Memories are made of this

If my failing memory serves me correctly, most of the following is true. It is not mis-remembered.

Peter Warland

If my failing memory serves me correctly, most of the following is true. It is not mis-remembered.

It was a tad cruel of the press to publish cartoons of the well-known NBC anchor, Brian Williams, who has been mis-remembering his past. Lots of older people have false memory problems; it goes with the territory.

However, being old myself, I don’t think that I ever have false memories. In fact, if someone corrects me on some trivial point when I am recounting some incident in my past, I become offended, agitated even. As for bad memories, I have to admit, I’ve forgotten them.

The business of life, wrote someone, is the acquisition of memories and I agree. However, I don’t see the point of storing up bad ones. Forget them as I must have done.

My ancient friend Pete and I both seem to have only fond memories of the war years in Britain. Nothing horrible happened to either of our families. At first, we were both too young to be enlisted and to fight but, when the time came to don uniforms, we had fun. I recall fondly the couple of years in The Royal Air Force in which I did nothing useful. Most of the time was spent in playing badminton, chasing girls and getting away from camp as often as was possible. It was all very jolly; if anything bad happened, I don’t recall it.

The cave in Cheddar must have been frightening at times. After we’d crawled in mud for hours in Stygian dark with only spluttering lamps to see with, we ended up in a dead-end cave. We sat on what appeared to be skeletal remains and waited the last of the party. Stout Harry, however, got himself thoroughly stuck, unable to move, and we were trapped. I have absolutely no memories of what our thoughts and worries must have been but I do recall my wife asking in aloud, clear voice, “Isn’t it about time for a diet, Harry?”

Harry eventually extricated himself and so did the rest of us.

One night that I remember vaguely was spent with two friends, John and Robbie, in a frail tent on a wild night in the mountains. We had very little sleep as we were battling the elements and trying hard not to lose our shelter. In a couple of lulls we read part of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and my fondest recollection of that episode was the sound of John Muir reading the part of the Lady Ophelia. “You are as good as a chorus, my lord,” he read in a squeaky, broad Scottish accent, “You are keen, my lord. You are keen.”

It was probably on the same trip when John was keen to murder me with a huge rock. He had been under the impression that it had been I who had loaded his already heavy pack with that boulder and had caused him much pain and suffering on the long march down the mountain but, as I fled and dodged, I was endeavouring to explain that he and I had been together all day and that we had left our packs while we went exploring and that, maybe Rob….?

Strangely, I also recall playing the villain in a Christmas pantomime out at Fort Steele many years ago. At one time, as I was making threatening gestures towards Daisy the Cow, a small voice in the audience piped up, “You leave her alone; that’s my Mum!”

Only last summer there were three of us and two large dogs lying on a sunny ridge of the Rockies with ravens circling over-head. My memory fails to drum up what it felt like as I had dragged my ancient body up those slopes that seem to get steeper and rougher each year but what stays clear and sharp is my thinking ‘Where on earth did the poet Poe get the idea that ravens croaked ‘Nevermore’. It’s more like a death rattle’ and the recumbent Jane remarking, “I expect they’re wondering if we are dead enough yet.” We moved on with alacrity.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.
Covid identified at Cranbrook Montessori

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.… Continue reading

The 2020 Wasa Triathlon was cancelled. Above, the bike portion of the 2019 event. Bulletin file
Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon committee is going ahead with planning 2021 event

Lots of uncertainty, but the committee has decided its too early to cancel

Bootleg Gap Golf Course has been sold to Simkins Golf Management Inc. for $3 million.
Bootleg Gap Golf Course sold to Simkins Golf Management for $3 million

After the decision was made to sell back in October 2019, Council… Continue reading

Dorothy Kilgallen, circa 1952 (
Booknotes: Fearless reporter among the greatest of all time

Mike Selby “Success has not changed Frank Sinatra,” wrote journalist Dorothy Kilgallen… Continue reading

It happened this week in 1913

Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

The Village of Salmo has told Cody Puckett and Ashley Nelson that clearing land at this property doesn’t constitute building a property according to a bylaw. Photo: Submitted
Work in progress? Salmo family, village at odds over property construction

Cody Puckett says he’s being evicted from his own land, which the village disputes

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Richard Reeves examines a painted film strip in his home studio. Photo: Aaron Hemens
PHOTOS: Pandemic inspires creativity for Creston animator Richard Reeves

For more than 30 years, Richard Reeves has been creating abstract animated short-films by drawing and painting images onto strips of film.

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

Most Read