If you’re old enough to remember when women wore Easter bonnets to church and for community parades, you’re telling a “little secret” that identifies you with my “now generation.”

Fifty years ago at Patterson Fletcher in Fort Wayne, flower hats for Easter ranged between $5 and $8.95. Those, with a bit more money to spend, could fork out between $8.99 and $12.95 at the more elite Nobbson Store, located on Calhoun Street at the time.

For those who didn’t have quite as much money to spend, Frank’s Store was the place to go where hat prices had been “slashed” to $5, and hand bags to go with them could be purchased for prices ranging from $2.98 to $5.

The real bargain occurred, however, if you wanted to go for an Easter afternoon drive. You could purchase tires for your car at prices ranging between $9.88 and $13.88 per tire. If you wanted an open-air drive, mo-peds were selling for $184.50 a piece, or $19 down and agreeable payments.

If you wanted to conclude the day with a movie, tickets would be $1 a piece for such flicks as, “The Pride and the Passion,” “The Trouble with Harry,” “Bailout at 43,000 Feet,” or, “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

Editorially, Clifford B. Ward was writing, “Indiana can’t maintain an army, a navy or an air force to defend this state, nor should it. It can’t deal with national imports, immigration, emigration, etc. But it ought to pave, clean and light its own streets. It ought to provide and pay for its own city police. It ought to build, maintain and improve its own schools and in any circumstances to do what is primarily its duty.”

All of this is a mere taste of the information provided in a 50-year-old newspaper discovered in the back of the local library recently. In many ways it indicated that not much has changed in thinking in the past 50 years. In other ways, it was a nostalgic trip back to the world when I was 10-years-old. For just a moment, it was like stepping back into those moments.

But it had more of a mystique than simply the news and information that it provided. I was typing at a computer when a member of the library committee said, “you ought to see the old paper that’s laying on top of a box in the back.”

Being intrigued by such things, I indicated an interest that sent him on a return trip to retrieve the dirty, tarnished old paper.

It was The News-Sentinel dated, “April 1, 1958.” While the average person would look at it and think, “what an old paper, let’s take a peak through it,” I recognized it as a half-century prior to my 60th birthday, which I celebrated the first of this week.

With 364 other days in the year (365 this year), it was one of those serendipitous, goose-bump moments for someone who was looking straight at his birthday date, 50 years earlier.

It was one of those special moments when you know that, for whatever reason, you’ve received a special gift of connection, just for a moment, a special connection just between you and God and the things around you. Undoubtedly, there are others who share my birthday, reading this column, who may have a sense of what I sensed when I looked at that paper.

Where do these moments come from? Why do they happen? What are the mathematical odds of them happening?

I can’t answer any of those questions but I know that there is a sense of peace that flows into the heart for just a few minutes when such happenings occur. Just for a moment there’s a sense of feeling that, ‘Someone’ reached out to me. Someone noticed me.”

It would be enough if that were the only special happening this week but another one occurred earlier this week, with a birthday card from a cousin.

There, on the front of the card, was a magnificent picture of “Nubble Light,” a shrine to our family that stands along the beautiful beach of York Beach, Maine. It has been a sort of special “hiding place” where we have visited occasionally with other relatives since the kids were little. It gives off a special “aura,” a special “sense of light” for life’s pathway that only a real lighthouse can ignite in our hearts.

When I showed it to Joyce her mouth dropped open and she simply said, “Jim.” I replied, “I know,” and therein was a quick connecting point as magical as the center of the universe itself.

Just when I was thinking of sorting things out and throwing things away, I was given one more thing to save. And as I glance through the paper, Joyce is in town looking for a frame for the lighthouse. How quickly life has moved from age 10 to age 60, but thank goodness, some things never change.