I was driving to work the other day and heard a clip from the old tune - "Thanks for the Memories," the Bob Hope tune that won an Academy Award in 1938. Hope used it as his signature song and closed all of his shows with the tune. The song created a brain worm and I found myself singing or humming the melody all day long.
Later that day, still haunted by the tune, I looked it up and listened to the lyrics. Itis an ode to a broken love affair and speaks to the little things that remind us of those important people in our lives. This song got me to thinking about the important memories in our lives, and the encounters that we easily recall when we hear a song, or see an image that baits our memory.
As I continued to ponder this, I recalled an Anthropology class I had taken in graduate school long ago. I remembered the professor talking about the elements that constitute and frame a culture. She talked about rituals, patterns, jargon and memory as key elements of a regular community.
This notion of memory, it seems, is a sort of "glue" of social capital. Even though people go in and out of our lives, the memories we form together etch deep. This might be why we keep and cherish scrap books, or that folks keep thousands of pictures on their phones. In a way we don't want to forget the experiential fall out of our social capital.
Reminiscing brings us back to the "good old days." Photos, songs, and images bait this reminiscing. So the next time you are with friends remember that today is the "good old days," and that the experiences we create, in a way, frame our humanity.