This time of year the air sometimes takes on a certain smell that takes me back to high school and football; or camping trips and sleeping in pine forests; or cooking out over an open fire.
Sometimes a song will remind me of a certain time and a certain person. For instance, the song "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy" by the Tams was the first song that Melanie and I heard after our wedding and it always reminds me of our honeymoon and of long ago when we were young and foolish and happy.
I can hear theme songs of TV shows that I used to watch and be carried back to those simpler times. The theme from "Leave It To Beaver" is playing in my head as I write this.
The theme song to "The Lone Ranger"(which is really the William Tell Overture by Rossini) always reminds me of my father. As a child, when I heard the hearty "Hi Ho Silver!" I would climb into my father's lap and we would watch Clayton Moore and Jay Silverhills tame the wild west.
What I remember more than that TV show is feeling the warmth of my father as he held me; the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed; the veins bulging in his hands and the hair on his arms. Most of all, I remember feeling loved.
But the past is not always pleasant to remember. The very same thing that causes me to remember the love of my father may cause another person to remember a time of great pain.
Michael Meeropol remembers the "Lone Ranger" in this context: One summer day, July 17, 1950 to be exact, while his father, Julius Rosenburg, was shaving in the bathroom in the back, Michael was listening to the Lone Ranger on the radio. Suddenly the door burst open and his father was taken away by the FBI. A month later his mother, Ethel was arrested.
Both Ethel and Julius were accused and convicted of being spies for the Soviet Union. They were executed on June 19, 1953. Michael and his brother, Robert, were placed in an orphanage after their family members shunned them. Several years later they were adopted by the Meeropol family.
Remembering the "Lone Ranger" has to be very painful for Michael Meeropol; a time of great fear and chaos.
I know a person whose military experience was not at all pleasant and he never likes to remember it. He dislikes being recognized and made to stand in public, especially in church, where he goes to find peace and to feel the presence of God. So, on the military holidays, he does not go to church. He finds his peace at home.
The past is a funny thing.