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Nostalgia can be a nice journey


I have just finished reading Barbra Streisand’s autobiography, My Name is Barbra.

A tome of over 900 pages.

Granted, she has lived for more than 80 years and has had a remarkable career, but almost 1,000 pages? A little pretentious, I am thinking. Mind you, you can tone your arms at the same time you are slogging through the weight of all those pages.

As usual, as with any autobiography, there is no smut or dirt, as I guess she doesn’t want libelous litigation.

As she recounted in detail her plethora of performances and movies, she got my attention when she wrote of two of my favourite movies from the 1970s: The Way We Were and A Star is Born.

I was so grateful to her for taking me back down memory lane to that promiscuous decade where I did things I probably shouldn’t have and survived to tell the tales.

Back then Barbra and I had so much in common. We had long natural fingernails, difficult mothers and loved coffee ice cream.

Reliving the scene in The Way We Were where she approaches Robert Redford’s character and nonchalantly brushes his hair out of his eyes made me feel so nostalgic. Reminiscing about another time when we were young and beautiful.

Who could forget Barbra’s magnificent hair and her long red fingernails.

The joy and the angst of their love story which was never going to have a happy ending.

I must have seen that movie a dozen times… well, perhaps I exaggerate a little.

And she and Kris Kristofferson as the ill-fated lovers in A Star is Born. Oh faint heart, be still.

I was so in lust with Kris. Sorry Bradley Cooper, but your latest rendition of this iconic movie just can’t compare. Again, her character softly brushes aside Kris’ forelock and my heart melted.

Funny how a movie or a song can evoke pleasant memories and invite us to relive our glorious youth.

As can attending a Classic Car Show with all that colourful paint and gleaming chrome.

Strolling through a couple of these down in the desert brought back other memories. A Mercury Cougar reminded me of when I was an A&W carhop, wearing those ugly, brown, sexless uniforms. I had a policy of never dating the customers and got way more tips than the other carhops.

Or the Dodge Baracuda where necking with my date was my first recollection.

Or the white ’57 Thunderbird where I imagined myself instead of Suzanne Somers in the driver’s seat in the cult classic, American Graffiti.

I know classic cars can also make fellas feel a little nostalgic as my friend, Hugh, 80, recounts:

“I think if you ask any senior male about the things they remember from their youth , inevitably the memory involves an automobile. My road trip to nostalgia involves a black, two-door hardtop 1953 Oldsmobile Super 88.

It had a candy-apple red dash, a Rocket 88 V8 engine, a Wonderbar radio and even had a vacuum ashtray that sucked all the ashes and butts into a glass jar in the engine compartment.

After an exhaustive search I managed to locate a similar car in Castle Rock, Colorado. I went to view the car and it was a beauty. I shipped it back to Surrey and shined it up.

My wife of 59 years and I had lots of sunny weekend drives down White Rock’s main drag, which brought back fond memories of our dating youth.”

Thanks Hugh. Ah, the way we were.

Memories light the corners of my mind…