Jo Ann Jaacks: Getting in the Wayback machine

Columnist Jo Ann Jaacks writes about taking a trip down memory lane.

Columnist Jo Ann Jaacks writes about taking a trip down memory lane.

Ja Ann Jaacks /

I received one of those ubiquitous “remember your classmates from High School?” posts that I usually delete. I’ve never attended class reunions and moved away from my home town shortly after graduation. Also, I had other people and interests in those days. I was a little bit wild and very independent, although not necessarily ready to leave my rural background yet.

But before I clicked off the page, I recognized someone’s name that I did remember . . . but it wasn’t from high school, it was from third grade, I think. Let’s call him Tommy.

He stood out for three reasons going back to that third grade (I think.)

His mother was the town librarian and I was a voracious reader. Kids were supposed to only take out books that were considered to be appropriate for their age/grade group. I went through all those books pretty quickly, and wasn’t that impressed. One day, I sneaked into the bookshelves meant for 10-12 year olds, and read the first page of a Nancy Drew mystery. Tommy was helping his mother at the front desk and as we chatted, his mother stamped my book without looking at it. That was Reason #1.

Then I discovered that he played the violin. That was the beginning of my love for music. Reason #2.

During one recess time at school, I noticed that Tommy was running down the hill towards me. At first, I thought he had been injured on the monkey bars because I often missed my grab on the bar by swinging too fast and falling to the ground. When he got up close, he kissed me, then ran back up the hill. Reason #3, end of story.

I find it interesting, and sometimes fascinating, to suddenly remember something from the past, especially when I can’t remember where I was supposed to be in two hours from now. There is a family picture of me at about age 2, on top of a dirt pile that my father had placed there. I’m eating the dirt, and I swear I remember that afternoon.

Maybe the next time I am invited to a class reunion, I will go. It would be an adventure to see how many people I could recall and perhaps I would run into Tommy. I doubt that many people would recognize me . . . I have magenta hair now.