I was thinking about being on Okinawa in December, 1982. I’d arrived there after thinking about other Decembers, starting with here and now. I’ve been in Ashland for fifteen years, the longest period I’ve ever spent in one place. Fifteen Decembers in Ashland. That’s extending the current record. I’ve spent Decembers all over the place. Decembers in the 1950s were in Virginia, California, and Texas. I don’t really remember them, except for glimpses, as I was born in 1956. Family lore, and old Kodak glossy black and whites, tell me that this is where I was.
For the 1960s, I was in and around the Pittsburgh, PA, area — Wilkingsburg, Verona, Plum, Penn Hills, Monroeville. These are more sharply remembered. Then I left Mom to live with Dad, ending up in Ohio and West Virginia. Graduating high school in 1974, I joined the military. Decembers were spent in Texas and Mississippi; Ohio and the Philippines; West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Korea, and Texas. There’s split time, as I often started December in one place in that decade and ended it in another. The last December of the 1980s was spent in Texas, and then the next four were spent on Okinawa.
But I stopped at Okinawa, remembering people and events. I struggled with one event: was that 1982 or 1983? Well, I’d look it up. That’s what the net is for, right? Goofing, I just put in, “On this date 1982”. That search brought me in information on November 27, 1982. May, 1982, July, June. December? No. What the what? Thinking, maybe I’m crazy, and this isn’t December, I checked my computer’s date: it showed 12/9/2020. Okay, twelve is December, right? (Yes, my computer shows month, day, year. In the military, we always showed year, month, day. Took years of weaning to unlearn that.)
Blame it on the search engine. Had to be. I tried other search engines. Weirdly, they all came up with information about those dates but none sprang up with what happened on this date in 1982.
That’s the state of things. The computers don’t return what you want, but what others looked for, or maybe, trying to second-guess me, what they think I want. I kept flipping through search pages: April, August, October. One December result, for December 2nd, from Facebook, something about Michael Jackson.
Maybe my memory is doing things to my mind, but I recall being able to put in such a nebulous search and having today returned, along with happened on this date in history. Not any more, though. When I put in December 9, everything came up as I thought it should.
Yeah, just another rant about the way it used to be, innit? Or maybe I’m just imagining what I think I used to remember.