Lifestyle & Retirement / Simply Southern Cappy

Time In A Bottle

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Life Preserver

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day ’til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you.
~Jim Croce, Time in a Bottle

Let’s write it all down, I told my cousin. Just in case, you know ¦

Write what down? And who’s going to read it if, you know ¦

It was 1952. We were two years into the Cold War and we were twelve years old. McCarthyism denounced Communism and Russian dominance dominated the news and scared the dickens out of us.

Better Dead Than Red, became a battle cry. Churches preached, Repent! The end is near!

Public schools showed the film, Duck and Cover to teach us what to do when (not if) the A-bomb dropped.

Get under your desk! Duck and cover your head! Don’t look up!

My cousin and I cowered under our desks in mortal fear of the dreaded mushroom cloud. In bed at night, we held tight to our teddy bears for comfort.

Senator Joe McCarthy convinced Americans of our impending doom if the country did not purge itself of the evil Communists. In doing so, the Cold War was thus ushered in and with it cold fear that spread like cancer.

A few townspeople built Fallout Shelters to protect themselves against radioactive exposure. With no shelter in either of our backyards, my cousin and I believed it was our destiny to be nuked into kingdom come. The Civil Defense films we had been shown in school gave us no reason to believe otherwise.

Future generations, I told her in one of my more cerebral moments, need to know that you and I lived and breathed in the year 1952. We were so naïve, but then ¦ we were twelve.

So we scribbled down our names, what grade we were in, what we liked to eat and do for fun, and our favorite movies. (Duck and Cover was not listed.)

Carefully wrapping in tin foil the information we thought would be valuable in the future, we stuffed it inside a loose brick we found on the side of my cousin’s house. And there it remains to this day. When I drive through our old neighborhood, long since vacated by our two families, I wonder if what we hid in a brick that day was ever found and if so, did it make the finder laugh?

Fear of gamma rays, isotopes, alpha and beta particles was during a time when the A-Bomb monster threatened to put an end to all living things. Today, even dealing with the fear of terrorists, there is another fear that eclipses the one that haunted us in the Fifties. It, too, begins with the letter A. It doesn’t break bones; it breaks hearts. It doesn’t kill people; it kills brains.

Thank God my cousin and I never experienced the first A-attack, but three years ago she became a victim of the other A-attack, Alzheimer’s. Bedridden, she speaks very seldom but she smiles vacantly and clings to pieces of her past while holding a teddy bear for comfort.

I don’t know where she goes when she retreats to that solitary place in her mind, but I want to think it is back to a time when we had fun together as kids. If she passes by her old house in her mind, I hope she laughs about the day we sealed our lives in a double thickness of tin foil and shoved it inside a loose brick.

Our lives are made up of events, good, bad and so-so, and so much of it remains locked inside our minds. Our experiences become a footprint, a trail, a eulogy or sum total registering the fact that we stood on this earth and that we mattered.

Not unlike the A-Bomb, Alzheimer’s takes no prisoners. Its victims are not only the ones diagnosed, but also families who pray for a moment or two of clarity with a loved one. The moments may only be a blip in time, but those blips can call up the sweetest, most precious memories.

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day ’til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.


Cappy Hall Rearick was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She was an English major at the University of South Carolina and later became a Flight Attendant for American Airlines. Some years later, she moved to Los Angeles and then to Pennsylvania. In 1994, she returned to her beloved South to settle in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia with her husband Bill.

Cappy, an award winning short story writer and syndicated columnist, is the author ofseveral successful columns, including:ALIVE AND WELL IN HOLLYWOOD, TIDINGS, SIMPLY SOUTHERN and PUTTIN’ ON THE GRITZ monthly in the Lowcountry Sun Newspaper in Charleston, SC. She also writes an e-column called SIMPLY SOMETHING.

Cappy is past president of the Southeastern Writers Association. Her recently published novel, THE ROAD TO HELL IS SELDOM SEEN, a 2012 nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year, is available at print and can be downloaded and enjoyed at Kindle, Nook and all the electronic readers. Get ready to read and do nothing else because it’s a page-turner!

She is writing her next book, BRIDGING THE GAP, a psychological novel of deception and suspense. The SIMPLY books (SIMPLY SOUTHERN; SIMPLY SOUTHERN EASE; SIMPLY CHRISTMAS) are bound to make you laugh and maybe even tear up a little bit, especially if you enjoy remembering the good old days. With every page you turn, however, Cappy Hall Rearick will bring the South alive for you.

Rearick holds membership in the Georgia Writers, South Carolina Writers, Atlanta Writers Club, Florida Writers, North Carolina Writers and she is a sitting Board member of the Southeastern Writers Association.

In addition to writing, Cappy is a popular public speaker and can breathe new life into those good old days for your conference attendees. She is a dynamic creative writing instructor and is available to teach classes in column writing, Southern fiction, humor, memoir and short story writing. She brings forth fresh ideas to match her imaginative ways of turning a phrase. Book her now … and breathe new life into your next writer’s conference. Attendees will learn a lot, laugh a lot and go away itching to write better than ever.

If you would like to receive a monthly column of SIMPLY SOMETHING via email, send your request along with your email address to Cappy at: She will be delighted to add your name to the preferred column list.

Read Cappy’s BLOG at:

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