Ah, Yes

I remember It Well

By Jeff Salter

We’re actually blogging about things for which we constantly need reminding… but – as usual – I’ll ease my way into that topic (after I stroll around the block first).


Used to be, I had a terrific memory. Up until I was about 40, I could remember all manner of things… going all the way back to scenes and experiences in Chicago, where we lived from about 1951-54. Back then, in my 30s, I still had vivid memories of the family trips we took, the neighborhood hi-jinks I was involved in, scenes and experiences in my kindergarten year, and details about my classmates and teachers and activities in Elementary School.

At one of my high school reunions, I encountered a classmate named Edgar. When I reminded him that he was in every one of my homerooms – except for the year I was in Iowa – he gave me a blank look. [I guess I made less of an impression on him than he did upon me — he had red hair.] I no longer remember Edgar in all those classes — I only recall that I remembered AT ONE TIME that Edgar had been in all those classes. And that’s a key to the memory / dis-memory dilemma: do I remember things still from when I actually experienced them? Or do I simply remember that – while I DID still remember them – I took the time to write them down?


Duet from “Gigi”

Though I do not care for this movie in any other respect, I love this little duet in “Gigi” — in which Hermione Gingold and Maurice Chevalier each remember (quite differently) their first date. Funny thing about this song: the audience is led to believe that Maurice MIS-remembers… while Hermione supposedly recalls everything perfectly. But what if Hermione’s recollection is the faulty one and Maurice is merely being a gentleman by not correcting her? Ha!

Here’s the clip of their brief – quite tender and charming – duet:


Write Down Appointments

I remember vividly the first time it struck me – in my profession (Librarianship) – that I could no longer rely solely upon my memory. I was on one of the many committees – of the Louisiana Library Association – in which I served and we held that meeting in another city. At that meeting, the chair of the committee set up the follow-up meeting in a different city. I made no notes — why would I? About a month later, I was in my office in Shreveport when my phone rang and the committee chair was calling. She wanted to know where I was and would I make it to the meeting.

“What meeting? When?”

“Our meeting. Now!”

Obviously, I didn’t make it. I had completely forgotten! Normally, I would have written it on my desk calendar when I returned to my office after that first meeting… but I forgot. And “forgot” is the operative word. It was quite a shock to realize that I could forget something important like that… something in which other people were counting on me.

On the Topic

Remember that I said I’d return to the actual topic… after our brief stroll around the block? Okay… here I am. The things I need to be reminded about are – so far – relatively few. Nobody needs to remind me to take out the trash or recycling, pay the bills, turn out the lights, lock the doors, etc. Well, except for that time in April when I forgot to pay the mortgage… and except for that time about four years ago when I totally forgot the recycling day.

I do, sometimes – especially when I’m deeply engrossed in drafting – forget to eat, or forget to shower. But, generally, I’m still reasonably contained in my retirement years.

I’ve never been terribly good at remembering names, however. I wish I’d trained myself – from an early age – to memorize names of people I’m introduced to… by associating that name with some aspect of their appearance or apparel. But, alas, I didn’t.

Oh well, I doubt they’ll remember me either!


What about YOU? Do you have a great memory? Or do you need to be reminded to do routine things?

[JLS # 491]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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14 Responses to Ah, Yes

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I think the key word in your question is routine. If it’s an action that has become part of your normal life, then it’s rarely forgotten. Taking out the trash, paying bills – those are things that continue to be part of daily life. Meetings (especially follow-up ones) aren’t, unless you’re an administrator or consultant. And since you and I are both at the stage of life when our schedules aren’t filled with these things, we need reminders, whether it’s a personal phone call, an alarm, or notes in a planner. That’s what I keep telling Whatshisname.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this is a painful topic for me.My memory h as changed dreadfully. More on that tomorrow, but gee,I think that we’re safe in assuming that Hermione’s account was accurate. There were far too many women in Maurice’s past NOT for him to have mixed them up, ( Yes, we k now about Hermione’s past but apparently, she settled down, unlike her sister.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Eager to see what the Friday Fox has to say.
      I know very little about this film or its characters. Only that the lovely Leslie Caron is featured, along with Louis Jourdan and the two individuals in the clip.


      • Although some of the songs are truly annoying in “Gigi”, some are quite good and the end makes me cry every time. It is a morality play with a sweet ending. If you can get past some of the songs,(fast forward; except for “The Night They Invented Champagne”, they are cleverly written even if annoying), you would appreciate the story, being an honorable man yourself,Jeff.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff Salter says:

          thanks for the compliment.
          Yes, I probably should try to watch the whole thing at some point. I have seen bits from the early part of the film… where Leslie is flirting with Louis. I just couldn’t feel interested in their story, for some reason.


  3. jbrayweber says:

    I suck at remembering names. It’s embarrassing.
    Overall, I think I have a pretty good memory. But I have found that if a certain incident or situation wasn’t all that important to me, then I’m not likely to remember the details others might. I might even question if it happened at all.

    To be honest, time wears away the memory. For that reason, I’ve decided to journal about my past. I’ve got fun stories to tell! And, really, I don’t want my youth and the way life and society was to be lost to my kids. I want them to know about a time when there was no internet. That even as short a time ago as the 80s were, it was a simpler, dare I say, maybe even happier and carefree time. Of course that could just be my impression. But I recognize what has been lost with the passing of older family. I only know snippets of what their lives were like, and that makes me sad. Wow…I just went in a different direction. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Jenn, I think it’s wonderful that you’re collecting (& preserving) your memories to pass along to your kids and beyond. Yes, they need to know about those earlier times — and if we don’t tell them, who can they rely upon? Certainly not the media.
      In 1983, while most of the memories were still fresh and vivid, I compiled my own “memoirs” — dealing with what I still recalled of my first 14 years. Two years later, I added my final 3 years of high school. I had intended to produce another volume — of the next two years (college) — but I ended up working on a non-fiction book instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    The first time my memory really failed me was when I was scheduling social studies classes for the following year. I thought I had written everyone’s name down, but I had left one out. I had to do the whole thing over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. trishafaye says:

    Ahhhhh – memory – that elusive beast. I laugh about how I’m living on post-it notes the older I get, but as I watch my mom start sliding down the slippery slope of dementia, the subject becomes touchier and not near as funny.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      I know what you mean, Trisha. In the past, I’ve been impatient with people without excellent memories. Now I find that I’m among them!

      Liked by 1 person

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