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My Perspective: ‘When I was your age…’

When I’m talking to my boys (ages 6, 9 and 11), I find myself starting more and more sentences with, “When I was your age…”

It is a sure sign that I’m getting older. And it is also a clear indicator of how much things have changed.

Jim Palmer, editor/publisher of Sr. Perspective, working on a batch of cookies on the kitchen floor at age 4.

Jim Palmer, editor/publisher of Sr. Perspective, working on a batch of cookies on the kitchen floor at age 4.

I realize that I’m younger than many of our readers (I’m in my 40s), so your list is probably far different than mine. When I was young, people told me how it was when they were young. Some of the common themes involved the telephone (party lines, connecting lines manually at telephone office, etc.), cars (fender skirts, steering knobs, etc.) and schools (discipline, walking to school, etc).

Well, here is my list. This shows a small sample of how the world has changed in the last 20-30 years.

In my day…

1) Phones all had cords.

2) Every car had a paper map in it.

3) The “#” sign was the pound sign.

4) The only “reality shows” on TV were sports.

5) Cartoons were only on Saturday morning and right after school.

6) The big TV screens were about the size of today’s laptop computers screens.

7) Chicken nuggets were a new concept.

8) Sports stadiums were plain… no luxury boxes, no big screens, no comfortable seats.

9) Wearing seatbelts in the backseat was considered unnecessary.

10) Music didn’t have swear words in it.

11) You would look through a TV Guide to see what was on.

12) There were businesses that you could go into to rent movies.

13) If you didn’t know someone’s number, you would look in a phone book.

14) People wore watches.

15) Boarding a plane usually took just a couple of minutes.

16) There were candy cigarettes (They had a hard time believing this one).

17) There were one-hour photo labs.

18) It took more than 10 seconds to find the answer to any question you had.

19) You could smoke in restaurants.

20) Card catalogs and the Dewey Decimal System.

21) Kids could bring guns to school, as long as they stayed in the vehicle.

22) Pluto was a planet.

23) Most fast food restaurants didn’t serve breakfast, not even in the morning.

24) You could crank call someone.

25) When cell phones came out, they were just phones (nothing more).

26) The Internet was clunky, slow-moving way to share information when it first came out with bad websites and painfully slow dial-up speeds.

27) The best way to get your point across in a community was to submit a letter to the editor.

28) K-mart was a major retailer, and Walmart was an up-and-coming box store.

Yeah, many things have changed in the last 20-30 years. I’m sure that is no shock to any of us. But it is interesting to look back and see just how much has changed and how fast things have been changing.

If I would make a list like this just in the last five years, I think we would surprised on how far things have changed just in that time period. Most of the changes revolve around technology, and since information is so easily shared (or stolen) these days, there are undoubtedly going to be some really big changes in the very near future. From the way it sounds, just about everything we saw on the Jetson’s may be possible in our lifetime. Amazing… and little scary.

Cookbook Update

The Sr. Perspective cookbook is selling fast. Some locations are selling out. If you are interested in getting a book, pick one up in the next couple of weeks. Most will be sold out by mid-December. For a list of locations in the area, see Page 7A. For a complete list of locations, go to If you need help finding the books, call us at 320-334-3344.

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