Only lately have I begun to feel old, and then, thankfully, just occasionally.
But if you want to have the weight of your years begin to crush you, consider some of the things that are familiar to you, but that the next generation after you is oblivious to.
Monday I was at City Hall when someone asked about the location of a local business. The answer was out by where the drive-in used to be. The person asking had not the slightest idea where any drive-in movie theatre had been in New Albany.
So I got to thinking and came up with an age test list.
Read through the items below to see how many are totally familiar to you but your children (and certainly your – gasp – grandchildren) haven’t a clue about.
• The 78 Drive-In (and the infamous period when it showed X-rated movies after midnight)
• Newton’s and the then-equivalent of social media, its parking lot
• Twenty-five cent matinees with a cartoon, newsreel, serial, previews, B-movie and feature at the Magnolia
• The swimming pool…when everyone went to it
• A Gray’s spiced ham sandwich
• Sliding down Tip-Top
• Who W. P. Daniel was
• Who the Van-Dels were
• What the steak platter at Sherer’s consisted of
• What you could read for free besides something at the library every afternoon after school
• Also, Tiny the Tramp
• And who emceed Mars Patrol and what that was
• Milk in glass bottles (although an Oxford dairy is bringing that back)
• Lance Russell (not that long ago, surely)
• The first color TV you saw
• When there was no Walt Disney World
• When there was no Disneyland
• You could go to the Frisco Depot and watch a train grab a bag of mail with a hook on the side of a car as it sped by.
• You could go to the Frisco Depot and actually get on a train and go somewhere
• Rotary dial telephones (not to mention local telephone numbers with only four digits)
• No church had a family life center
• Polio shots
• Radios with Civil Defense symbols at two locations along the dial
• Going out in the yard at night to (fearfully) watch Sputnik go overhead
• Taking a furtive cruise down Bodock Road
These are just a few that came to mind quickly. No doubt you can come up with many more. Just ask the kids about some of them and see exactly how blank a stare is returned.
I only hope the next generations are coming up with their own lists of “old familiars” to carry with them.
It’s only too bad they can’t be as good as ours.
J. Lynn West