Hot! Fall Back Flashback

This morning most people move their clocks back one hour, but not in Arizona. That doesn’t mean I’m not immune to time travel. I come from a family of pioneers, and have many memories of childhood road trips. Every so often, I’m hit with a sense of déjà vu, and flashback to a time and place I’d all but forgotten ….

I’ve got my PR girl clothes on and am speeding to a meeting, late as always. As Interstate 17 splits from I-10, I head north towards Phoenix. The city’s small skyline is framed by brown and red desert mountains and the wail of Chuck Mangione’s trumpet plays over the classic rock radio station. My mind takes its own fork in the road.

I am back in downtown Calgary sometime after Feels So Good has become a mega-hit and before this Canadian town hosts the Winter Olympics. It’s another summer road trip with my grandparents, but it feels like fall. There is a hint of smoke in the air and a cool breeze. People bustle by and despite the tall buildings and crowds this town feels Old West – like a scene from Little House.

My childhood memories don’t differ much from my grown up interests. I remember food and activities. And I remember Canada as being a little off. They drank their milk out of plastic bladders and the big fun for the kids was a giant trampoline at the house we stayed at.

On this day in downtown Calgary, we walk by trades and goods stores. My grandparents see some leather jackets in a window and decide to stop. The smell is distinct and unpleasant to my young nose, but my grandparents start trying things on. I wonder why anyone would want to wear that smell, but am impressed by their finds. My grandmother walks out wearing a tailored light brown jacket with fur accents. My grandfather has found a sleek light brown jacket. I imagine him looking like Starsky or Hutch.

We walk out of the store and they blend into the landscape of this northern town nearing the end of the Century. I return to my Year-2000 life in the desert, still speeding toward my meeting. Time travel only takes you so far.

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