It Is Funny The Things You Remember…

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We always enjoy talking to the customers that come into the studio… getting to know them… hearing their stories… It never ceases to amaze me the many connections I can make between their memories and mine. Today, we were helping a woman with a video tape that she needed converted to a digital form. In speaking with her, she informed us that she owned a roller skating rink. The memories came flooding back.

Our youngest son could skate like an Olympian. There was a grace he possessed on the ice (with blades) or on the wood (with wheels) that defied explanation. He was a natural. But he was also a guy’s guy. And he discovered hockey. First roller hockey but he eventually graduated to the ice.

I wish I could tell you the fond memories of watching him compete and perform intricate movements that seemed impossible to me… but that isn’t what I remember most.

I wish I could tell you of the exciting games I was privileged to watch as a spectator, cheering my son on from the bleachers and celebrating their wins… but that isn’t what I remember most.

I can, however, tell you about the ride home. You see, in order to get the ice time, we had to join a league about 90 minutes from the house. And after the game, where he gave his all on the ice, my son took off his uniform, dressed in his street clothes, and stuffed his gear: jersey, pads, and everything else into his gigantic hockey bag which I then hefted into the back of our car. To say it was aromatic would be an insult to noses everywhere. I have never in my life before or since experienced a stench like the one that came from that hockey bag. And I’m the son of a gym teacher. I grew up around locker rooms.

The week in between games were spent trying to neutralize the locker room scent from the bag. And we tried everything. Nothing really worked. We sprinkled it with lemon freshener. It just made it smell like lemon sweat. We tried airing it out in our backyard which I think is why we didn’t see many birds come to our feeder during hockey season. I contemplated chucking everything into our pool and using super-chlorinator tablets to see if that would do anything but chickened out… not because I might have to replace his gear but because I thought I would somehow ruin the pool.

Still, a little acrid exposure was a small sacrifice to make in order to watch your children engaged and enjoying one of their passions. And I truly did enjoy watching him skate. Still do.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of films, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

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Hi Ho, Oh No, It’s Off To School I Go.

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We have five senses. And a memory can be attached to any or all of them. Today, I was reminded of a memory through an auditory trigger which led to an olfactory memory.

An old high school buddy who I read online today mentioned a local radio station which prompted me to recall the local AM station my family listened to in the morning every…single…day…for…fifteen…years. It did have the best contact information to report on school closings due to stormy weather which is why my parents tuned into it. But it also had some very odd practices which it never wavered from. One of them was the practice of playing, at 6:30am, a military march to get their listeners awake and active and ready to face the day. Let me say, that when you’re a school-aged kid, you don’t much appreciate that style of music jarring you from your deep sleep.

And I was hit with a double whammy, because my father, as a depression era kid, refused to waste food. If the previous night’s meal was not entirely consumed, it became his breakfast the next day.  Here’s what he did. He chopped up an onion. He chopped up a green pepper. He took the leftovers of last night’s meal. And he threw them all into a skillet. It could have been lasagna, it could have been flank steak. He just fried it all up. The smell of fried green pepper and onion quickly infused the house and it…along with the oom…pah…pah beat of the morning march.. drove me straight out of the house. I could not get to school fast enough.

To think of it, I never did stick around long enough to see if my dad ever ate his concoctions. Perhaps it was all a ruse to get us kids to wake up and go to school. But, knowing him as well I did, I wasn’t about to bet against it. It worked. We survived and I got an education. And as much as I am loathe to admit it, I even developed a kind of fondness for military marches.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of films, videotapes, audio cassettes, photos and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.