I'm one of those people that you might accuse of living in the past. I love '80s music and yearn for the years when I was too young to pay taxes or do anything other than go to school and play in the yard. In short, I long for a simpler time.
I'm also one of those people who marvel at how fast time slips by. As I've gotten older, the sands seem to have picked up speed on their way to the bottom of the hourglass. I dread the day that I will look in the mirror and finally see those signs that I've reached middle age. People tell me it happens to everyone. I keep praying that it skips me.
But one thing that makes the passage of time somewhat bearable are the memories that come to the surface when I think about key events in history. A few big ones have happened in my 34.83 years on this rock: Watergate. Vietnam. The end of the Cold War. Hostages in Iran. September 11th. And of course, the Steelers dynasty of the '70s.
Our boys are headed to Super Bowl XL. They've been there five times and won four, and as I looked over the list today, I was reminded of what I was doing when those games occurred:
1996: Dallas Cowboys win 27-17
Worked for U.S. Steel. Drove an '89 Ford Tempo, which put a serious bite on my wallet. Dated a few women but no real stand-outs. Lived in Monroeville in a crappy garden apartment with my kid brother. Ate a lot of pizza. Quite a lot, in fact.
1980: Steelers over the L.A. Rams, 31-19
Eight years old, skinny and mouthy. Rode my bike all over the West End of Butler. Walked to West End Elementary every day, and wound up being in the last class to graduate from that building. Ms. Mroczek was my teacher. She was fresh out of college and I had a gigantic crush on her (and her white Pontiac Monza). My Dad bought a used Ford pickup from his company that year. I think our other car was a '73 Impala in a hideous green color. I remember slamming my finger in the door of that car. It's still a little crooked.
1979: Steeler beat the Cowboys: 35-31
Seven and scrawny. Mrs. Winters was my teacher, a stern short-haired woman with a penchant for sweaters. Had a gold metalic bike with chrome fenders and a banana seat to which I had affixed a blue Ranger Rick sticker. It also had one of those handlebar gadgets that made a motorcycle sound.
1976: Steelers and Cowboys, 27-10
Four years old. I barely remember anything from back then, except that it was the bicentennial and my father's parents came to visit that summer. Tornados went through western Pennyslvania that summer and we toured some of the damage. I distinctly remember our old house in Valencia and the two friends I had back there.
1975: Vikings 16-6
All I remember of that year was that my Mom was pregnant. My baby brother would arrive in early December of that year. Everything else is just a fog.