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Reader contemplates the ‘double-edged sword’ of nostalgia

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(Regarding the July 21 editorial) I spend a lot of time "in the past"; 75 years of it. I guess it sometimes is like a dream state. I have been in two wars, 27 years in Army, every state and countries all over Europe and Asia. By-pass surgery. Heart Disease. Agent Orange. I even got a Master’s from Clemson and the memories there get better every year. 

Nostalgia often leads to Pride. Everything is better in the past. The Wars become good memories. Dental visits become laughable. By-pass surgery becomes a subject at family gatherings when my children remember trying to get to the hospital in Buffalo before I went to surgery. I have gone from a good basketball player to "All-State.” I had the lead in our high school play, but an only remember my opening line and cannot remember the title.

I "joined" the church during a revival because my 4th grade girlfriend did the night before. I was crushed. What I didn't count on was the pastor looking me dead in the eyes with those glaring rockets being set off. He shook my hand and placed his left arm around my shoulder and asked, "Joe, are you accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?" I was stunned. I knew he would know. I accepted Christ at that moment. Two weeks later 18 of us were baptized; the boys/men first, then the ladies/girls.  

Even though my little girlfriend and I went separate ways, I lord it over her every time we see each other. I was baptized first. I told the story as the speaker at our 50th high school reunion. 

You're right it can become a god. 

Joe Malcom 
Aurantia, Fla. 

nostalgia, salvation

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