Hank supposes it’s inevitable.
Inevitable that as he ages and reflects, he’ll dream of returning to the Ponderosa pines and blue skies of his eastern Washington puphood. And once he’s there, it’s likely he’ll take a good sniff around. Ah, the 1970s. Ah, feathered hair. Ah, wall-to-wall carpeting.
Ah, creative license.
Hank’s been digging through his life’s sedimentary geology—dusty layers of Dynamite magazines, grainy photos of grubby kids, and prized gems like The Sunshine Family and Dorothy Hamill dolls* interspersed with many, many mysterious craft items fashioned of bark, macaroni noodles, and orange acrylic yarn possibly intended to accompany such treasures into the afterlife.
So many memories. Did you know that one summer Hank met Evel Knievel, saw Jimmy Carter on a raft, and then spied some UFOs? Yeah, man. That kind of stuff happened all the time back then.
But that’s the funny thing about memory.
It’s true that Hank once saw Evel’s mom eating breakfast at a Butte diner. He even waited by the banks of the Salmon River for the infamous Mr. Carter (this was Idaho, after all) to float by, but it turns out he missed the President by a week. Or something. Hank & Co. did spock all sorts of UFOs one summer and kept the Air Force UFO hotline close by the phone but strangely, In Search Of… never called.
Kids will note “the” phone. Scarcity was a thing in the 70s. As was this. This was a thing. A couple of things, actually. And that orange yarn.
And this. This was a thing. It’s any number of things, really, though it appears to be only one conjoined thing.
The point is, memories get jumbled together over time and come back sort of weird on retrospect. Like the be-collared vision above from 1979—a full two years post-ex-Elvis—memory plays tricks on us, just as fashion fooled country kids back in the day. Still, what sounds better than some homegrown tunes when you’re revisiting The Land of Was with Hank?
Nothin’ that’s what.
If you’ve not yet heard the rock n’ roll awesomeness of Donnie & Joe Emerson well, that’s cool, man. This is the time and Baby, this Bud’s for you:
Hank may never have met Evel Knievel, splashed Jimmy Carter, or got to hang with the Emersons, but he can still dream wild.
He hopes you will, too.
Keep your eyes open for UFOs.
Note* These items probably belonged to Hank’s Very Favorite Person. Now that he thinks about it.
Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.
old Scots saying