Thursday, December 6, 2012


Thanks to Lou Z for reminding us of the Good Old Days.

In The Beginning When We Were Young

Found one of those rants from some youngster.  You know someone born in the ‘80’s who is complaining that their children don’t know how good they have it now over being a kid in the ‘80’s.  Being a grandparent a number of times over, the oldest serving on a nuclear submarine, I thought it was time to add my two “copper” pennies worth.
Starting with telephones.   Just for fun, ask someone under 40 what why they have letters by the numbers on the key pad.  Texting?  Remembering 800 phone numbers?  Then tell them about telephone exchanges, e.g. BAldwin or SHerwood.  Forget about dialing the phone.  In the Kevin Kline movie In & Out there is a scene where Matt Dillon’s character leaves his girlfriend in a motel room with a dial telephone and she freaks out because she doesn’t know how to use it.  Remember when a mobile phone was either a long wall cord or handset cord on a wall phone. Just be careful you didn’t clothesline anybody.  As Apple advertises the small size of the new iphone, remember the princess phone.  Remember when social Networking was talking with the other people on the party line.  Voice Mail was your parents or siblings giving you a message, if they remembered.  And don’t forget running through several rooms to answer the phone because there were no answering machines.
Computers, the first rule and all you had to remember was “Do not bend, fold, spindle, or mutilate.”
Remember when your only television choice were ABC, CBS, NBC, and pay tv, i.e. Channel 18.  In the beginning the first fear of televisions was getting bad eyesight because you were watching in the dark.  You needed a “TV light”, especially one that looked like an art deco panther.  In the beginning were rabbit ears.  You had to do the electronic version of fengshui adjusting the rabbit ears to get a picture.  Then if you got luck you had a roof mounted antenna and with luck it had a motor connected to a box on top of the set so you could change the direction the antenna pointed.  TV repairmen actually came to your house.  Later your parents would send you down to Axelrod’s on Broad St.  so you could test the tubes and replace them yourself.  Interactive TV was Winky Dink and You.  If you can remember that far back, you had to purchase a cling on piece of vinyl to put on your TV screen.  You then helped Winky by doing a drawing on the vinyl.  And before Sesame Street who can remember Miss Frances and Ding Dong School.  I have frequently asked mature individuals I have met whether they were Ding Dong School or Romper Room kids.  A guy I worked with did stop me short though when he said he didn’t have a TV as a kid.  
Then for a Cineplex you had the Falcon, Embassy, the Palace, and the Strand where it was 20 degrees cooler inside.  The Forbidden Planet (1956) was the first movie I remember seeing in a theater.  Drive-In Theaters were great so long as it didn’t rain and you could stay awake to see the whole picture. 

No comments: