You know you are getting old when you remember participating
in the Super Bowl festivities the last time Atlanta hosted, showing off the
then “new Georgia Dome.” As I looked it up to get my facts straight, the
Georgia Dome was deemed an architectural wonder, being the second largest
covered stadium in the world in 1992. And as with all state-of-the-art things,
years later that shine had worn off and talk began of building the Mercedes-Benz
Stadium to take its place. I’ve been to both and have to say that the new one
I am not writing an architectural review; however, but to
take a stroll through some memories that hearing about the Super Bowl
festivities stirred in me.
It was the last weekend in January of 1994, and the eyes of
the world were focused on Atlanta, the venue for Super Bowl XXVIII. Of course
we, working hard to raise two kids, did not have the money to attend even if it
was to be held in our backyard of nearby Atlanta, but we did decide that we
could manage to take a day to explore the related events that were held in the
streets of downtown Atlanta. So, we loaded up our five and eight-year-old kids
and headed out for fun.
As we did on most occasions when in Atlanta, we decided to
stop at Guitar Center and have a look around; after all, Mark always wanted to
see the latest guitars and pick one off the display to strum and dream of
owning for a minute or two, and the kids loved all things music. After a few minutes, we wandered out of the
guitar section following a sound coming from the keyboard section of the store.
It was there that we saw Stevie Wonder swaying back and
forth as he filled the room with song. We stood there and watched, getting our
own private concert. Stevie’s bodyguard noticed us but determined that we weren’t
a threat, nodding in our direction.
As we got the kids back in the car, we explained who was
playing the piano and told them about his blindness and just how famous he was.
I know that we were probably more impressed than they were at the time.
Our next stop would be Peachtree Street in search of the
perfect commemorative T-shirt. We walked around taking in all of the
festivities, shopping at the vendors, and finding something to eat. The city streets
that we normally drove thru had a much different look about them. Traveling by foot,
we looked up at the tall buildings to see the night sky instead of passing
along in a car.
Seeing Stevie earlier that day was a reminder that other
famous people were probably among us, although most were most likely dining at
places we could never afford. Still, the feeling was that this was a moment in
local history that we could participate in.
This week as I watched the Super Bowl coverage in Atlanta
from the comfort of home, I didn’t have the urge to go down there and
participate. I was satisfied with my view from the couch, but I did remember…
The thing that came to me was the importance of taking the
time to be in the moment and make a memory for tomorrow. I’m glad that I let
Mark persuade me to spend money we probably didn’t need to spend, to do
something that some would consider a foolish waste of time, because we made a
memory that I and my kids will always have. Not many people have had a private
Stevie Wonder concert and, I might do well to do as Stevie says and “Don’t You
Worry Bout a Thing.” Those worries that we tend to worry about today, probably
won’t be the things we remember tomorrow.
I want to remember the importance of making a memory. There
are still many more things to do and see- more memories to be made. Take the time today to do something memorable.