Tag Archives: memories

I Remember… do you?

13 Apr

A good friend of mine was reminiscing about the technological changes over the last 30 years, on the v7N Tech Blog. It got me thinking, which isn’t always a good thing.

Now I’m feelin’ just plain OLD!

I remember when only very rich people could get anything BUT a party line telephone, and even Early telephoneTHAT 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.

B&W TV SetI remember when we were the second family in our neighborhood to buy a television set… a huge cabinet with a tiny black and white screen in the middle. Color wasn’t even thought of until years later.

We mailed our letters with a three cent stamp. One cent for postcards.

Drive-In TheaterI remember when the neighboring town got the first drive-in movie theater in our state… everyone was convinced it would never catch on. They were wrong!

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.

Cassius Clay/Muhammad AliI remember a young kid named Cassius Clay having the audacity to think he could challenge the Champ.

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!

4-track playerI remember 4-track tapes… I even had one in my pickup.

Then they came out with 8-tracks, and made ’em obsolete.

Princess PhoneI remember my sister just “dying” to have a Princess phone. They didn’t just come in black like a “regular” phone. First they added white, and then with the Princess, came various colors.

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.

VP Nixon, 1959Believe it or not, I even remember an earlier President, a former 5-star General, who had the misfortune of picking a Vice President that would go on to sponsor the Watergate embarrassment.

Some of those things I remember vividly, some of them are more vague. But I remember all of ’em, regardless.

Hippie demonstratorsI 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.

Troop casualties, homeward boundI 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.

Homeless VeteranI remember listening to years of lies and misinformation, while I saw other vets panhandling on corners, many candidates for mental institutions.

US FlagAnd I remember the pride I felt, every single time I watched our flag raise to the strains of the Star Spangled Banner, whether it was at a baseball game, a rodeo or a military ceremony.

All in all, not bad memories. Especially from a guy that often forgets to put water in the coffee pot!

I remember…. do you?


Operator’s Guide for Janet

9 Dec

I got an email the other day from an old friend Down Under. Pat lives in Queensland, Australia, spending part of his time enjoying the peace and quiet on the veranda of the Kalkadoon Hotel in the quiet Outback town of  Kajabbi.

He’s a wordsmith of some repute, and an Internet entrepreneur through and through, with a half-dozen websites to his name. He sent me along a guestpost, and said if I was interested in running it, to feel free.

I’m interested. In fact, I hope I can convince Pat to grace Ramblings with his presence on a regular basis. Did I mention, he’s also a Madman of the first order?



Operator’s Guide for Janet

by Pat Davis

Never confine her to the house, she is a free spirit meant to be living in a world of rescued puppy dogs and cats caught in a tree.

She is content paddling naked on some floating thing, down a wild river with her eyes searching for the grassy bank that she has never seen before, or a tree where she can frolic amongst the fallen leaves.

Confined to a home she will want to polish it, and when she cannot make it shine she will turn bitter and sour.

She does not need a home, she merely needs a place to shelter should the breeze turn cold when she feels sleepy. A tent, a blanket, any temporary dwelling that she can cast aside when the morning sun speaks to her the way it does. A hat, a coat, a shawl to keep her warm is all she ever needs, with someone to turn to and say “Did you see that ” or “can you feel it”.

She does not require copious amounts of food but it should always be strange or weird in some way, she will happily accept the last slice of stale bread if it is served on a mountain top where she can look upon the clouds below.

She lives best a little hungry, never let her squat and indulge for more than a few days or she will once again get the urge to clean and polish and once again when she cannot make it shine she will turn bitter and sour.

She needs to dance, you might catch her skipping in a supermarket or twirling at a bus station with her hands held high like a ballerina in a pirouette . . . just smile at her if she finds you looking. . . she never frolics without your company.

Never give her anything but freedom, or she will be overcome with the desire to polish it, and when she cannot make it shine she will turn bitter and sour.

She needs to give her total self, always be close enough to be there when she needs to give. If you are not there she will polish your absence until it shines, and she might not see you when you return. . .

Pat Davis, at home in Kajabbi

Pat Davis, at home in Kajabbi

Fortieth Class Reunion

19 Dec

I was contacted a few months ago by a high school classmate, and asked if I’d be willing to serve on a committee to organize our 40th reunion.

In a moment of weak(minded?)ness, I agreed. I then proceeded to volunteer my services to design and develop a website for the class, to aid in the endeavor. It has turned out to be more fun than I ever anticipated… and the reunion is still ten months away!

I started teaching myself website development a couple of years ago, and found it interesting and challenging. It takes a good amount of concentration, which for a madman, is a challenge, in itself. And each site I do, presents opportunities to learn something new. My AARP magazine tells me that such mental activities are helpful, to fend off senility. Time will tell, I suppose. It’d be a shame if I were to show up at our reunion, and not only not recognize anyone else, but draw a blank when asked who I am.

So, I built the website, uploaded a bunch of photos from our school, plus another batch provided to me, of the 35th reunion (which I didn’t attend). Then I proceeded to setup the different services to allow us to receive payments on the website, and automatically issue validated invitations and interfaced our shopping cart with our bank account. I also set up a forum, so all our classmates would have someplace to congregate and exchange good-natured insults, innuendos and old memories. You can check out the website here, and the forum, here

Normally, I’m not a big fan of the whole reunion thing. I have been content to remember my school chums as they were, slim, athletic, with hair where there should be, and none where there shouldn’t be… all its original color. But then I take a look in the mirror, and I realize that it isn’t realistic, since I have adopted the Walter Brennan look myself. Hell, I have more hair sprouting from my ears these days, than I could muster on my upper lip in high school.

So, I’ve committed to attend, and although she is less than enthusiastic, I’ll be taking my wife along for the fun.

Good music, food and camaraderie, along with lots of memories, washed down with copious amounts of alcohol. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I wonder if I can still drink Rudy under the table???