Reflections of a Loss
of Innocence

By Steve Vertlieb: As I awaken to a frightening new world of ever altering concepts of normality, and challenges to our health and prosperity, I can’t help thinking back to a simpler time when goodness and tranquility seemed self assured, and when both America and the world were safe havens for dreams, happiness, and a bright, sacred future.

The innocence of childhood imagination and fantasy brought with it a comforting reassurance that all would be right with the world and that, despite occasionally troubling appearances and momentary brushes with calamity, that there was in the land of Oz truly “No Place Like Home.” My thoughts wander back this morning to that sweet place so very long ago when peace of heart and of mind enraptured my world, and my perceived reality.

This was the sacred place where my heart and soul were born. My life was shaped in this small neighborhood theater, located one block from where I grew up on Benner Street in Philadelphia. I still dream of it, so influential was this modest building on the course that my life would take.

Sometimes at night when the world is fast asleep, my dreams carry me back still, upon soft wings of rapture, on a miraculous journey to the virtual birth of my fertile boyhood imagination. There was a “fifth dimension” where a joyous lifetime of cinematic influences and memories shaped the very substance of my soul, a magic kingdom joyously remembered in the windswept corridors of my childhood hopes and aspirations.

On these special nights, when my thoughts and my heart transport me back to my beloved Benner Theater where I came of age, I travel back in time to this wondrous palace where my world ascended on wings of fancy and delicately tender imagination. It was, perhaps, “The Stuff That Dreams Are made Of.” Look for it now only in books, and in loving, tantalizing recollection, for it has conjoined with the blissful winds of fragile memory, and has ever so sweetly Gone With The Wind.

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One thought on “Reflections of a Loss
of Innocence

  1. Call me a pessimist but I don’t think it was ever a case of “America and the world were safe havens for dreams, happiness, and a bright, sacred future.” At least not for a significant proportion of the world’s (and America’s) people.

    Some of us have been privileged and have had a life mostly untouched by threats or tragedies. We’ve been observers, consuming news of disasters that happened in faraway places, tragedies that affected other people. But it’s not unrealistic that at some point, disaster visits itself upon us.

    I hope we can all stay safe & healthy. (But I also know that life doesn’t always turn out that way.)

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