Now I’m feelin’ just plain OLD!
I remember when only very rich people could get anything BUT a party line telephone, and even THAT was only available in the inner cities. Many suburban areas just didn’t even have telephone service available to private residences yet. And the phone didn’t have a dial… you just jiggled the hook a few times and the operator came on so you could tell her who you wanted to ring. She dialed it for you.
We mailed our letters with a three cent stamp. One cent for postcards.
I remember a nation howling with glee when John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth.
And a nation crying when our President was shot in his car from a grassy knoll in Dallas.
And not understanding why he would later change his name.
I remember how odd I thought it was for cars to start having the starter connected to the key. That button on the floor had worked just fine.
Then they moved the dimmer switch to the turn signal!
Then they came out with 8-tracks, and made ‘em obsolete.
I remember an entire country on the edge of its seat, while our President mobilized troops in a face-off with the Kremlin over some missile launchers in Cuba.
Some of those things I remember vividly, some of them are more vague. But I remember all of ‘em, regardless.
I remember taking a break from a demonstration on the SDSU campus to chat with an old guy that changed my life with a simple question: “Why?” When I realized I couldn’t really give him a decent answer, I headed to the library to find out. What I learned there sent me to get a haircut and then to the recruiter’s office.
I remember some other things, too. Some things that aren’t as pleasant.
I remember my government sending hundreds of thousands of us into a combat situation, first without adequate arms or training, then with the shackles of political concerns, while they sent us more body bags than bullets.
I remember being amongst the last few hundred providing cover for the rest to evacuate, as 30,000 VC swarmed through Saigon to try to stop them.
I remember being spat on and called a murderer of babies in the San Francisco airport by punks that were just as clueless as I had been that day at SDSU.
All in all, not bad memories. Especially from a guy that often forgets to put water in the coffee pot!
I remember…. do you?