Spring Cleaning The Space Between My Ears


Michael Nesmith, former member of the Monkees, had a mother who invented White Out in 1954. Bette Nesmith originally called her product Liquid Paper.

Now that’s the sort of completely useless information clogging up the synapsis in my brain begging me to do a Spring clean up of my cerebral cortex. Part of the problem with these pesky, trivial facts noodling around in my noggin are the ancillary, parasitical adjuncts which ride along with them.

For instance, thinking of Bette Nesmith’s invention reminds me of the horribly politically incorrect joke, “Why did they fire the blond receptionist? White Out on her computer screen.” Ba-dum-dum.

Should such trash take up any valuable storage space in the very finite allocation of brain cells I still retain? An emergency purge seems my only recourse, but where to begin? What do I sweep aside?

Do I still need to vividly recall the smoke billowing from the podium as Cardinal Richard Cushing gave the invocation at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration on January 20th, 1961?
Seems the motor which raised and lowered the lectern overheated and caught fire. Walter Cronkite provided the narration as we watched on black and white televisions.
If I don’t dump this quaint historical moment it will only lead me to remember how uncomfortable I felt, even as a young 14 year old boy, watching the aged poet Robert Frost attempting in vain to read a poem he had penned for the new President.The glare from the sun and freshly fallen snow was too harsh for his 82 year old eyes.

Nostalgia can be wonderful, even if the naive sheen of the 1960’s Camelot era has since been tarnished, but at a certain point doesn’t old news become old news? Modern technology now fires new data at us at break neck speed. Where will it all fit without a housecleaning?

Maybe a good place to start weaning things out would be stuff you were taught in school. Sorry, my many educator friends, but I’m trying really hard to recall a time when knowing the formula for the area of a circle, A = ¶ r2, has helped me in my life. Oh, perhaps if I had become a scientist in the space program and needed to design a disc that held a bracket which attached to the booster rocket, A = ¶ r2, may have come into play. But in my former three decades plus career spent trying to convince well-to-do New England folks to spend their money on exceedingly expensive (But, worth it!) luxury appliances for their homes never has knowing that A = ¶ r2 been an asset.

Just thinking about this mind pruning gives me hope. As I’ve entered my late 60’s I need to prioritize the things which I truly need to remember; Wednesdays are trash collection days, my wedding anniversary (Critical date to retain for oh so many reasons!), the grandchildren’s birthdays and where I left my car keys.

Maybe if I work really hard at this I will be able to even forget that the jeep in the Roy Rogers Show was called “Nellybelle”.

– END –

Contact: jraftus@aol.com

Follow: whorlofwords.com

Jim Raftus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s