Although we can all agree on the broader definition of nostalgia as a wistful longing for past circumstances, different experiences trigger this sensation for all of us. For me it’s the taste of homemade chocolate milk with extra syrup, the thrill of catching a lightning bug, the smell of the pages in my Little Golden Books collection, and “Sixteen Tons” as performed by my grandfather, or Johnny Cash, or any other skilled baritone. For you maybe it’s the familiar aroma of your dad’s cologne, or re-watching that very first movie you saw in the theater, or running your fingers across the stitches of a childhood blanket. Whatever elicits this feeling, the emotional response is generally the same. It’s the slightest twinge of sadness wrapped in fondness.
One way to indulge in a fairly specific form of nostalgia is the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo, which combats the decline of classic arcades. Not only are there over one hundred pinball and arcade games available to play, there’s also panels with game designers and gamers of lore, a swap meet, vendors selling vintage treasures, and multiple exclusive film screenings. This three day convention has something for everyone, and it’s family friendly so you can expose your youngster to games that exist beyond a screen and pass on the love of classic games to the next generation.
Help your kids create their own gleeful memories by bringing them to see Frozen in the Olde Town Pavilion. Memorable songs and gorgeous animation will have your kids (and, yeah, probably you too) floating on a wave of enchantment. Free family movies at the pavilion is a great, and highly cost efficient, way to build fun and lasting experiences.
If you live in Georgia, then at some point throughout your life you had a country music phase. You may have sold your cowboy hat, buried your George Strait cd’s in a box under your bed, and outgrown your boots, but you can’t deny the past…because your family has the picture evidence hidden somewhere. Or maybe what was a phase for some is a lifestyle for you. You walked through elementary, middle school, high school, college, and on in to adult life with your camouflage on and your head held high. Either way, salute your upbringing with the talented Gannon Adams. His long list of classic country influences ensures that his performance will whisk you back to the country music of yesteryear. His strong comforting voice and acoustic guitar accompaniment will remedy your need for fantastic, live, deeply southern songs.
Go out and find your own personal brand of nostalgia and take a few minutes to sit and soak in the contentment of the past. Just make sure you return to the present sometime soon, because it’s kind of wonderful here too.