One evening my grandson Jonathan was asking me about current events from his social studies class. He asked what I thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.
Here is what I told him! "Well, let me think a minute . . . I was born before television was popular, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill. There was no wide use of radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, and clothes dryers. We hung the clothes out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon.
Your grandmother and I got married first-and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother, and every boy over 14 had a BB Gun and a box of tools that his dad taught him how to use and respect. Dads and sons went hunting and fishing together, built things together, fixed cars themselves. I learned to call every man older than I, 'Sir' and I still call policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir. '
Sundays were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those indeed, going for a Sunday drive, and visiting with family or neighbors. There were no freeways. I was born before there was gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.
Our family, friends, teachers, politicians were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.
We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.
Serving your country was a privilege; living here was a bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.
Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.
We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios. We didn't have transistors; we all had burned fingers from those pesky un-reliable vacuum tubes in the radios.
And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey. If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk. The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.
We had 5 & 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10cents. Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards. Movies were 75 cents and we went to the local Drug store and fill a bag with 4 cent full-sized candy bars!
I could remember dad buying a new Chevy Coupe for $700. Gas was 24 cents a gallon. Service stations were service stations! I remember PUMPING gas into the car using a HAND pump! In my day, 'grass' was mowed, 'coke' was a cold drink, 'pot' was something your mother cooked in, and 'rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby.
'Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office, 'chip' meant a piece of wood, 'hardware' was found in a hardware store, and 'software' wasn't even a word. And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.
No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap.
How old do you think I am - ? ? ? ?
I am of age.