Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Remembering When..

(From the Eastern Shore of Virginia's WESR Radio/ShoreDailyNews.com)

2/20/17  SHORE GOOD NEWS: Modern Technology

By Linda Baylis Spence

Todays world is full of the latest and greatest technology where everything seems to be instant, from communication to fast food. It truly is a great time to be alive. I think about my grandparents and what they would say about all these newfangled (that's a word they would probably use) machines that allow us to have just about everything we want or need at our fingertips or at least delivered the very next day.

There are things, however, that this generation will never get to experience and it is actually kind of unfortunate for them. I grew up in the 70s and 80s and I remember when we had only three television channels. There was 3, 10 and 13. Shows like Happy Days, Andy Griffith and Leave It To Beaver, provided entertainment for all. Cartoons were only on Saturday mornings and nothing could beat getting your bowl of Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops and plopping down in front of the huge black and white console TV. watching the Coyote do everything he could to catch that Road Runner. I felt so sorry for that Coyote.

How about the Poloroid One Step camera? This camera was on both my sisters and my Christmas list. To think that with one touch of button, a picture would instantly slide out was magical. The only downside at the time was that each pack of film had 10 pictures and you had to be especially careful in choosing your photography subjects. If your finger accidently hit that button, there was a great feeling of loss when a blurry picture of the ceiling slid out and that was one less picture you could take of your cat. You can actually still buy these cameras but they are of course considered vintage now and can cost well over $100.

And then there is the now obsolete, dust collecting, set of Encyclopedias. Do you remember how many times we had to use them for school reports and homework? Todays kids dont have the luxury of hauling those heavy books and flipping the pages to find out all about Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Edison. Bless their hearts, now they have to google it all.

What about the excitement you felt when the Sears Christmas Catalog came in the mail? Talk about a thrilling day! I recall flipping through those pages folding the corners and circling all the things I just had to have. The possibilities were endless. It was the catalog of dreams. Somehow sitting in front of a computer scrolling simply doesn't have the same thrill.

Do you remember the Green Sheet? That was something else we looked forward to receiving with the newspaper each week. It included all the TV shows for the upcoming week, some puzzles, and the comics if I remember correctly. I loved looking at the Green Sheet.

My husband Terry, who grew up in in the 50's and 60's shared a memory of having the toy, Mr. Potato Head. I was not impressed until he said that you had to use your own potato. That's right! When he was a child the toy was only the facial pieces and arms and legs that you stuck into your own potato. Wow we really have come far.

The phone book, cassette tapes, walkmans, being chained to a landline phone and drinking straight from the water hose. These are all things todays generation will never get to experience. Locally, we enjoyed Saturdays at the Dream Roller Rink and who couldn't wait to get their license so that they could join the weekend cruizing at Four Corner Plaza? Yes those were the days.

So today's generation may have some really cool gadgets, and I have often wondered how I ever lived without my Iphone, but honestly, we had it good growing up in the 70s and 80s. It was a time when parents looked out for and disciplined everyone's children. A child would not even think of disrespecting an adult because we knew if our parents found out, we were gonna get it, and I am not talking about a time-out. We had more freedom because it wasn't quite as scary out there. We made our own adventures instead of living them through a video game. People actually talked to each other. Often face to face. Life was much simpler then and life was good. Don't get me wrong, I really do love the conveniences of today and I probably would not trade them, but growing up in the 70s and 80s has given me precious childhood memories that you simply couldn't buy-not even on Amazon.com.


Anonymous said...

Linda was lucky; when I was growing up we had only one channel, WBOC. I didn't even start broadcasting until 10:00 am and the first show was Video Village. How many can remember that show or the board game of the same name?

Yes, the Sears catalog was popular because it was our supply of toilet paper. We didn't have indoor plumbing but an outhouse instead. We couldn't afford toilet paper so the Sears catalog was our substitute. The pages were slick but there were about 25 index pages in the middle that were much softer and they were always the first to be used. You haven't experienced life until you've wiped your butt with slick catalog paper.

Your friend,

tk for PPE said...

When our family first got a TV there was no WBOC-TV yet and there were not many TV sets in Pocomoke at that time. We sometimes, but not always, got reception from a Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, or Norfolk station. A really good picture was a rarity. It wasn't unusual for the reception to become unwatchable and you couldn't see the conclusion of a program you were watching.