how life is. I don’t mean to take anything away from the significance of 9/11; I want to acknowledge that while we share the terrifying images and details of that one day, we also share much more.


Remember (when)…

• Lost in Space was the scariest thing on TV. The bubbles on the Lawrence Welk show were cool. It made perfect sense that Gilligan’s white pants never got dirty on an island without a washing machine.

• TVs were as deep as they were wide.

• “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

• Your inbox was at the end of your driveway. The concept of memory had to do with things like the multiplication tables. You were familiar with birthday cards, library cards and even credit cards but not SIM cards.

• Mikey liked it. Mr. Whipple, Morris the cat, Madge the manicurist. Shake ‘n’ Bake.

• “Manly yes, but I like it too.” “I’d like to teach the world to sing.” “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun.”

• “Yo, Adrian!” “Phone home.” “They’re back!” “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”

• For all you knew, PDF stood for pretty darn fast. LOL stood for nothing at all.

• You scheduled your Saturday night around the Carol Burnett show. Sunday, Monday, Happy Days! Schlemiel, schlimazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated. “The plane! The plane!”

• Linus had his blanket, Schroeder had his piano and Snoopy was a flying Ace.

• Poodles were poodles and Labradors were Labradors.

• “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” “Come with me if you want to live.”

• A landline indicated the border of your property. A controller was a person who directed airplanes.

• Call of Duty involved being drafted by the Army, and COD was a fish.

• Rubin Kincaid, Rhoda Morganstern, Major Houlihan, Barney Rubble.

• Trix really was for kids and Lucky Charms were magically delicious.

• Joe Namath wore pantyhose and nothing came between Brooke Shields and her Calvin Kleins.

• “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!”

• “If you build it, he will come.” “I’ll have what she’s having.”

• Digital referred to your fingers and toes. A megabyte involved a large mouthful of food. Meme was an alternate spelling for a girl named Mimi. Mac was immediately followed by ‘n cheese.

• And finally, where you were and what you were doing at about 9:00 a.m. on the date we universally know as 9/11.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my kids had left for school, my husband for work. I was alone in the kitchen, seven months pregnant, and wiping the last of the breakfast crumbs from the table when the first plane hit the North Tower and all over the country — and world — peoples’ lives changed forever.

It is a moment I’ll never forget and a memory that helps to make me who I am today. As does a moment two months later, in November 2001, when my youngest son was born.

Like the towers rising up from the ashes in New York, so do we build upon our memories to become the people we are today. And tomorrow. And so on. Remember when? Yes. Yes, I do.


Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication” You can read more columns at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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