Nostalgic discovery rekindles sense of tumultuous times

In some ways, nostalgia is over-rated. Even so, there are days when memories come back and surprise you with a delightful trip through yesterday.

Not long ago, I found some vinyl records in our storage room. I lost track of them over the years. I dusted off the old stereo player. The turntable needed coaxing to make its rounds. The belt was old and stiff.

Of my favorite recordings, I picked “Bridge over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. Once the turntable moved on its own, the music was as good as I remembered.

This was during a tumultuous time in the ’60s, as modern-day troubadours, they were a delightful alternative to the darker, seamier side of rock music of that period. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel could harmonize and work magic on their guitars with the best in the industry.

The classic hit by the same name as the album title is as relevant as ever. Even the songs that were not as popular revealed a social consciousness that is sorely lacking these days.

In “The Boxer,” the first part reads; “I am just a poor boy, though my story’s seldom told, I have squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles. Such are promises, all lies and jest, lie-la-lie…”

I can relate to that.

If one desires lighter fare, there’s “Baby Driver.” If that beat won’t get your feet moving, nothing will. Not to mention the booming saxophones in “Why Don’t You Write Me” is a refreshing change to the steel guitars, electronic keyboards and digitally enhanced instruments that dominates today’s music.

As for the words, consider these songs as expressions of youthful exuberance. The good news is they leave everything to the imagination instead of forcing you to wade through explicit details like much of today’s secular fare.

Quality-wise, the scratchy sounds are part of the period. You get used to it. But that’s not changed in today’s environment, either. CDs can be trashed if one is not careful. I have two CDs that have a minor scratch on them. The reader skips the part and it can be just as annoying.

Anyway, the visit to yesterday was a refreshing, long overdue change from everyday life.

* * *

Ever curious about the unused technology on my computer, I decided to check out the moviemaker software program.

You know how things go when playing with unfamiliar stuff. One thing led to another, and it seemed the thing to do was to put some harvest scenes together.

In a little while, I found some music to add to the timeline. A little while later, I added a bit of narrative.

Hours later, I had my first product, “Wheat Harvest at the Penner Farm.”

This “movie” is primarily for my own enjoyment and for my family. Last year, everyone, minus a spouse, came home for harvest.

Anna and Ben, now newlyweds, pitched in to drive the combine and grain cart.

Jessica surprised us all with culinary delights such as freshly picked and baked cherry pie.

Dave shared grain cart duties with Anna and with moving machinery from field to field.

I was pleasantly surprised how some of the music seemed appropriate for the scenes. They just came together, in a manner of speaking.

I did pick out the tunes, but parts of the music worked very well in the timing of certain events.

Who knew there was a bit of Spielberg in yours truly?

A project like this is nothing new to most people. I’ve seen presentations at anniversary celebrations and weddings.

Presently, I have the skills necessary to bore other people. And I can do it as well as anyone else.

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