This is an insane blast from the past shared from an old school friend and a light reprieve in a world that many thing has gone crazy, or is that crazier? How is it possible that kids from 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s are still alive today and going well in modern society? Going by today’s rules and regulations, most of us should have been dead a long time ago. Ha!
Maybe we feel we are past our use-by date on a bad day, yet, there is still a lot of gas left in the tank, so don’t quit yet. Olivia de Havilland made it to 104 and Gina Lollobrigida, at 96, is running for parliament. I don’t plan on being a centenarian but I have lots to do yet. The fun is just beginning! Back to memories from the swinging 60s etc.
Drinks For All
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Bottled water was unheard of, as was chlorinated water. Now they put stuff in to take stuff out to make water drinkable. Yet they found traces of polio in the wastewater of New York.
We shared one soft drink with our four friends and all from one bottle. No one actually died from this. Yet, it still makes you wonder. We just never worried about sharing all our germs.
We ate candy and we drank lemonade with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight, by our standards then. Twiggy came along in the 60s and ruined everything. But, then we didn’t have all the fast-food outlets. No McDonalds! There was no prepacked food in the supermarkets. In fact, there weren’t any supermarkets, just a local grocery store.
As for ‘shopping on line’, that was from a different planet and pubs closed at the six o’clock swill.
Outside All The Time
As kids we were outside all the time. No one could reach us all day, and we were Ok. We came home at mealtimes, as hungry kids do. Of course, we lived in much smaller communities than the ‘multi-thousand’ cities of today. And, we didn’t spend our time in the restaurant looking at our mobile phone. We preferred to go to a cafe and play the juke box. Elvis was the rage along with rock-n-roll, the twist and hoola-hoops.
Best of all, we had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets. I want those lids renamed, ‘Child and Granny Proof’. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting the contents of a bottle and arthritic fingers can’t get the lid off. My grandchildren think it’s hilarious.
Technology and Insane Blast From The Past
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovations and new ideas and instant communication in the technology revolution.This is truly an insane blast from the past. We didn’t have play stations, and Nintendo’s. No Xboxes, no video games at all, no video tape films, no 100s of channels on cable.
When television came, it was free, apart from an annual license. Admittedly, it was difficult to see through the snow and there were only a few channels, with limited hours per day. They couldn’t give a time of a program, as things weren’t so refined. They were never sure when a program would finish.
There was no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computer, no Internet, or Internet chat rooms. We even clacked away on typewriters and books were real. No digital or audio books then.
Early phones were boxes hung on the wall, and you rang a handle, though that is a really insane blast from the past. There were even party lines so you had to wait for your turn. We did progress to dial phones. Now all you get is a slim gadget you throw in your pocket or purse. We have come a long way, right down to smart-watches on the wrist, though mobile phones are easy to lose.
I have a neighbour whose entire house is ‘smart wired’. He turns on lights etc., etc., before he even opens his front door. He’s always asking Google something in a loud voice, and I don’t mean on his computer.
Safety in the Insane Blast from the Past
When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking. Our greatest delight was to go to the swimming hole down at the local river. Or, ice-skate there in the winter. Life seemed simpler then. There were no compulsory fences around swimming pools and we even rode on the back of trucks, or trailers.
Our babies didn’t travel cocooned in car seats and seat belts. But, then there weren’t so many cars on the road, and we didn’t travel so far, or so fast. A thirty-mile journey was a long one. Sure, there were accidents and people got hurt, but that is still the same today with all the wonderful government rules and regulations. Cars travel much faster, so accidents are more spectacular. No such thing as a 70 car pile up. For the most we managed to roll a car, or hit a cow.
Now we have self-locking cars. Too bad, if you don’t have a spare key, OUTSIDE the car. I simply threw my keys on the driver’s seat and it locked me out! My phone was securely locked inside the car. Nine hours later, I retrieved it. I had forgotten I had roadside assistance with my insurance. Hmmmmm. Showing my age? I now have a second key.
We went through the polio epidemic in the 1950s without social distancing or going into community lockdown. I was the only one in our entire school, or district, to get the polio ‘flu. Yes, I was hospitalized and isolated then, but no one argued against compulsory vaccination. And we didn’t need endless ‘booster’ shots.
We didn’t live in the world of modern travel, where a virus is in London in the morning and in Australia the following morning. Viruses don’t need a passport. The world has shrunk to the world we grew up in. Going overseas was a real big deal. Most of us had never sighted a passport.
Things were different back in the last century, but we weren’t trying to land people on the moon or Mars. We thought we had freedom, but our mothers wore corsets, and had trouble with the bone stays. Writing about the ‘last century’ is a shock to the system. However, anyone over the age of 25 has memories of the ‘last century’.
I have lived through SARS in Hong Kong and now COVID. Imagine teaching English as a Second Language through a mask. It was interesting, particularly as many of the students hadn’t even been close to a white-skinned person before, let along speak English.
Would We Go Back?
I don’t want to go back to making butter and milking the cows and having to iron cotton bedsheets, as my mother did. My grandkids will pioneer in a way I could not have imagined thirty, or even twenty years ago.
I enjoy being able to choose what I watch on television and where would we be today without our mobile phones and the ability to text someone? Provided we keep the anger out of those texts. But, then you can always ‘blacklist’ someone. Let us use our voice to the good.
I will go on enjoying ‘modern’ living, but I have great empathy for kids trying to deal with ‘today’. I remember sitting in India with an old guy talking about ‘modern’ happenings. He wisely said, “Every generation has its own beauty. You can’t compare oranges with apples. We need to enjoy today for what it is.”
Does that include ‘Grannyproof’ lids on bottles? Just remember you are a woman who is totally unique. Enjoy your uniqueness, no matter your age or your circumstances.
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