I am a Living Time Machine

by TerryWalstrom 47 Replies latest jw friends

  • TerryWalstrom

    WHICH WORLD is this?
    When the doctor pulled my screaming body out of mom all those 7 decades ago, I landed in a post-WWII world.
    It was--compared to today's world--an alien planet.

    The world I live in today has nothing in common with the world in which I grew up.

    There were no cell phones back then--there were black telephones with a dial-tone and an Operator who placed your call.

    Everywhere you found telephone booths! A call was a nickle.
    Where did all those telephone booths go?
    I dunno.
    Where did my whole world go?
    I dunno.

    TV sets were huge boxes with tubes and small screens. Images were black and white.
    It was an idiot box. It still is.

    A "computer" was a Science fiction trope and in reality, consisted of vast rooms full of blinking lights and hardware.

    Men wore hats, women wore stockings with a black seam down the back.
    Everybody smoked cigarettes. Everywhere!

    There was "easy listening" music filled with lush melody.
    Movies were vivid storybooks filled with comedy, song and dance, and noir.
    Only sailors, convicts, and primitive tribal communities had tattoos.
    Kids said, "Yes Sir" and "No, Ma'am".

    And so on...
    I've lived in several worlds on different planets--not literally, but essentially for all the extraordinary dissonances, customs, attitudes, and ethos. (Good word "ethos", look it up.)

    Today--what world is this?
    Have I lost the thread?
    Who knows their next door neighbor anymore?
    Who spends time sitting on the front porch in the evening in a swing, sipping ice tea and waving at the folks across the street?
    Who reads actual Literature?

    Who buys paintings or objet d'art?
    Who knows the classical music repertoire?
    Who is conversant with dates, names, movements in human history with any certainty?

    I was there when TV arrived and the first commercial jingles were created.
    I lived in the radio soap opera era.
    I was there when Bebop lived side by side with West Coast jazz and the Big Bands faded as Rock n' Roll was born.
    I lived among Beatniks, Folk singers, Doo-Wops, Hippies, and the birth of the Long Play record and the death of the 78 shellac platters.

    The year I was born, the transistor was invented. (1947).
    I was 7 years old when the first transistor radios were sold (1954).
    The very first satellite went into orbit when I was 15 years old. (1962)
    I was 18 years old as 8 Track tapes were all the rage.(1965)

    I was 22 years old when man first walked on the moon. (1969)
    I was 32 years old when the Sony Walkman revolutionized portable music. And it was just a cassette player!
    By 1975, the first mass marketing of Video Tape Recorders was sold at about a thousand dollars each.
    The personal computer was barely a dream in the future!

    So what? What point am I making?
    If you aren't 70 then:
    I'm from a different world than YOU are!

    My ways are not your ways.
    My thoughts and feelings and ideas and opinions are just plain weird to you because you haven't lived my lifetime.

    I've seen people become famous, fade, and pass into obscurity.
    I've heard fearful predictions for the future which turned out to be absolute hogwash.
    I've seen the rise of horrible political leaders who later fell.
    I lived through a great many wars and spent time in Federal Prison, a religious cult, four marriages, and produced 7 children.
    I've been Nerd, a religious fanatic, an artist, a composer, a writer, husband, father, best friend, and generally a pain in the ass.

    It isn't MY world--it is your world.

    When I speak--you are getting a message from another era.

    Just try to remember that--will you?

  • tepidpoultry

    Thank-you Terry for the ride,

    I'm not far behind,



  • rebelfighter

    So so many memories!! I am only a couple of years behind you.

  • waton

    I am nearly 2 decades older, having stored memory since then, and nobody is really interested, and why should they? Young people have to look into the future direction to shape it. A badly shaped future will kill us all. So, I, will leave a few fossils, where I made a mark, nothing remarkable likely to be done by me in the possible decade ahead of us. I am really glad to have offspring though, already past the 2nd overlap, into the laptop generation.

    A (hopefully original) thought for the day:

    What is essential to have an overlapping generation? the lap, without the action there, there is no generation. period. ( and not without period either).

  • millie210

    I am a tad younger but I remember a LOT of what you posted above Terry.

    Am I a time machine in training?

    Awesome post for the cusp of 2016/2017!

  • Onager

    I was reading "Bridget Jones' Diary" recently (don't ask why!) and the entire drama of the section I read was made up of her missing a phone call from a bloke. She hung around her flat waiting for the call. She popped to the loo and the phone rang and she missed the call etc etc.

    Today her phone would be in her pocket, not her flat and she wouldn't ever miss a call she didn't want to!

    So much of history is made up of dramatic events that rely on communication not getting through on time or getting garbled. Think of the Charge of the Light Brigade. That whole sorry mess could have been avoided by a simple text: "Cardigan, don't charge straight at the guns. Lolz!"

  • DesirousOfChange

    We still have our BetaMax video player. It's only slightly smaller than a VW. We chose Beta because everyone knew that Sony would win the VHS/BETA war. . . . Doc

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    7 children? No wonder you are broke.

    Things change rapidly. And the best we can do is to keep up with the fast moving, quick turning Jehovah's chariot.

  • Vidiot
    Terry - "I am a living time machine..."

    Me, too.

    Ladies love my "flux capacitor"...

  • baker

    I bought a betamax at Sears for $900 and 2 years later got a VCR/camcorder at Rich,s for $1200 and boy was I the latest geek in the neighborhood. All the weddings, friends were asking to bring the camera and "tape" it for their memories.

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