The 40’s

I was just thinking that my blog is rather haphazardly constructed.  I post at random intervals…usually long ones.  I kinda admire the folks that have something to say every single day.  Because I don’t.  My life is boring.  I’m out of my super-interesting 20’s, college years, and youngness.

I’m in my 40’s.  Yeah, and I can operate a smartphone, too.  How cute!

My 40’s.  Dang.  I remember looking forward to the year 2000, and marveling that I’d be THIRTY YEARS OLD when it happened!  Yeah.

When I was a kid, a candy bar cost a quarter, and they looked like these 1980 examples:1980-assortment

Actually, this came from Jason Leibig’s blog here on WordPress, Collecting Candy…I just spent several minutes reading the post this photo is from, where he opened and dissected these candy bars that were put on the shelf in 1980.

Anyway, I remember candy climbing to 30 cents, and then 35 cents, and then I was old enough that I didn’t buy as much candy.

Speaking of, it was perfectly acceptable for my best friend and I to climb on our bikes and pedal the 3 miles or so to the country store to buy our allowance-worth of candy.  Along the side of busy roads, without supervision.  My bike, brand new in 1979 or so was the Schwinn Mag Scrambler… the top one:


I was stylin’ pretty hard, with my real mag wheels.  My dad got it with the full selection of yellow pads on the bike too, so I wouldn’t bruise myself up so bad.

What else?  When I was a kid, a telephone looked like this:


You had to actually dial the numbers.  With the dial.  Hence the term “speed dial” on your smartphone that has no actual dial…or buttons…or anything but the flat, glass screen we’re all used to.  And that icon for the phone app…resemble that top piece with the curly wire going to it?

I don’t know why, but I remember being absolutely ENTHRALLED with the multi-line phones at some businesses.  Maybe it’s because my parents took me to some profoundly boring places — I mean, really who WANTS to spend an hour at a wood-stove store when you’re nine?  But these phones:


With their transparent, glowing buttons, absolutely MESMERIZED me.  I always wondered what the RED button did.  (life has revealed it was the “hold” button.)

For most of my childhood, the cars on the road were big and American.  But not cool, muscle-car American cars…no, they were more like this piece of American pig-iron:

And after about five years on the road, they were in about this condition, too.  Michigan road salt did a real number on these cars built before factory rustproofing, galvanized metals and whatever else they do now.  Cars looked crappy fast.  Then again, what was there to look forward to in American cars when the freaking MUSTANG came with a four or six cylinder motor, was marketed as “thrifty,” and looked like this:

Gawd.  How about other things?  I remember watching Battlestar Galactica before bed every week — THIS one:

Not THIS one:

I mean what the hell?  Who put smoldering sexuality in my space dogfights?  Sheez!

Come to think of it, we had ONE tv in the house.  One.  Right now, my house has SIX tv’s in it, and none of them look like this:

Yes, we had to get up and turn the knob with our hands to change the channel.  Also, we watched what the grown-ups wanted to watch.  Period.  And we actually did pretty well for channel selection when I was growing up.  We got the Flint/Saginaw affiliates for NBC and ABC on Channel 5 and Channel 12.  We got our CBS from “up north” on Channel 9.  Sometimes though, we would get Channel 25 and get another NBC station.  We also got not one, but TWO PBS channels.  We were located between Central Michigan University and Delta College, so we got both channels 14 and 19.

The other thing about TV was that it wasn’t the free-for-all that it is now.  You knew what shows were coming on what day of the week, and at what time.  Sunday at 8, Battlestar Galactica was on ABC.  Tuesday at 8 was Happy Days, followed by Laverne & Shirley.  At 9, the shows got a little grittier, because most kids’ bedtime was 9…so parents and maybe the older kids got to see Three’s Company at 9 on Tuesdays, or Hawaii Five-O at 9 on Thursdays.  The 10pm shows got riskier yet, with Starsky and Hutch, or Vega$.  But it was the same, always the same.  You knew that if you wanted to see a particular show, you had to have your butt parked in front of the RCA by eight o’clock on the right day or you missed it.  Saturday mornings were for kids’ cartoons, and no other times.

You know, come to think of it, things really weren’t that bad, then.  I kinda wish these days that I could just pedal to the little, non-national-chain country store, get 10 candy bars for $3, come back and watch Battlestar Galactica at 8pm.  Aw dang, now I’m all wistful and shit.



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