Ginger Ale and Latin

My son Josh has difficulty remembering things. Once he’s gotten information into his long-term memory, it’s there to stay. It’s hard to make the transfer before the information evaporates. We laugh about some of the things he does remember, which appear to be random snippets of his various life experiences. Once he surprised me by instantly translating the words when I was reading a quote in Latin. He remembered that the Latin phrase for “Death to tyrants!” was shouted at President Lincoln’s assassination just before John Wilkes Booth jumped to the stage. Not only did Josh have the receptive understanding, he was able to say it out loud without struggling to recall a single word. He had heard it one time during a documentary his father was listening to on a car trip. Another time we were talking about the time he and his Dad went on a camping trip with a group of friends. At one point during the weekend Josh wanted to get something out of our van and inadvertently locked the keys inside. Since they were in a different state than I was, I could not provide the spare set of keys so they had to call an auto service to unlock the doors. As we recalled the incident together, Josh remarked that he drank a can of ginger ale while waiting for help to arrive. There are times when he can’t remember what errand his Dad asked him to do before going to work, but he remembers drinking that ginger ale clearly. Isn’t memory fascinating?

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