When I Was Your Age

Since today is my birthday, I feel the need to tell the kids what it was like growing up.  Of course, I didn’t walk 12 miles to school each day, up hill both ways.  And unlike my great-great-grandfather, whose diary I have seen, I never had to do dentistry on myself.  I’m not THAT old.  But there are a few stories that I can tell.

When I was your age:

1.  There were only 3 channels on the TV, and you had to get up and walk across the living room to change the channels.

2.  You had to wind your watch every few days.

3.  When you wanted to talk on the phone, you had to remember the other person’s phone number, or look it up in a book, or even ask the operator for assistance (yes, she even spoke spoke English as her first language).  You also could only talk in places where you could take the phone, because it had a cord.  And texting hadn’t been invented yet.

Since you didn’t have cell phones, you actually had to plan ahead if you were going to meet someone somewhere.

4.  After you took pictures with your camera, you had to go to the store to get the film developed.  Then you had to buy more film.  Each roll of film had either 12 or 20 pictures on it, and it came in black and white or color.

5. In high school, there were smoking areas where teachers and students could smoke.  (Students had to have a permission slip from their parents.)  If you didn’t have a permission slip, smoking in the boys’ room was a common sort of misbehavior.

In fact, when I was born my dad had to wait outside in the waiting room, where expectant fathers were alllowed to smoke (try that at Hamot now.)  Then it was tradition to pass out cigars when a baby was born.

6.  Nearly everyone rode bicycles without helmets.  Somehow, most of us survived, and only a few of us suffered dain bramage.

7.  Car seats had not been popularized yet.  When we went on vacation, we took a station wagon, and us 3 kids slept in the back without seat belts.  If we tried that today, you kids would be removed from your parents and placed in foster care.

UPDATE:  I almost forgot:

8.  If you wanted to play a computer game, you had to type in the code, in BASIC.  Then you had to correct all your mistakes by running the program.  Then you had to record the program onto a cassette tape, and each time you played the game you loaded it into the computer from the cassette.


One thought on “When I Was Your Age

  1. Great list! When I see the advances in computer gaming these days, I always remember when we got Pong for Christmas. We thought it was amazing.

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