A decade of my life is missing. From 1981 to 1991, most world and national events, popular music, TV shows, and movies passed me by unnoticed.

During those years, I was on active duty in the Army, and my days were focused on two things: military responsibilities and my family. I got up at 3:30 a.m. most days and got home around 5:30 p.m., in time to have supper and spend a couple of hours with my wife and four young children.

Almost half of those 10 years I was deployed somewhere.

Also, for three of those years, my family and I were stationed in Germany. All we had was a crappy TV that got one German channel, so even less American culture was able to seep into my life.

Since then I have been broadsided by things everyone seems to be aware of but me.

Did you know that in 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Diana Spencer and the wedding was televised live?

Did you know there was a World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1982?

How about the fact that in 1984 Michael Jackson moon-walked for the first time on national TV. And Bruce Springsteen released his album, “Born in the U.S.A.”

From 1982 to 1986 there was a popular TV show called Knight Rider.

In 1988, former Nazi Rudolf Hess committed suicide in his prison cell in Berlin.

A lot can happen in 10 years, so the list goes on and on. And every time things like these pop up, I say, “Really? Where was I? Oh, yeah, soldiering.”

A new one was sprung on me last weekend. In church, a woman spoke about a painting by Rembrandt called “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.” After telling us that the work, the only seascape that Rembrandt painted, had been stolen from a museum in 1990, she described some details from the Biblical account in which Jesus calms a storm at sea.

At the end of her remarks, she said, “That painting by Rembrandt is hanging in my house.”

Realizing how that sounded, she quickly added, “Not the one that was stolen, a reproduction.”

This got a big laugh.

It also got a head-scratch from me. A Rembrandt was stolen from a major museum?

Very early on March 18, 1990, two uniformed policemen showed up at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. One of the two night guards buzzed them in.

Turns out the policemen were actually robbers dressed up like police. They thoroughly duct-taped the museum guards, then stole 13 works of art, including the aforementioned Rembrandt.

Who did it and what happened to the stolen items is still unsolved.

My missing decade is like that. It’s a giant jigsaw puzzle with pieces scattered all about. The theft of Rembrandt’s “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” is a piece that, thanks to a sermon in church, has been put into place. Perhaps someday I’ll find reruns of Knight Rider.

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