Allow me to wax nostalgic for a second folks. I assure you I do it for a good reason.
When I was a little guy, my parents would load my cousin, Yvette (who is pretty much my sister), and I into the family car along with a guest or two and we would head from my hometown of New York (Harlem) to either Wilmington, North Carolina or Bishopville, South Carolina where are families were/are from. It was an event that took a lot of preparation and planning, and I loved every minute of it.
The night before we left, my mom would fry up a huge batch of the fried chicken she’s famous for and wrap up the pieces separately in what I would eventually dub little aluminum balls, and pack them away in a cooler along with some sodas and bread for the journey. I was usually sniffing around the kitchen during the entire frying process in a buzzard-like fashion hoping I would get a piece, and usually did. (For those of you wondering, yes, I still do this whenever I’m visiting my parents in New York and my mom fries chicken.)
On the morning of the trip, I would hear my Pop stirring and I would know it was soon time for me to help him carry the suitcases down to the garage to be put in the trunk of the car (BTW, I’ve seen him perform some packing miracles in the trunk of that car!). Finally, we’d all hit the road and meet up with other family members from other parts of New York, and then hit Interstate 95 (I-95 for the initiated) bound for the south.
Those trips were wonderful. Each and every one. I cherish the memories and am sure I’ll be living on them for years to come.
Today, the process would be staggeringly different, and, in my humble opinion, considerably colder.
My father wouldn’t talk with his brothers on the phone about the best tried-and-true methods of getting to their destinations. No, no, no. He would simply program the destination into his GPS, and that would be the end of that.
My mom wouldn’t have to concern herself with standing over a hot stove frying chicken. Nah. There are so many microwavable choices to be found now it’s just sad.
And, saddest of all, the conversations that were held during many of those hours of driving now seem to be replaced by video screens to keep kids quiet and occupied. I’m sorry folks. I’m not one who even believed that kids were meant to be quiet. At least, not naturally, that’s for sure. Conversations that spun off into other conversations, that more often than not ended up being a bit of family knowledge that wouldn’t have been passed on in any other way.
That’s something to think about… Yep. Sure is.