This week we bring you another installment from the Whiskey Time Traveler. This book will be published early next year. Because I know the author and you know me, I’ve worked out a very early preview for you. If you missed the introduction to the book, click here. Also, sign up to get the chapters of this book delivered to your inbox so you don’t miss a thing. You don’t want to miss a thing. I peeked ahead and every chapter is packed with goodness. Share this with your friends so they don’t miss out either.
— Zac Smith
CHAPTER 1: IS TIME TRAVEL POSSIBLE?
Is time travel possible? Sure it is! Author, Roy H. Williams likes to make the point that we can speak or write worlds into existence and I agree with him. He notes that we have 100,000 times more synapses in our brain than sensory receptors in our body. If we assume that a single sensory receptor is worth 1,000 brain synapses then we are 100 times better equipped to experience a world that never existed than we are able to deal with the physical universe around us.
We can enter into these imagined worlds and watch what goes on. They move us emotionally in much the same way the real world around us does.
Time travel works in the same way. Just as we can choose to enter into different worlds, we can choose to jump in and out of different times observing events past and future.
Think back to a moment in your childhood that left an impression on you. Let’s make it a happy moment. Do you remember a specific toy that you had? Is it an inside or outside toy? What color is it? Did it make noise? Do you remember an event or place that you enjoyed? Was it a party? Who was at the party? Was it at your home? Was it an amusement park that you visited? Whatever the thing, event or place, take a moment to pinpoint it and think about only that. The hazy image will begin to sharpen as you are gently pulled back in time. You have now left your body at its current time and place. As sounds clarify and smells strengthen, your mind’s eye brings the past into focus. You now see your younger self enjoying the toy, event or place that you chose to drop in on.
It’s summer 1972, a bright sunny day in southern California. I can feel the warmth of the sun. I hear the sound of metal casters rolling down the sidewalk; swishhh-click, swishh-click, swish-click, faster and faster as I approach the steepest part of the hill and then finally, slower and slower as I glide to a stop. The clicks of the cracks in the sidewalk tell me that I had definitely reached at least 50 miles per hour.
I hadn’t thought about that moment for a long time and thinking about a favorite toy took me back in time 43 years. I can watch my 7 year old self play with what I would now refer to as a street sled. It was a red, plastic sled with two stationary metal roller-skate wheels on the back and two casters on the front controlled by a sled style handle-bar. You would lay face down on the sled and roll down the sidewalk steering to avoid the street gutter on one side of you and the neighbors that were leaping onto the grass to the other side of you. There were no brakes, as I recall, and that may be why that amazingly fun toy never became popular with most parents.
The fact is that we can revisit many different times in our past. We can re-create what we saw, felt, heard, smelled and tasted so vividly in our minds that we are in essence time traveling to the past.
Can we time travel to the future? You bet we can! When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s my wife and I owned our own commercial pressure cleaning business. One cold winter evening (I am now in Southwestern Pennsylvania, not California) I came home from a long physical day of work. It was dark and just above the freezing mark. I was damp and my bones ached. I told my wife, Lisa, that I saw two futures for me and I didn’t like the one.
“I know that I won’t be able to do this when I’m in my 40’s and 50’s. It will kill me!” I sighed.
“What are you going to do about it?” she asked.
“Either we hire kids to do all of the physical work and just manage the business or…”
I thought for a moment. I was traveling to the future in my mind.
The year is 2022 and I’m 56 years old. It’s another cold morning in Pittsburgh, about 28 degrees. They are calling for highs in the lower 40’s today. I don’t feel like getting out there in the cold but its days like this, that the customers want the winter salt and grime pressure cleaned off their trucks. I’ll come home tonight after dark, tired and sore. The only thing I have to look forward to is a soak in our hot tub. But wait! There is still an opportunity to go back in time and change things.
“Or…” I continued, “We do something entirely different.”
I had traveled to the future, my future, and I didn’t like it. It was in that moment that I determined to change the future. I saw us owning and running a different kind of business. It wasn’t clear exactly what type of business, but I certainly didn’t see myself anywhere near the pressure cleaning industry.
The fact is that, not only can we visit the future, we can visit multiple futures and choose which one we like best. From that exciting future, we then need to simply time travel to the past and gently nudge our current self in the right direction.
What does this have to do with whisky and how to remember and tell stories about the spirits we’ve enjoyed? Now that we are beginning to understand how time travel works, we can adapt this information to help us revisit events in our lives that are marked by the people we were with, where we were and of course, the whisky we enjoyed. More importantly we will learn how to make stories out of these events so that we can travel back to them as many times as we like.
Next we show you the secret to whisky time traveling. Let’s go!
— S. Garth Smith