I am rather bad at keeping up with old friends, which is rather regrettable, as I have come across some pretty fine people over the years. Someone I saw a lot of around 20 years ago was JM. He used to be my repairman for wonky Amiga computers. Whenever I arrived at his shop, however, we would have a chat, which we both found rewarding. I think I had a lot of influence in getting him interested in real estate and he got me into options trading on the stockmarket.
Options trading is a bit of a mug's game, I have concluded. It's only the stockbrokers who do well out of it. By the time JM and I both gave it up he a had lost big money and I came out about square. But real estate has been kind to both of us.
When the fashion for Amiga computers passed, I lost touch with JM for a long time. One morning about a year ago, however he spotted me in a coffee place where I often go and we caught up with one another. Since then he has been helpful to Joe in getting all my old Amiga gear going again. Joe remembers spending years on the Amiga when he was a kid so likes to have an Amiga still available
Anyway, I woke up to myself and shouted JM and his lady a dinner at the Sunny Doll tonight, with Joe also coming along. I am resolved to keep in some touch from now on with the clever and pleasant man that JM is.
The Sunny Doll did their usual trick of putting before us some amazingly good Japanese food amazingly promptly. We also arranged for JM to come over next Tuesday to do a bit more work on getting all my Amiga gear up to scratch. I now have an Amiga hard drive going, which is a bit rare.
I am something of a sentimentalist, which is why I kept my old Amiga stuff. I thought some of the kids might one day want their own kids to experience the old games. And I always suspected that Joe would turn out to be a sentimentalist, since both his mother and father are. And it has now happened. He is sentimental about the old games and has in fact introduced some of his friends to them. He and JM spent some time over dinner talking about them.
What is sentimentalism? I think it is just an appreciation of how things once were. Not all good resides in the present. It does not exclude being fully engaged with the present. Certainly in his job as an IT professional, Joe is really at the cutting edge of how things are evolving.
The biggest sentimentalist in the family is Von, Joe's sister. Mostly, to be a sentimentalist you have to have something to look back upon, so you usually become sentimental well into your adult life. But Von has been sentimental since she was a little girl. She has kept mementos of things she enjoyed throughout her life. She is basically a very happy lady. I think that is basically what underlies sentimentalism. It is a capacity to enjoy many things.
A comment from my brother:
A view I can identify with. I still have my father's old rifle and I know every old tool in my tool box that Frank used to own -- and keep them in good order. Alas I have trouble passing the concept of history onto my children bought up with a throwaway society before certain possessions were supposed to last a lifetime or more. It is a rare pleasure that I fear few now understand to pick up an old hammer or pair of pliers and know that your father used to use the same tool.