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The Villages
Thursday, December 2, 2021

What’s old is new again

Lisa DeMarco

I hate to keep bringing up how old I am getting, but every day I am reminded. Not only because I am constantly mailed AARP literature, but also because while raising my 6-year-old grandson, I am now intermingling with so many young parents.

I guess at this point in my life, I am too young to be old, yet I am way too old to be young. I know it may sound cliche, but “Where did all the good times go?”

Amazed as always, Jeremy came into the room the other day playing a song on YouTube. It sounded familiar, but I could not quite place it. The song’s tempo and arrangement had been changed, but the words I was sure I knew. It turned out it was Simon and Garfunkel’s original, “Sound of Silence,” now performed by Disturbed. 

The funny part was when I started to sing along, Jeremy almost had a stroke. “How do you know the words, grandma? He questioned. 

“Oh, it’s an old song,” I said. 

“No, it’s not,” he argued. “This song is new. You have never heard it before,” he said, getting a little fussy. 

“Really,” I said with just as much sass. 

Then, after I searched the song on Youtube and played the original version two times in a row, he finally conceded that I was right. Thank goodness for the internet, or no one in my family would ever believe a word I said.

I remember years ago when the TV show Glee performed Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” His mother also argued with me that it was an original and not a cover. But, she, too, was wrong. Again, it was just another great remake of an incredible old song. 

Just like my old blue jeans, vinyl records, classic movies, to name a few, eventually, everything gets reclaimed. That is why I have come to terms that I, too, will soon become a recyclable item. I’m sorry, I genuinely believe I will end up somewhere on a thrift store shelf. 

When I was young, growing up in the snowy hills of New Jersey, I knew everything there was to know about my home state and the “City of New York.”

I was the only Jersey girl in my family. Before that, my family went back three generations of native New Yorkers. 

Yet somehow, all I ever wanted to do was live in Florida. I watched all the “Beach Party” movies and dreamed about warm winters, a year-round tan, and being a beach bum. But my father was not gonna have it.  He was proud to be a “Yankee,” and he believed we belonged in the north. Northeast, to be exact. “Our roots were planted here, and here is where we will grow,” he would say. 

Both my parents and grandparents regularly repeated stories about their childhood and how things were in their days. They were eager to reminisce about their past and what they did to ensure our future.  

Much like the present-day youngsters, I didn’t pay much attention to most of what they said, yet it was hard to ignore the tales when forced to sit at the dinner table and hear them every night. Sure, even then, there was a “generation gap,” but we all shared a fundamental respect for the tales we were told. Their accounts were engaging and exciting. Whether they were true or not, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t like you could immediately fact-check them on the internet like nowadays. 

So, with all our modern technology and immediate access to unlimited information, why do our young still have no idea about most of their basic American history?

Take Florida; everyone worldwide knows all about our state since Mickey Mouse came to town. But, does anyone recall the Sunshine State before Walt Disney World was developed? Who remembers the days before I-4 was built? Or when Miami Beach and the “Coppertone Girl” billboard were the state’s iconic landmarks? When anyone with a souped-up car could race on the sand in Daytona Beach, and everyone around the nation wanted to spend their “Spring Break” on the strip in Ft. Lauderdale? 

Those were my golden years. I’m sure most of you remember them. However, if you happen to be one of my younger readers, don’t get jealous when I talk about days gone by. It’s not your fault you are uninformed and born too late. Blame it on progress. Unfortunately, as much as our society has gained over the last five decades, we have lost just as much. 

So, my senior classmates, don’t be ashamed to feel like a recyclable item in our present-day world. At least we still have the opportunity to make a difference and keep our great memories alive. Reminisce and share your past. This way, we can help close the generation gap that now separates us from those who currently hold our future in their hands. 

Laugh on. Peace out!

Lisa DeMarco is a columnist with Villages-News.com

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