Tag Archives: San Diego State University

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?