The path down memory lane leads right back to the present

May 16, 2012 -  By

By Daniel G. Jacobs

Josh just finished his sophomore year of college. Sammie is days away from becoming a high school senior. Where did the time go?

WeedTurfBlowup_C2101_R33746

LM’s very first magazine cover from 1962.

As a boy growing up in the Midwest, the time it took to graduate from high school and go to college seemingly dragged on forever. The time since has passed more quickly than ever. I’m not sure how that works. Maybe it has something to do with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. He did once explain the concept this way: “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute — then it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity!”

I guess it’s my wife’s fault, then. Our 21 years of marriage (nearly 24 as a couple) have whizzed by in the blink of an eye because of my beautiful bride.

One way to relive those years is through the gauzy mist of memory. Ironic isn’t it? The years seem to have flown by, so the memories should be fresh. I should be able to draw on those images with the same clarity that highlights watching last week’s characteristically bad round on the golf course — something I’d rather forget, but no. Those memories persist rather stubbornly.

The other way to recall the past is to page through the increasingly dusty photo albums wedged into boxes in the basement. There’s something settling and calming about leafing through those old Kodak Instamatic images. Sifting through the photos recalls comforting times. They’re a reminder that despite the frenetic pace at which we all move, there were once more manageable moments.

But there’s another reason to pull out those old photographs, one that connects that idyllic history to this modern world.

The Internet provides an endless stream of mindless banality. But every so often, I stumble across a site created by someone particularly clever, so

meone who truly grasps the power of the Internet and its ability to reach people in ways that would be challenging if not impossible otherwise.

My current obsession (and the reason for that trip down memory lane) comes from a variety of websites where people post those long-stored images of themselves alongside photographs in which they recreate (as much as possible) the same scene. They strike the same poses, wear clothing and do so in the same settings they were in years, often decades, earlier. Just type “now and then photos” into your favorite search engine and you’ll come across any number of websites featuring side-by-side comparisons of photos.

Some are funny. Some are heartwarming. Some are daring. Some are flat out strange.

I’m not sure exactly what makes this so engaging. Maybe it’s that connection between the old and the new. I can still look on my office wall and see the first issue of this magazine, published half a century ago. There are plenty of Green Industry businesses whose longevity makes us feel like teenagers. Whether you’re a young upstart or a veteran enterprise just showing a little gray around the temples, send us your family’s now-and-then photos. Maybe we’ll share them on our pages, when Landscape Management celebrates 50 years in publishing later this year.

The author is a previous Editor-in-Chief at LM.

LM Staff

About the Author:

Comments are currently closed.