|Huet's photograph of Thomas Cole featured on the cover of LIFE magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In the previous post we considered the activity of house cleaning and organizing as a way of tapping into old memories. I prefer not to think of organizational house cleaning and de-cluttering as some tedious chore that is to be dreaded, but a fun activity that can sometimes seem like work though with beneficial rewards. Digging up a treasure trove of memories is sometimes like finding the Lost Dutchman Mine.
Among the remnants of my past are the numerous magazines that I have stored here and there. Gosh! Do you remember magazines? Oh sure I know that magazines are still around, but I don't think they have the same impact that they once did. Now we go to the internet to keep up with anything we care to know. Even if we do have a magazine subscription these days, we also often get access to the online version of the magazine that may include extra features such as videos. However, the way I see it, magazines no longer have the magic that they once did.
The magazines that caught my attention earliest in life were Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, and Children's Digest. One or more subscriptions of these found their way into our home when my sister and I were kids and we read them faithfully. As I outgrew these my curiosity turned toward the deeper publications such as Reader's Digest and National Geographic. For me these were like scholarly journals that provided useful and interesting information and highly readable stories.
The two biggies in the photo magazines were Look and Life. My family subscribed to Life in the years I lived at home. I anxiously looked forward to each issue of Life magazine to get my fix of striking images combined with well written journalism and a healthy dose of pop culture. After a while I began saving each copy of Life magazine until I had amassed such a collection that I had to become more discriminate in which issues I would hold onto.
As a Boy Scout I received a subscription to the official voice of the scouts, Boys' Life. This is another magazine in which I would totally immerse myself. I would read and reread each issue from cover to cover, paying particular attention to the jokes, the stories, and the regular columns on stamp collecting. I sent away for many of the special stamp offers in order to build up my collection.
After I entered my teen years I started buying a lot of magazines from the cigar store on the square in Crown Point, Indiana. I'm sure they sold cigars, but they also had an extensive selection of candy and magazines and I was a frequent customer for both. My favorite magazines back then were related to model building and monsters. I'd pick up nearly every copy of Famous Monsters and Mad Magazine.
When I outgrew those magazines I started turning to the music magazines, primarily Rolling Stone. My sister had already been a fan of the music rags when the Beatles hit the scene. To me they were not worth my precious money, but I often sneaked a peek when my sister brought them in the house. When I became serious about pop music it then became worth my time and money to keep up with the magazines on the topic.
I'm sure I still have some of my old magazines somewhere around the house. As much as a year ago I saw some of my old Life magazines still at my mother's house, but I think my sisters probably did some housecleaning and disposed of them. I have more recent copies of National Geographic, Smithsonian, and other magazines stored away in my own house and for the most part they are untouched. Over the past decade I haven't taken the time to read many magazines even though I've subscribed to many with the intent of reading them.
Those newer magazines are not part of my memory database. There's nothing there for me to personally tangibly attach myself. But a copy of Life, Famous Monsters, or even 70's vintage Rolling Stone might touch my mind to evoke memories of the time when I read that magazine. Maybe those magazines could cue up the tape of the past to play an oldie but goody of that time.
Yes, I remember magazines of my younger days. I remember them well. They kept me in touch with the world that was far bigger than my little corner of it. Magazines fueled my imagination and stimulated my creativity. Too bad I didn't keep more of them, but somewhere along the line things must go. Magazines were one of the things that did.
Have you kept any old magazines? Did you read magazines when you were younger? What magazines did you enjoy reading in years past? Are there any magazines that you regularly read now?