Greatest Hits: Vol. 1

“Catch up with you later. Just remember I love you, man.” ~Charlie to Hurley, “Lost” (Greatest Hits)

Solitude at sunset

Consider this post in honor of today: Groundhog Day. (It’s also Ayn Rand’s birthday). I was giving some thought to the idea of being able to live one day again and again the way Bill Murray did. If it were possible, which days would I choose? The episode I quotes above also uses this idea. Charlie, on a suicide mission to save his friends, flashes back to his “greatest hits,” the memorable, high points in his life. It’s been said that this is what happens when we look death in the eye. I’m sure I’ll find out one day. I just hope it won’t be for a while. My life has had so many ups and downs. For the sake of this post, I’m sticking strictly to the ups. And they are:


They didn't look like this 25 years ago!

1986: A guided tour of the police department where my late grandfather was Chief of Police. I still regret that I never got to say goodbye to him before he passed away exactly five years ago. It’s said that we have too many memories of those we hate and not nearly enough of those we love. I loved my granddad dearly and would give anything just to spend another day with him like that one. He even took me to the holding cells, let me sit in the front seat of a cruiser, and pet a police dog.

2007: Appearing on Jeopardy. This is actually a bittersweet memory, because I came oh-so-close to winning and taking home $13K before taxes. It was not to be. Needless to say, it was the fulfillment of a childhood dream, and I got to do something only 300-400 people get to do every year. I wouldn’t trade the experience, even if I didn’t come out on top.

Mine was bigger

circa 1983: Catching “the big one,” a channel catfish, out with my parents on a cold spring day in Nevada. I can’t say I actually remember doing this, but it’s become a sort of family tall tale, embellished and re-embellished so many times over the years, that I feel like I do. The thing my mom and dad love to mention is how I was only four, and using a Charlie Brown kids’ pole at the time. It might have been cold and wet and miserable, but I was having fun. I think.

2003: The day I finally got my bachelor’s degree. There was no fanfare, no fireworks, and I didn’t even attend my graduation ceremony. The important thing was that I had persevered through hard times and a harder bureaucracy to accomplish something. The main thing I felt that day was a titanic sense of relief. I would never want to go back and have to attend class part-time while holding full-time work, but now I don’t have to. Unless I wind up going nuts and trying for my master’s degree, that is.


Faceman and Murdock with a happy fan


2009: Getting to meet Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz (The A-Team’s Face and Murdock) at Dragon*Con in Atlanta. I was like a nervous kid, not sure of what I was going to say or do, and these guys put me right at ease. I especially enjoyed meeting Dwight Schultz. He’s funny and personable, and very down-to-earth. He even liked my Murdock jacket. After I was done talking to “the guys,” I literally felt as though I could walk on air.

1999: Another convention experience. This time I was flying down to AggieCon in College Station, Texas. To get there, I had to board a 10-seater plane, which I’d never done before. There was a huge Texas-size thunderstorm that night, and from that little plane, I had a bird’s-eye view. Yes, I was pretty terrified. It was a good sort of terrified; the kind one gets on a roller coaster. I’ve long since forgotten the convention, but I’ll always remember those pulses of light through the cumulonimbus clouds and the sense of wonder I felt.

No place quite like Newport Beach

2005: Late August, a family gathering at Newport Beach (Orange County), CA. There were a lot of people in the beach house, and it was my last day there. I think I often relive this moment in dreams: I’m walking down a mostly deserted beach at sunset, shoeless, with only the sound of the waves and gulls. It was a quiet moment, and one in which I felt completely at peace.

2008: A perfectly normal Saturday afternoon…when a legend was born. I was going through my old stash of VHS tapes and found one marked “Murdock’s Greatest Hits.” A friend had given it to me ages ago and I’d never gotten around to watching it. One look and I was hooked. I wish I could experience the sensation of newness I got watching those grainy old recordings of “The Taxicab Wars” and “The Road to Hope;” my first introduction to H.M. Murdock.

"Hello, it's the sweetie man calling."

To Be Determined: The day I finally meet my soul mate. No, it hasn’t happened yet, and yes, I do believe in this mushy-gushy stuff. I have a feeling that when it does happen, I’ll remember it forever and be able to tell my kids about it years later. (After all, it’ll end up being one of my Greatest Hits, right?)

Got some “Greatest Hits” of your own? Tell me about ’em! Also, did you enjoy this post? Be sure to “Like” P&Q and get a free subscription, with free virtual cake to all new subscribers!

~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on February 2, 2011.

3 Responses to “Greatest Hits: Vol. 1”

  1. Aww, it sounds like some great memories to cherish for a lifetime!

  2. Great post! First of all, nice catch on Ayn Rand. I almost used that for my Wiki Wednesday today but ran out of time and space.
    And I asked readers the very question you posed here. I love your thoughtful answers. The one about the last day at the beach tells me that you are aware of moments and visualize accordingly. So important, and more people should do that. Otherwise, how can we ever go back to those times in our minds! Wonderful post.

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abandonen toda esperanza aquellos que entren aqui


You - philosophical, thoughtful, witty. Me - still thinks fart jokes are funny. We should DEFINITELY get together!

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