This observation was sent to us by attorney friend 'n colleague, Dick Carpenter, in Spokane. He regularly sends pithy material. I'm sure you'll appreciate this:
One evening a son was talking to his father about current events. He asked what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.
The dad replied, “Well, let me think a minute...I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill. There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ballpoint pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, (clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air) electric blankets, air conditioners, and he hadn’t walked on the moon.
“Your Mom and I got married first -- and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother, and every boy over 14 had a rifle that his dad taught him how to use and respect it. And, they went hunting and fishing together.
“Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, ‘Sir’ and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, ‘Sir.’ Sundays were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those in need, and visiting with family or neighbors (I miss that most). We were before, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. The Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense governed our lives. 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 blew in. 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 Presidents on our radio. 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 10 cents. 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. You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600.00, but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.
“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...and I am only 63 years old.”
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Web posted: June 28, 2001