We’ve all heard the expression, “You can never go back!” I’m here this morning to personally challenge that statement, because yesterday I did go back. Sheila and I are in Ohio, where we both grew up. I was out doing some errands and drove by my old house. Seeing cars in the driveway, I decided to knock on the door.
“Hi, I’m Skip Cohen. My parents built this house, and I lived here. I wanted to take a couple of pictures out front and didn’t want you to see me and think you had some kind of whacko stalker.”
The owner, ‘Shane”, shook my hand and without one second of hesitation, asked if I wanted to come in and see it. For the next half hour, we wandered all over the house and the back yard. He couldn’t have been a better host, and I had a ball sharing stories about their home.
I was completely overtaken with one memory after another as I walked through rooms I haven’t been in for over thirty years. There wasn’t a single room I couldn’t completely reconstruct, right down to the pictures on the wall going back to my high school days.
Years ago I heard a friend use the word “neurochromes,” meaning what you shoot when you don’t have a camera or don’t want to interrupt the intensity of the moment with the click of a shutter. So, I shot several rolls of neurochromes and along with each image came a flood of memories.
That house when I was a kid was filled with love, family, and non-stop memories. Laughter was a family trademark and even in my Dad’s last weeks before he passed away last November, we were laughing and telling some of the stories I passed on to the current owner yesterday.
Here’s a classic example:
Dad put in a hard-wired gas grill. It was around 1965, and that was a pretty new concept back then. Well, it was January and Dad looked out back, and there was a perfect circle of grass, ten feet in diameter, around the grill with not a single drop of snow. Outside of that circle was at least 6-8 inches of snow on the ground.
Totally confused and with the curiosity of an archaeologist inspecting a rare find in the Himalayas he went out to examine the ground around the grill. I saw his face turn crimson as he discovered he’d left the grill on low since Labor Day! Back then it wasn’t that costly a challenge, but today, you’d be taking out a second mortgage to pay the gas bill!
So, for those who say you can never go back – it’s just not true. Maybe the expression should be, “you can never go back without help.” Thanks to the graciousness of the current owner I took an unforgettable walk down memory lane. I never shot a single image with a camera, but I filled my own personal album with hundreds of neurochromes.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Sunday, time with family and friends you care about and moments so filled with intense memories the only way to capture them is to shoot neurochromes. Go for those eleven-second hugs with those special people you care the most about. And, remember, when it’s something important to you, you can go back!