The Vanishing Wave
While writing my last hub, I was reminded of a time not too long ago. Well, maybe it was a long time ago; it just does not feel like it was. As age begins to creep up on me (more like an assault), I am reminded that my youth was quite some time ago. Back to my hub, I was born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi. In the sixties, Tupelo was still a fairly small town; not so small like Mayberry, but still a small town. In those days we did not have interstates and bypasses going to the next small community. The bulk of our travels were on two-lane highways and county roads. Now, having absolutely no exposure to large towns and cities as a youth, I cannot speak for them. For those raised in the south and in rural communities might remember what I am talking about. When two drivers met on a two-lane road, while traveling opposite directions, a hand was always raised in greeting. A small wave was given and received. It might be as simple as raising an index finger while holding the steering wheel, but the greeting was always made between complete strangers.
Those days seem to be long gone. I am not sure what happened to them. As I get along in years I find myself missing those days when two strangers could meet and connect with each other, if only for that brief moment. We said to each other, “Hello, we share this earth together”. It was a time of yes sir, no sir, please and thank you. There was no dude, yeah, or whazzup. We were taught to respect our elders and back talk was met with a back hand. Yes, my parents whipped me when I needed it. My father would be a therapist equivalent to R. Lee Ermey in the Geico commercials. I did not grow up to despise my father. I did not even rebel as a teenager. I grew up with nothing but a desire to please my father and earn his respect as I respected him. I did not grow up to write a book or a TV movie about my cruel childhood.
Where did life get so complicated and busy? So busy that we cannot take the time to even raises an index finger to acknowledge a stranger. These days when I am traveling a back road or a county road, few are the times a stranger will waive or raise the index finger. I find myself so accustomed to not seeing this, I am taken aback. The memory will kick in just in time and I can wave back or raise my own finger.