There’s a rumor that, occasionally, I like to write about the past.
You know the theme. When streets were safe and sandlots full. Boys could be boys and not apologize for it. Gomer Pyle. KSHE classics. CPO jackets. Mississippi River Festival. Corky’s Colorama. Swimming lessons at Jones Park in East St. Louis.
As the rumor goes, if it doesn’t involve a game of Kick the Can or an old neighborhood, school or teacher in East St. Louis, then it’s probably not a Terry Mackin column, right?
You’re right, sort of.
Thanks to the Greatest Generation (our parents), I grew up in the greatest era ever to grow up. Safety. Security. Freedom. Cheap gas. No haircuts. Outstanding music! We had it all. No cell phones or security cameras. I write about what I know best. I know I was lucky to grow up when I did, where I did, and I like to write about it.
But today, I’m doing something many of you have said could not be done. I’m going to write a column about the future. Yes, forward looking. Crystal ball stuff.
I’ve tried it a few times in the past. Last year, correctly I predicted the Los Angeles Rams would have a losing season in their new home city. Went out on a limb there. I also predicted the Cardinals would go further in the playoffs than the Cubs. I’m a helpless homer.
I am a few weeks late but here are my predictions for 2017, as I look ahead through my life’s rearview mirror:
▪ The Cubs will have a better won/loss record than the Cardinals in 2017. Sorry. Too much young talent. Starts on the corners with Rizzo and Bryant.
▪ Dexter Fowler becomes a fan favorite in St. Louis. He has his own Bobblehead Day by Sept. 1.
▪ I will buy a new golf putter in winter 2017. No more three putts! Come spring, I’ll three putt a lot. I’ll blame my new putter.
▪ It will snow heavily a few times this winter. I’ll get nostalgic and sappy. I’ll reminisce about the magical powers of a snow day when I was a kid, and being off school and throwing a snowball packed so tightly it could break a neighbor’s front picture window or car headlight. I’m not confessing after all these years. Seriously. But I’m really sorry if it may have happened.
▪ A promise to myself. I will ride my bike more in 2017.
▪ Another promise to myself: More “fun” travel in 2017. Life can change in an instant. No longer waiting for tomorrow.
▪ I don’t know who will win the Super Bowl. I’m cheering for the Packers or Steelers. Life without the NFL in St. Louis hasn’t been so bad. The Los Angeles market now has a better chance to get 10 NFL wins next season, with both the Rams and Chargers playing there.
▪ I’ll watch the movie “Dazed and Confused.” Again. And I’ll try to determine which character I was most like in high school.
▪ On a summer night, I’ll be listening to Cardinals baseball on the car radio. I’ll laugh at something Mike Shannon says. And I’ll miss Jack Buck’s witty reply.
▪ The Blues will make the playoffs but not go as deep as they did last spring.
▪ Years from now, I will still be telling the story of how cool the hockey Winter Classic was at Busch Stadium. It helps when you win both games against the Blackhawks — alumni and regular season. A lot of grins in the stands.
▪ The Cleveland Indians will have their day!
▪ The Cardinals are not done dealing. If improved pitching and defense are the goals for the 2017 season, then we have a few moves to make, right?
▪ This year, I’ll write a few columns about the past. You know the themes. F Troop. KADI-FM. Mr. Donut at midnight. Wrestling at the Chase. Red Rush. Left field ball. Concerts at Stonehenge in Lebanon. Capture the Flag. Drive-thru lane at Naugles. Hopefully you remember, too.
Here’s a belated toast to 2017, and to faith and hope and good health, and to family and friends who are there always to help you through life’s bumps. And when you sit back, close your eyes and daydream about your yesterdays, I hope what you see and feel makes you feel as good as it does me.