Little G.I. Not Forgotten

I’m a little G.I. not forgotten. In a window display, year after year, thinking I was forgotten … until today.

Nothing has changed, year after year. I sit in my Jet Propelled Supersonic Speed GR 5-4065 facing a blank, colorless wall across a row of trumpets and horns. Nobody winds me up anymore. Nobody. Can’t remember a time when a human hand touched, let alone played, with me. I keep a smile on my face, though.

My time was 1944 – an era stuck between the Great Depression and the boom of the 50’s. For me to survive seventy-five years is quite the miracle considering most of my contemporaries hit the junk pile, or simply rusted out into nothingness. Baseball card pals, Big Little book friends, Erector set siblings, Tiddlywink toddlers …. all gone. I miss them. Here I sit, still, silent. Thinking of them. Year after year.

My last owner, who owns this shop, hasn’t been around in a forever span. I don’t know why. I know he still cares about me and all my friends in this window, so I silently ask, “why?”…and there is never an answer. I can only assume a reason I don’t understand. That has to be good enough. It has to be. Year after year.

I can only sense experiences. Thinking in stillness. I would love to have someone, anyone, move me ever so slightly to see one snow fall, or watch the leaves change. To understand how rain slowly runs down the face of the glass, look out as the parades go by, catch a glimpse of a sunrise and sunset, or spot that one classic car I remember fondly …. would be magnificence in the most holiest of forms. It is not to be. I am this now, now. It is my year after year.

I am Jet Propelled. I am Supersonic Speed. Yet, I am stuck. Ironic. I have a specific identity, yet thousands pass, day by day, without notice of my predicament. I silently speak, yet no one hears. Everyone is in a hurry. It is not their fault, however. My time was seventy-five years ago. My identity is not recognized as much as it would have been back then and my usefulness has long since passed. Even my recognition as an antique/collectible is waning as those who remember me as the mighty G.I. Joe are slowly passing into eternal rest. Year after year.

Today was special, however. Some random guy stopped for a few minutes to say, “Hi”. He said he passes by frequently and looks in because his family used to visit the music store a lot (where I am on display). He’s sad, too. Sad to see a favorite store – with good memories – fall into disrepair over the years. I know, between the two of us, we are thinking the same thing: sometime soon, this store will need to be demolished. The damage from years of neglect is too severe for repairs to make any significant difference. Funny, at that time my view will finally change … and I don’t think it will be a happy ending. Year after year will finally come to an end for me.

Still, today was special for me. I’m a little G.I. not forgotten … at least for today. I have an identity that was recognized. My ego was Supersonic and my happiness Jet Propelled because some random guy took a few minutes to stop, look me in my side-eye through the glass, and talk to me. For anyone walking by, this may have seemed a bit odd. For the two of us, however, it brought back to life the memories of one and wound up the rusty heart of another.

For that, I am grateful….and will be. Year after year.

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