By John Matonich
One of the local papers I read regularly does a real nice job of reprinting articles from various years in our local history. It is fun to see pictures of folks I knew when they got engaged or went into the service. Recently, I was the recipient of one of the “remember when” articles.
The year was 1977 and I was a senior in high school. Yes, I know it was a long time ago and, no, it wasn’t before the voyage of Chris Columbus. I happened to serve as the president of the student council that year and it was also the year when our high school was reviewed for accreditation. I don’t know if they still do that, but it was a big deal back then.
Because I was student council prez, I was asked to sit down with one of the evaluators and answer some questions about the school, its staff and curriculum. While I was answering questions, a reporter from the local paper snapped a picture and, voila, it appeared in the paper back then and was reprinted on its 40 year anniversary.
Some people, of course, couldn’t resist ribbing me after the photo hit the paper because on that fateful day I happened to have been wearing a pair of bib overalls. In 1977 a lot of guys wore bib overalls and I was one of them. After the show “Hee-Haw” become popular, the bib thing seemed to fade fast and unless you drive a tractor or shovel manure today, you don’t see those worn much. Well, I happened to be wearing a pair that day and of course the picture tells the story.
Another reason I received a few off-color comments was my hair. Remember, this was 1977. Big hair was very common and while mine at that time wasn’t all that big, it was much bigger than it is today. It also wasn’t really long but it kind of frizzed out and looked a little closer to a Brillo pad than I guess it should. That picture was just fodder for laughs at my expense. I simply smiled. Life is a long road and what goes around, comes around. Meaning: Others will get theirs.
See, that paper will continue to print old articles and my guess is I will get a chance for pay-backs at some point.
I did smile when I saw the picture. It reminded me of a much simpler time when your thoughts were to the future and where you were going and how you would get there. I have been pretty lucky and the journey I have traveled has been pretty good to me, so I guess some can have their laughs. I am not done traveling my life journey yet and a look back can be fun once in awhile.
To be honest, I still have a pair of bib overalls and I wear them about every day I am in my woodshop. They are durable and functional. My hair is still a little frizzy, but a lot grayer and I am just happy at my age to have some that could resemble a Brillo pad.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image credit: Hans Erickson