There is no reason for you to read this post. There is no financial message or deep-meaning in these words other than to remind us that things will always change:
In the past 10 years:
- We have seen iPods, YouTube, streaming HD movies, on-line meeting conferences, cars that can accept unleaded and/or E85 fuel, and super-huge LED TVs for less than $1,000.
- Television programs go from 7th Heaven, Friends, and The Drew Carey Show to a slew of “reality shows” and 24-hour cooking channels. Suddenly cable channels like HBO and Showtime were creating their own content as if they were a risqué NBC. There was also a re-envisioned Battlestar Galactica, a computer-generated Star Wars (Clone Wars), an American version of The Office, and my all-time favorite intro for a game-show: Cupcake Wars (go Jilly’s!)
- America has seen two bubbles burst, the Tech bubble and the Housing bubble. The DOW has crossed over and under the 11,000 mark more than two dozen times and online companies like Google and Amazon.com thrive.
- We have also seen the birth of social networks like Twitter and Facebook appear as if overnight and wonder how we got along without them. An industry was birthed from website development and thousands are making a living by developing “apps” and selling them for a dollar.
In September 2001, my wife and I installed a flag-pole holder on one of the porch columns. We proudly bought an American flag and hung it right in front of our house. We kept the lights on when it got dark and took it down when it rained. Very patriotic.
Also located in front of our house is a Magnolia tree which was planted when my daughter was born (before 9-11). It was only a few feet tall but it had taken root and was growing well, just like our little one. But after a couple of years it had gotten so big that the flag would get caught in the branches. I gently placed the flag in the garage and vowed to move it to another column but it somehow kept getting pushed off for more “important” things. It is more likely that I procrastinated and forgot about it.
On the 10th Anniversary of the day the towers fell, memories of that event stirred up in my soul again. Anger surfaced and pride took over. I grabbed my power-drill, moved the flag-pole holder, and proudly hung an old, fadded, American flag in our front yard again.
Things that were hot 10 years ago are now so old. I look around at all the things I have collected: vinyl records, model airplanes, and a VHS collection that forces me to ask myself “what was I thinking”. I don’t do anything with them, why do I keep them around? We now have eBay and Craig’s List to help with the proper disposal of our stuff, but I keep it all close to my heart.
I want to remember the days:
…when spinning records was cool (well, it’s still cool), when the hottest videos on BlockBuster’s shelves were Jerry Maguire and Titanic, and when Janet Jackson was known for her music, not a wardrobe malfunction. But today, more importantly of all, I want to remember the time we waved a $14.99 piece of colored fabric in front of our house to declare that we were, and remain, proud to be American.
And that is more valuable than gold.