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When I Grow Old and Wear the Bottom of My Trousers Rolled: Moments Etched in Memory

November 2nd, 2019 by Michael Dyet

I grow old.. I grow old…

I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled

T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Hmmm, do the moments that remain etched in memory change us forever?

Much of life passes with little fanfare. The day-to-day events are absorbed into history as nothing more than footnotes. But then there are the moments that took our breath away. Often a  few words or a single image cement them in our mind.

November 22, 1963: The Grassy Knoll.

Immortalized as the small green space on the northwest side of Dealey Plaza in Texas where

John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald Also famous among conspiracy theorists as the purported side of a second shooter.

I was only 5 on that day. But it is etched in my memory as the day I learned that life is fragile.

July 16, 1969: That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

These are the famous words of Apollo 11 astronaut Neal Armstrong as he became the first person to walk on the moon. Buzz Aldrin also walked on the moon that day, but Armstrong got all the publicity as the first.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned that the universe is more than what I see.

September 28, 1972: Henderson has scored for Canada!

With 34 seconds remaining in game eight of the famous Summit Series between hockey superpowers Canada and the Soviet Union, Paul Henderson scored the goal that clinched the series for Canada in an epic comeback.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned how deep national pride can go.

January 28, 1986: Obviously a major malfunction.

The understatement of all time, emanating from Kennedy Space Center, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members. A joint in its right solid rocket booster failed at liftoff caused by the failure of O-ring seals.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned that the price that can accompany human infallibility.

September 11, 2001: Freedom has been attacked this morning by a faceless coward. And freedom will be defended.

President George Bush’s vow after terrorists high jacked four U.S. passenger carriers – two crashing into the World Trade Center in New York, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into  a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers thwarted the hijackers.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned the true meaning of evil.

August 14, 2003: The most famous software bug in history.

The day a software bug, in the alarm system at First Energy in Akron, Ohio, kicked off the great Northwest Blackout which knocked out power throughout Ontario and parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. At the time, it was the second most widespread blackout in history.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned the all too real pitfalls that can lurk in lines of computer code.

These moments are each metaphors for the reality that life can change forever in a heartbeat. When I grow old and wear the bottom of my trousers rolled, and my days are winding down, these days will remain etched in my memory as moments that took my breath away.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at

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