A Time Machine, Please

If you had a time machine – and could visit 5 separate times/places – what would they be?

Off the top of my head, here are mine:

1. To be in the rowdy groundling pit, at a performance of Hamlet in the Old Globe Theatre in Elizabethan London

2. The 2nd Continental Congress

3. This one’s more general – but to be a flapper-girl in New York City during prohibition, partying in the speakeasies with Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald, etc.

4. To be in Paris in the 1920s – hang out at the cafes with Hemingway, Joyce, Gertrude Stein, etc.

5. To have been in the audience at the Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles first came to America – to have seen them live – and at that particular moment

I also would have liked to been a witness to (or a participator in) the Boston Tea Party.

I would have liked to been in class at the Actors Studio in the 1950s. Watch the work of a young Paul Newman, Shelley Winters, Ben Gazzara, Steve McQueen … and on and on …

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18 Responses to A Time Machine, Please

  1. michael says:

    Okay you obsession freak, here’re mine:

    1) To have been at Saratoga in the twenties to see Man O’ War.
    2) To have been at Saratoga in the sixties to have seen Jaipur and Ridan go nose and nose all the way around a mile and a quarter race in the Travers.
    3) To have been at Saratoga in the seventies to see Alydar meet Affirmed for the last time.
    4) To have been at Saratoga to see Hindoo, just to see what all the fuss is about among the old timers.
    5) To have been in Saratoga when Diamond Jim Brady made thousand dollar bets, based on his personal observations of the horses involved.

    Thematic,no?

  2. michael says:

    Oops. I just went back and read the rules. I broke the one about separate places. Sorry. It’s just that it’s a beautiful day and Saratoga’s running and I’m in my office, not there.

  3. red says:

    Oh Jeez, I don’t care if they’re separate times and places. If someone wants to sit on the Coney Island boardwalk in 1912 for their entire 5 choices, that’s fine with me.

    I adore obsessives.

  4. j swift says:

    1) Lewis and Clark Expedition – To see the variety of huge numbers of wildlife.

    2) Building of Stonehenge – given that might take all five.

    3) Visit Chaco Canyon settlement in its heyday. Archaeological site in NM(Anasazi peoples) to see how the people lived.

    4) Britain after the withdrawal of Rome and the insuing “Dark Ages” to see how people dealt with the changes.

    5) Miss. in the early 1800’s to see how my Great-Great Grandparents lived and who they were.

    There are some good sci-fi novels out there about time travel “vacations” and such (besides that crappy “Timeline” thing.

    Connie Willis’ “The Doomsday Book” is the only one I can think of at present.

  5. Jeff says:

    1) To New York City during the 1950s to watch the Giants, Yankees and Dodgers play at Yankee Stadium, the Polo Grounds, and Ebbets Field.

    2) To Washington D.C. in 1865 to hear Abraham Lincoln’s second Inaugural Address.

    3) To San Francisco in 1958 to walk through the city as it appeared in “Vertigo.” Dinner at Ernie’s a must.

    4) To Los Angeles in the 1930’s to ride a Red Car from downtown L.A. to Long Beach.

    5) To Long Island in the 1920’s to play golf at the Lido Golf Club.

    …and believe me, I’ve thought about this much more than would be considered healthy by most people.

  6. Dave E says:

    1. Runnymede, 1215 for the Magna Carta.
    2. Kitty Hawk, 1903.
    3. Athens, say 410 B.C., to see Socrates, not to mention ancient Athens.
    4. Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.
    5. Plymouth Colony, 1620.

    I’m sure I can think of a few dozen more.

  7. Barry says:

    Man, you guys are deep…

    1) The Birth of Christ. Just a peek. (funny how Doc Brown input 12/25/0000 on the DeLorean – wonder how he thought the car would’ve traveled from Southern California to Israel? In one day?)

    2) Ford’s Theatre in 1865. Stop John Wilkes Booth.

    3) Anytime 65+ million years ago where I can lay my eyes on a live Tyrannosaurus Rex or Brachiosaurus or Triceratops, just once.

    4) Don’t know the exact date, but watch Da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper. Talk to him and find out his thoughts. Prove Dan Brown wrong ;)

    5) Don’t know what the exact date might be, but attend a performance of Oedipus Rex, or Antigone in ancient Greece.

  8. Big Dan says:

    I remember saying something really mean and stupid to a perfectly lovely girl in school. I still drag that memory out when I need an excuse to loathe myself.

    I’ll be walking up a sunny street, all happy, and my brain will toss that precious memory in my face, either to keep me humble or get me to kill myself.

    I’d go back to that time and space, to 15 seconds before the event, and I’d sock myself in the mouth. Hard.

    Then for my other 4 choices I’d do it again every 3 seconds.

    Gads, I’m an idiot.

  9. Time Machine!

    Via Sheila: if you had a time machine – and could visit 5 separate times/places – what would they be? Mine: 1) Clear Lake, Iowa, February 3, 1959. Five words: “Don’t get on the plane.” I would tell Buddy Holly,…

  10. Obscurorant says:

    The Wayback Machine

    From Sheila, who asks If you had a time machine – and could visit 5 separate times/places – what would they be?

  11. _Ash says:

    This is a test

  12. Ash says:

    Hey, for some reason I wasn’t able to post with my usual e-mail. I kept getting an error.

    Now I can’t remember what I was going to say.

  13. red says:

    Anyone else having the same problem as Ash?? I’ll look into it…

  14. red says:

    Ash – try it now. I think I figured out the problem.

  15. David Foster says:

    What if the time machine isn’t a very reliable one?…say, there is a 10% chance it will break down and (since repair parts for time machines aren’t readily available) you will be stranded *permanantly* in the era you are visiting? Does this change anyone’s destination choices?

  16. red says:

    David:

    I wouldn’t mind being stranded in the 1920s. Because then I could live through the tumultuous history-making years to follow.

    I also wouldn’t mind being stranded at the 2nd Continental Congress – because – think what I would experience in the decades to come!!!

  17. The Time Machine

    Sheila’s idea, and her rules: If you had a time machine – and could visit 5 separate times/places – what would they be? I feel compelled to tell Emily that if she were to go back in time and shoot…

  18. Time Machine!

    Via Sheila: if you had a time machine – and could visit 5 separate times/places – what would they be? Mine: 1) Clear Lake, Iowa, February 3, 1959. Five words: “Don’t get on the plane.” I would tell Buddy Holly,…