- July 2nd, 2015
This is a collection of small things that *mostly* don't seem to exist in my world anymore. Some of these I've already written at length about, some I may yet write more about. A few of them do still exist, which I didn't know about until I started creating this.
I remember power outages that would last an evening. I remember the monthly crafts by mail club. I remember Indian Guides. I remember playgrounds with black rubber mats and climbing bars made of steel and otherwise unprotected. I remember small kid-powered playground roundabouts where we'd try to get them going as fast as possible until there weren't enough kids still on it to keep up the speed (the others having been flung off). I remember drive-in movies and how we'd play at the playground (along with a whole lot of other kids and no parents) by the snackbar until the announcement that the movie was about to start. I remember the tinny speaker hanging on the car window. I remember drive-in restaurants. I remember playing marbles at school. I remember candy "cigarettes". I remember Dick and Jane. I remember chemistry sets. I remember iron-on decals for *everything*. I remember very tall metal slides. I remember the rocking horse with big, unprotected springs to hold it to it's frame. I remember spirograph and spin-art. I remember bead curtains. I remember poptop cans. I remember when most soda still came in bottles. I remember making things out of the poptops. I remember when beanbag chairs were a big deal. I remember metal lunchboxes. I remember drinking from the hose. I remember checkers made of wood. I remember Little Golden Books. I remember How and Why Wonder Books.
I remember "please allow six to eight weeks for delivery". I remember dime stores. I remember a candy bar for a nickel. I remember when society allowed parents to let their kids out into the street without an escort. I remember milk men (very vaguely). I remember ubiquitous boomerang pattern Formica. I remember ubiquitous cheap dark brown wooden paneling (*shudder*). I remember washing machines with wringers on the side. I remember when we knew our neighbors and looked out for each other. I remember when most boys had paper routes. I remember coke machines that were horizontal, like a chest freezer. I remember wooden clothespins without springs in them. I remember when microwave ovens were new. I remember Space Food Sticks. I remember TV dinners.
I remember not needing a reservation to go camping. I remember riding in the open back of a pickup truck. I remember the oil embargo of the 70s. I remember when some cars didn't even have seatbelts. I remember gas reaching $1. I remember when it was safe to leave your keys in your car. I remember when almost all cars had bench seats front and back.
I remember slide projectors. I remember when TVs had to warm up. I remember our black and white TV. I remember stores that sold nothing but TVs. I remember console TVs. I remember TV repair men. I remember when they actually came to your house. I remember vacuum tube testing machines at the local store. I remember everybody watching TV together as a family. I remember when network TV news prided themselves on really doing their best to do objective reporting. I remember when Pong was new. I remember the introduction of the first home reel to reel video recorders (before Betamax & VHS, which I also remember). I remember 2 competing video disk technologies, both of which passed away. I remember TV before cable. I remember The Perfect 36 (TV station) and it's mascot, Carol Doda.
I remember records (yeah, I know they still exist, but they're a niche thing now). I remember 45s. I remember Close-And-Play. I remember cassettes. I remember when there were still 8 track tapes. I remember my old reel-to-reel tape recorder with the cat's eye level meter. I remember console stereos made of walnut with great craftsmanship. I remember the very first CD Walkman (big, bulky thing). I remember wind up phonographs, tho they were not common (my grandfather had an Edison disk player from 1897). I remember K-Tel commercials. I remember when Hi-Fi was the thing. I remember my dad's records, and the ones that made a big deal of being in stereo.
I remember telegrams. I remember dial telephones. I remember when most telephones were black desktop models. I remember party lines. I remember when direct dial was a pretty recent thing. I remember crossbar switching. I remember calling popcorn. I remember when the trimline phone was new. I remember when making a call on your wrist was limited to comic strips. I remember when a long distance call was a really big deal. I remember when CB was a big deal.
I remember parades were a lot more common. I remember all the Apollo flights and the moon landings. I remember Nixon being thrown out. I remember protests against the war in Viet Nam. I remember when all the textbooks at school said Lyndon B. Johnson was president, even tho that wasn't the case anymore.
I remember slide rules. I remember typewriters. I remember ditto machines. I remember laying out the school paper with razor blades and paste. I remember mom's first digital calculator (a Sharp with a tiny LED display, and that worked in RPN). I remember movies in school that predicted ubiquitous computers, video calling and instant access to information. I remember how it felt like science fiction. (And I have gotten to play a very small part in making that happen *woo hoo*!) I remember flashbulbs and flashcubes. I remember "brownie" and Super-8 cameras. I remember when the first LED digital watches (yes, LED not LCD) were a new and expensive thing. I remember rolodexes. I remember using the Atari 400, Atari 800, Heathkit H9, Commodore PET 2001, Sinclare ZX80, PDP-8, Wang VS 100, Apple ][, Apple ///, Apple Lisa, Commodore Vic 20, Commodore 64, Victor 9000, IBM PC 5150, IBM PC AT 5170, Compaq I, Amiga 1000, Apple Macintosh (the first one), and a host of later PC and Mac derivities
I remember when pretty much everybody smoked and there were ashtrays everywhere. I remember "safety razors". I remember when everybody wanted a nice tan. I remember leisure suits. I remember mercurochrome. I remember disco. I remember click-clacks. I remember when breaking a limb at school was part of what happened, not grounds for a lawsuit.
I remember Ultra Man, Howdy Doody, Laugh-In, Hogan's Heroes, Mister Rogers (when he was still young), The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Favorite Martian, Lost In Space, I Dream Of Jeannie, Mister Ed, Green Acres, The Flying Nun, Batman, Bewtiched, The Newlywed Game, The Brady Bunch, Star Trek, The Munsters, The Partridge Family, The Odd Couple, M*A*S*H, All In The Family, Maude, Sanford & Son, Emergency!, Dragnet, Adam-12, Three's Company, Barney Miller, One Day At A Time, Baretta, Mayr Tyler Moore, Lou Grant, Welcome Back Kotter, Alice, WKRP In Cincinatti, The Jeffersons, The Love Boat, Quincy, M.E., Benson, The Incredible Hulk, Six-Million Dollar Man, The Monkees, Sonny & Cher, S-W-A-T, The Waltons, The Smothers Brothers, Flip Wilson, Chico & The Man, Good Times, The Carol Burnette Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Archie Comedy Hour, Captain Kangaroo, Superman in black and white, Batman, The Banana Splits Show, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show, The Pink Panther Show, Wacky Races, Penelope Pitstop, Yogi Bear, The Thubderbirds, Kimba, Flintstones, Stingray, Top Cat, Underdog, Woody Woodpecker, Flipper, Little House on the Prairie, Happy Days, Mister Magoo, Dark Shadows, and a host of others. I remember a bunch of entertainment options that it would no longer be politically correct to even mention.