Throwback Thursday #15 – Now That’s Fascinating!

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. I am returning as your hostess after my Thanksgiving break. Kudos to Lauren for a great topic last week. She will be back again next Thursday.

If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Fascinating Things

This may seem like a strange topic but this idea came out of a conversation I had with my son. We live in a time when nothing seems impossible which is unlike the time in which I grew up. It’s even hard for me to imagine something truly fascinating or amazing or unbelievable.

Consider these questions when you write:

Do you remember experiencing things that were hard for you to believe? Did you have a hero who you found fascinating – someone you wanted to emulate? Did technology amaze you as it was introduced? What sparked your curiosity? What made you say things like “Wow! No way!” What did you see that you either found hard to believe or could not figure how it was done?

Extra points if you can describe something in today’s world that would be hard for you to believe or imagine.

My post follows:

My childhood was pretty simple so maybe I was easily amazed. I suppose the things that fascinated me were really very simple things in retrospect.

I have written before about my fascination with both of my grandfathers’ tools. One grandfather worked as a mechanic for the railroad, and the other was a carpenter. They both had a lot of tools.

I have vivid memories of my grandfather fixing our push button lock on the front door. He had a small squeeze bottle filled with graphite. I could not figure out how that powdery substance could lubricate that seized up lock and make it function again. Decades later I would buy my own graphite to fix my patio door locks.

I was also fascinated by the wind-up chalk lines. You would pull a string covered with red chalk from an encased reel, pull it taught and let it snap, leaving a red line in its place. I’m not going to lie – I am still a little fascinated by it.

Televisions and telephones were introduced but I was not terribly intrigued by either. They just seemed to be part of our evolving life. I do remember the fascination of watching Mary Martin’s Peter Pan on our black and white television. There is a scene where Peter Pan loses his shadow and tries to stick it back on with a bar of soap. It wasn’t until Wendy stitched it back on did his shadow again follow him.

Fast forward to 10:10 if you want to see Peter find his shadow.

My dad was in the reserves for a while and would go away on weekends sometimes. When he came home he brought presents. One time my sister received a craft toy with shells to glue into a 5×7 piece of black plastic board to make sea scenes. The kit contained all sorts of shells and it contained two little sea horses. Talk about fascinating! I had never seen anything like them.

Then there was the time I decided to take apart my grandfather’s pocket watch to literally see what made it tick. I will never forget how it sprang apart as I lifted the back off. Just like Humpty Dumpty,  I could not put it back together again.

I can remember my step-grandmother refusing to believe that we really landed on the moon. Even then, I felt it was part of our normal scientific pursuits and while I thought it was an achievement, I did not find it unbelievable.

In junior high school we had a science assembly. You probably had one similar. They brought in the huge ball that made your hair stand on end when you touched it. I found that interesting but not fascinating. What did intrigue me was when they asked for a student volunteer to sit in the chair blindfolded. They were told the chair would start spinning and told the volunteer to raise his hand when the chair spun in the opposite direction. He raised his hand several times during the demo, but the chair never changed direction. I was truly fascinated – this was my first exposure to the vestibular system which has plagued me as an adult!

In my teen years I became fascinated with time travel. I wrote my high school term paper on the non-existence of time. I read as much as I could digest about Einstein’s theory of relativity. I watched Time Tunnel and watched all the movies about time travel – especially “The Time Machine” and “Somewhere in Time”. I was obsessed.

In college, I did research on biochip computers. The claim at the time was that a single biochip computer could store all the information on every computer in the world  (this was the early 1980s) and that amazed me.

Today, most things seem plausible to me. I would still be fascinated if time travel were possible, or if people could really be brought back to life after dying. I think the one thing, however, that would truly amaze and shock me would be if mankind could achieve peace. I know it will never happen in my lifetime.