Monday, April 14, 2008

How things were

Sandra Cox just gave me a laugh over at her blog about how hard we had it when we were kids. Pop over and enjoy a few giggles. She sounds like one of my contemporaries, maybe even a bit younger. I was a kid in the 60s, a teenager in the 70s, and a young married wife and mom in the 80s. There was NO cable. Perish the thought. Most towns had 3 TV stations, NBC, ABC, and CBS. Maybe one local station. We were lucky. My dad put up a rotating antenna and we lived high on a hill so we were able to pick up several other stations, too. So we had about 10 stations and counted ourselves fortunate. The TV stations went off at 11 pm or midnight. On weekends, some of the stations stayed on till 1 or 2 in the morning. That was it. There were no VCRs or DVDs or Tivo. If we weren't home to watch a TV show, we missed it. HBO didn't come into existence until after I was married. Toaster ovens were all the rage in the 70s. My aunt bought one for us for our wedding gift. Gas was about 50 cents a gallon when I started driving. There were NO video games. We had pinball games and Skeet. I first saw Pac Man when I was an Air Man in the Air Force. Electronic ping pong, too. Fun fun fun. (not) I played 45s and LPs. When I was a teen, cassette tapes became popular. We had a brief flirtation with 8 track tapes. Did you ever have those tapes unwind and get all ruined? Not pretty. My first camera was a Brownie. Polaroids were invented around the late 60s, I think. I thought McDonald's was the new place across from the mall with the cheap, nasty hamburgers. White Castles were preferable although we made fun of them. Skyline Chili was also popular in my town. We walked a mile down the road to the Pony Keg to buy penny candy when it really cost only a penny. My grandma was scandalized that my older cousin Connie wore hot pants or when I wore a halter top. Movie theaters had only one cinema but movies only cost a couple bucks. On the real plus side, we had a lot of great drive ins. Those were GREAT! I miss them, even though we have the Thunderbird/Swap Shop Drive In where I live now. But now they've taken out the radios and so everybody races through the parking lot and its not safe so I rarely go. My mom drove a station wagon. Vans were only for construction workers. We didn't have computers. My dad designed one of the first. My cousin took one of the first computer classes in our high school when the computers stood floor to ceiling, and stretched wall to wall with huge tape disks and binary cards. Phones were all rotary and attached to the wall. Walmart didn't exist. Kmart was the popular discount store. Most stores were closed on Sundays. None of the stores stayed open all night. We didn't have central AC. I had a window air conditioner in my room. That was okay for Cincinnati, but I'd have died with only that in Florida. Sandra mentions a lot more and her wit's a lot more biting than mine. I'm sure I've forgotten a ton of things. But I didn't suffer for missing these things. I was having too much fun rollerskating, bowling, water skiing, bicycling, swimming, dancing, reading, listening to music, and playing outside. I twirled flags. I had FUN.


Utter Basketcase said...

Well it all sounds like great fun to me! :-) xx

Alexis Fleming said...

Wow! That brought back so many memories. lol I remember my mother being scandalized when I fronted up in my first pair of hotpants. It's funny looking back now.

Great post, Ashley

Sandra Cox said...

Definitely contemporaries. In fact, I may have a few years on you. Did you go to the drive in on fourth of July to watch the fireworks?

I wish I could take credit for the over 30s blog but its an author unknown.

Maggie May said...

Ohhh! You have taken me right back! We had to make our own fun, crafts & sewing/knitting while listening to the radio!
Free to go out of the house and play ALL day, or until hungry! Did some really dangerous things like all the other kids did!
I was happy to have been brought up in a computerless age! I'm not sure I would like it now though!
Thanks for a marvelous post!

Molly Daniels said...

My kids still call my LP's "The BIG CDs", ha ha:)

Just realized; my toddler will never remember analog watches, TVs, life w/o a computer, or film for the camera!

Jan said...

We must be from the same era! We had three tv stations, didn't own a microwave at all (and when my parents DID get one it was HUGE) gas was 35 cents a gallon when I started driving and so on and so forth! Alot of memories!


Unknown said...

After being without the internet for 5 days, I received 402 emails and I realized I need to ring people more often as we have lost the art of verbal communication

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Great blog, Ashely! Brought back a lot of memories. You're right, we had fun with a lot less stuff and a lot less gadgets. In a way, despite the fact that my kids have things easier in a lot of ways, I kind of feel sorry for them. They miss out on so many simple pleasure that we took for granted at their age. Even being able to walk to the store to buy that penny candy--all by yourself-- is something they'll never know about. And if they did, I'd probalby be arrested for letting them go off alone, LOL.

Great, great blog. Now I'm off to read Sandra's and see what memories she brings up!

Unknown said...

The trip down memory lane was fun. It doesn't seem that long ago. I wonder how it will feel when I see my high school class mates at my 30th reunion this summer.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

We must be about the same age. We still have a rotary phone in our house and one of my daughter's friends had no idea how to use it. But, then again, I really don't know how to text message very well, so I guess we're even.
Loved my tour of your blog!!


Unknown said...

That's funny, Cathy. I guess rotary phones seem ancient to our kids. I'm just lately texting, but I don't know many abbreviations.

Cath said...

Hmmm I remember a lot of those things too Ashley. Except drive ins. We never had those.

And they say we have moved on? I wonder sometimes. That's progress.

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