My wife and I were sitting at the table on Sunday with the kids watching a little television before bath time. I was flipping channels, as everyone in my house will tell you that I do way too much. I ran across The Andy Griffith Show on TV Land. Of course, I started whistling away, because what else do you do when you see Andy and Opie? The kids sat there for about 5 minutes not saying a word, but looking at the screen kind of puzzled. Finally my daughter, who is 6, says, “What’s wrong with the TV; I can’t see it.” My wife and I sat there with the slightest grins on our faces waiting to see where this one was going. “What do you mean, broken?” I asked her. “I can’t see it. Everything is all gray.” After my wife and I fell out of our chairs laughing, we tried to explain the concept of black and white television. I tried to explain to her that we had a color set in our living room, but our personal TV’s were black and white. I don’t think it sunk in at all.
I know that I am still a relatively young man, but there are times when I feel pretty old. I started thinking about some of the things I will have to try and explain to my kids. I am sure they won’t listen to me, just like we didn’t care when our parents told us about the great creature comforts we had growing up.
Here’s my list of “Wacky Stuff When I Was a Kid”
- No cell phones – yes, you could actually go somewhere and not be tracked every step of the way
- My wife’s first cell phone came in a big bag with an antenna
- No ATM’s – you had to write a check to get cash
- Checks – we actually paid bills with things called checks
- The Banana Splits, The Bugaloos, Land of the Lost (that didn’t suck)
- Drive-in movies
- Star Wars (The Real Deal)
- Having about 8 TV channels counting UHF (No cable, satellite, or fiber)
- A 2400 baud modem
- My Commodore 64
- My Timex Sinclair 1000
- The “Game of the Week” in any sport
- This Week in Baseball was incredible
- Friday Night Videos
- Rat Patrol
- Atari 2600 was awesome
- Coca-Cola “Classic”
- Max Headroom
- Do you believe in miracles? Followed by me on roller skates with a golf club and a tinker toy wheel beating the Soviets myself
I think I could go on for a while, especially now that my 70’s and 80’s brain is running in circles. It will be fun to talk with the kids about some of these things, and to do my best to explain them. What things either make you feel old or nostalgic? We’d love to hear about them.