Wed 30 Apr 2008
One of the most powerful memory triggers is the sense of smell. An aroma can bring back memories from childhood that seem like they were from yesterday. And I’ve also noticed that other triggers can bring back memories of smells, which in turn bring up other memories. I was reading a blog post from last year that spoke of the smell of bacon and eggs wafting through the trees in the morning when my folks took us camping in our childhood. That smell is still one of my favorite. It almost is enough to make me want to try camping again. Almost.
One of those other triggers is music. Back in the mid-80′s, I was working as a driver education instructor for Central Texas College over in Germany. I taught GIs how to pass the German written driving exam. I was always traveling to a distant Army base each week. One week I was driving back and forth to Stuttgart each day. It was about 100 miles each way, but in Germany, where there was no speed limit on the autobahn, the trip took less than an hour. As that week started, I had a new tape by Steve Perry (of Journey) called Street Talk. Lots of good songs on that album. I played it over and over during that week. To this day when I hear Foolish Heart, I can smell the leather in my ’77 BMW 633CSi that was my transportation back then. That was a very good time in my life and it seems the good memories are the strongest and most enduring. Just like camping when we were kids.