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Ponderings and Musings About Life Then and Now

Timothy is a writer and artist who enjoys writing poetry, stories and articles. Timothy earned his BS in psychology from Albright College

Then and Now:

In 1979 the rock group Supertramp released an album entitled “ Breakfast in America.” On the album was the hit, “Logical Song.” The opening lyrics went something like this:

“When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.”

WhIle life way back when was not always wonderful or magical it was much simpler. You didn’t worry about as much stuff or have as many distractions as you do now. Maybe it was because you were young and didn’t realize what was going on around you or you didn’t really care because you weren‘t adulting. Whatever the reason truth be told life then and now was as different as night and day. Here are changes in life from the 70’s and 80’s until now.

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Sometimes you understand the worth of good old days, long after they are gone.

20 Ponderings About Life Then and Now

1. Playgrounds way back then had a sliding board 3 stories high made of metal, monkey bars and dirt to land on. Back then there were no worries about hanging, sliding or falling.

Playgrounds now, 8 foot slide made of plastic, no monkey bars, a lot of padding. Now parents are fearful of letting their children play.

2. The candy bars back then were so much larger than they are now and they only cost .05 cents. Yes, one nickel. There was also something called penny candy. Which yes cost only .01 cents.

The candy bars now are much smaller cost 89 cents each at Wal-Mart. And there is no such thing as penny candy.

3. Ice cream way back when, was well ice cream. it just tasted better and seemed so much better. Why, well there were local ice cream stands like O’Boyles and Sealtest where the ice cream was fresh and tasty. Then there were the mom and pop stands with there fresh homemade daily ice cream. Yum.

Ice cream now is well, ice cream but it just doesn’t taste the same. The fresh ingredients seem to have been taken out because it costs too much to add them. And a half gallon is no longer a half gallon. It is only 56 ounces instead of 64 ounces for a much higher price.

4. Listening to music back then was in not anything but interesting. You started out with either 45s or LPs which were 33s all played on a turntable. Next came the breakthrough of 8 Track tapes which led to cassette tapes and then CDs. Back then having a music meant having thousands of albums, cassettes or CDs hanging around the house.

Now, Similar but most people stream music. Though, it seems more people are choosing to return to the true sound of vinyl.

5. Back in the day there were around 13 TV stations which were divided into VHF and UHF, signals. You also had to have an antenna mounted somewhere on your house in order to bring the signal in. Oh yeah, in the wee hours of the morning the TV stations signed off with test patterns across the screen.

Now there are all manner of Cable channels and a multitude of streaming services.for your viewing pleasure.

6. Back then when you wanted to find out where you were going you went to a gas station and got some free roads maps In order to plan out your route.

Now you load an app on your phone which tells you how to get from point A to point

7. Toys way back when were made of plastic metal or wood like Lincoln Logs. not plastic. Some needed batteries to use while others were actually while others Were hands on toys you had to actually see personal power to,move.

Well kids today still have many held toys but as soon as they learn to play games on the phone or discover social media toys are out the window

8. Conversing with family and friends back then meant either face to face communication or picking up a phone and calling. Social media then was a rotary phone, a note passed in class or talking over a fence.

Now it is tweets, Facebook posts or Instagram. Hardly anybody talks on the phone anymore.

9. Speaking of phones. Back in the day the rotary phones was king. But of course you had to dial the phone with a finger. Then in the early days you had something called a party line which meant waiting your turn to make a call.

Now we’ll, phone are more like little computers than an actual phone. Sure you can make a call but why. It is far easier to text or maybe play a game or watch a movie.

10. Back then sneakers were either Converse or what we called Bobos (Any other sneaker beside converse

Now there are so many brands of sneakers it is hard to make a choice. The prices well you could by 10 pair of Converse back then for every 1 pair of athletic shoes today.

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11. Back then most of your clothes came from stores like JC Penney, Sears, Old Navy , Woolco, K Mart and more.

Now clothes are nothing more than walking advertisements for suck companies as Bill Blass, Polo and others. The kicker is you get to pay a fortune just for the privilege of doing a companies advertising.

12. Back in the day things were built to last. So when you bought something like a TV, car or household appliances they lasted for decades.

Now, well stuff is not made not to last but to be replaced by a newer model after maybe a year or two of use. This means you got to spend more money. How many of you have drawers full of perfectly good cell phones you only replaced because a new model came out?

13. Back then eating out at a restaurant was a big deal and it usually ended up being at some locally owned diner for a Sunday meal.

Now eating out means ordering on an app, and having it delivered through one of the local food delivery services.

14. Years ago you ate the dinner meal at the table where you endured a grueling conversation with your parents as the family caught up on the days events.

Now most meals do not take place at a table. They take place in front of the TV or while playing a video game in your room or any number of places. This is why many parents lose touch with what their children are doing.

15. Back then If you got injured while playing your mother or father would look at you and say, “Suck it up,“ or “Walk it off,” and then send you back out to play. If you were bleeding and it was obvious it didn’t need stitches you cleaned it up with Mercurochrome and a band aid and it was back to playing.

Now, for many parents if your child gets injured it is off to the emergency room.

We all have our good old days, deep down in our hearts.

16. Back in the day you played such interactive games as Mother May I, jump rope, Hopscotch, Cops and Robbers, Red Light Green Light, Red Rover, Hide & Seek, Army, Truth or Dare,Tag, Kick Ball, DodgeBall, Baseball, Football in the front yard, Kick the Can and rode bikes.

Now interactive games consist of wearing a headset and conversing while you play as a virtual character.

17. Back then staying in the house was a punishment and the only thing we knew about being bored was. “You better find something to do before I find it for you to do.”

Now sending your child out to play, without their phone is considered by them to be a punishment.

18. Back in the day if you were thirsty the garden hose was a quick water fountain.

Now, the garden hose is considered to be the spreader of all manNed of germs and diseases.

19. In the 70’s and 80’s many people grew their own vegetables and ate food that were healthier because it was what you did. Young people were raised to be health conscious and thrifty because their parents and grandparents grew up during the Great Depression and leaner years.

Now eating healthy is a fad where so called health foods are not really healthy at all.

20. Back then many times your first car was a hand me down from your parents. The car never looked that good but at least it ran and got you places.

Now, kids often times want a new car or a slightly new car to drive when the get their license. It is hard to tell your children that just is not going to happen.

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Feeling grateful to be a part of the time before technology.

There you have 20 examples of life back in the 70’s and 80’s and how much life has changed over the last 40 to 50 years. The debate over whether life back then was better than life now goes On. Which era was better? Well it depends on when and where you lived. you all have memories of your childhood which carry you through life. Keep them and cherish them for life.

© 2020 Timothy Whitt