Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Talking to Myself through a Rift in the Space-Time Continuum

Feb 6, 1982

2008: Mazel Tov!
1982: Who are you?
I'm you…26 years from now
I know about [...]
Oh. (pause) You're really from the future?
Cool! Please tell me Apple no longer exists.
Commodore no longer exists
It's true. You own an Apple.
It happens.
Wait a minute…what's this? (points at my laptop)
It's that Apple I was telling you about.
This is cool! (sits down in front of computer)
Computers have improved a little, haven't they?
What happens if I click on this?
You really shouldn't get on the internet…
What's Google?
It's a search engine. You really shouldn't…
Search engine? What happens if I type... (types: Cheryl Ladd) and click search? Wow!
Hands off the keyboard now
I can't believe it, less than five seconds. (turns off computer) Back to what I was here to talk about.
What was that?
Your Bar Mitzvah. You did great!
I skipped over a line of Hebrew in my Torah portion.
You're the only one who noticed.
You know, your beard makes you look a little like my uncle looked a couple years ago, before he shaved it off.
Our uncle. Yes, Grandma liked it.
She'll be around for awhile, don't worry. She makes it to the 21st century.
That's good. My other grandparents?
They're all gone in ten years. Cancer. Don't ever pick up a cigarette.
I won't.
I know.
Are you married?
Can't tell you too much about your future.
It could change it. Yeah, I know. Can you get me a soda?
(I head into the kitchen and a few seconds later I hear the computer turn on.)
Turn off the computer! (I re-enter room.)
Noisy thing.

It's been twenty years since I was inside the synagogue. The congregation moved in the 1980s to a new building. But I'll be returning. The building was sold to The Missouri Historical Society and it is now the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center. There are some good resources there I know I will be going through. I suspect it will feel strange though, since the old sanctuary is now a reading room.

* Note: There is one anachronism in the above conversation. The Commodore 64 wasn't released until August of 1982. My maternal grandfather would give the family our first computer that December. Oh, well, I don't have any 1983 photographs nearly as good as this one.

On my right (your left) are my paternal grandparents, and on my left (your right) are my maternal grandfather, and his second wife. They were married three years prior to my birth. I knew in 1982 that she wasn't my biological grandmother, but I have no recollection when I was told. I still considered her my grandmother, though. She died in 1985. My mother's father died in 1991, father's father in 1992, and my father's mother made it to 2002.


Chris said...

I got a Commodore 64 for Christmas, I think in 1984. It was a big step up from my first computer--a Timex Sinclair with 2K of RAM and no way of saving my little programs. Man, the hours I spent with that Commodore instead of with girls...

Jasia said...

Fun article and great photo John! I had a Commodore 64 too (don't remember the exact year). Boy, thinking about that really makes me feel old!