Monday, October 31, 2011

Then and now

I was thinking today of how many changes I have seen in my life. It is unbelievable how many things are different, and how far technology has come in the last 50 years. I’m not yet an old man, though not young either, but I have lived through a lot of groundbreaking, memorable events; such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King; I have witnessed the first man on the moon; I remember when all of the now revered  old muscle cars were new. I recall when computers could take up the space of a large room, and still not have nearly the computing ability of small computers now. I remember Nixon and Watergate, the Vietnam war, Woodstock and the hippie generation. I even remember when a lot of work was done with horses instead of tractors. Makes me sound old doesn’t it? But I am not yet an old man. I remember when the last country schools, often just one room for several grades, were still in operation; in fact I attended one for a couple of years. I remember when you could easily identify every car on the road as a Chevy, Ford, Dodge, etc. There was only a few of each instead of the bewildering menagerie that we have today. Foreign cars were practically nonexistent, except for an occasional Volkswagen Beetle. It was ok though because owning a car made in a foreign nation would have been considered unpatriotic anyway.

I remember the Iranian hostage crisis, the Gulf war, Pop for 10 cents, and gasoline as low as 21 cents per gallon. I remember when kids of any age could buy cigarettes, and they cost next to nothing. It’s weird, but today we have thousands of time and labor saving devices to make our lives easier; and other devices to keep us amused and entertained, but it seems that we have less time, less fun, and are more unhappy than we have ever been. I love a lot of the new technology and I am as guilty as the rest in wanting every better mousetrap that comes along, but sometimes I long for a time past, when things were simpler and people went around with smiles on their faces and a friendly word for others. I guess we were just ignorant in those days and didn’t have enough technology to tell us that we couldn’t be happy with so little.

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