'Back When' My Favorite Time of Life
A lot of things are going on in my life these days that offer constant hints that I might be growing older.
OK, so having a knee replacement is a little more than a subtle hint, but you get the drift.
Still, you can find a bright side to every predicament if you look hard enough, and check all those well-meaning e-mails from your so-called buddies.
I was lying here waiting for the next visit from Nurse Pain, I mean my rehab specialist, and I got to thinking. I was born before television, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees or credit cards.
Golfers walked, carried their bags and wondered if those new steel-shafted clubs were going to really catch on.
You hit one of those soft balls, and it was either cut or out of round. You carried a new one in your pocket for putting.
Nobody even knew what a laser beam was, or a ballpoint pen. Women either rolled their stockings or used garter belts. No such thing as pantyhose. A window fan was the closest thing to air conditioning.
My younger brother and I were the dishwashers, when our mother could catch us. The clothes dried while hanging from a line in the backyard.
Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. My cousin Billy and I never quite mastered that one.
I had never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt or guys wearing earrings.
Our home entertainment system was a huge floor-model RCA radio that could pick up WCKY in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our favorite singers were Eddie Arnold and Hank Williams. When President Roosevelt spoke, we all gathered around to hear him. No one even thought of mocking him or making some snide remark. He was the president.
We loved Gabriel Heatter.
On Sundays, we listened to "The Shadow" and any other serial show we could find on the dial.
And of all the tragedies that we experienced, I don't ever recall any kid blowing his brains out while listening to Tommy Dorsey
We had a 5- and 10-cent store that we called "The Dime Store," where you could actually buy hundreds of things for a nickel or dime each. If you saw an item with "Made in Japan" on it, you knew it was a piece of junk.
I had never heard of a Pizza Hut. McDonald's, Hardees, Wendy's, Taco Bell? Fast food was snatching a cold biscuit and filling it with molasses syrup before heading out to do your chores.
You could buy an ice cream cone, a Pepsi, a Coca-Cola or a Royal Crown for a nickel. Grass was mowed, not smoked. Pot was something our mother cooked in. I knew some wild kids who had an occasional beer, but I never knew a single kid who was using any kind of drugs while I was growing up.
But now they're making marijuana legal and I'm in the initial stages of my Golden Years - SS, CDs, IRAs and AARP.
I was always taught to respect my elders. And I still would except that I don't have any.
I'm so old that the BW doesn't even bring home green bananas any longer. When I go out to eat, the waitress insists that I pay for the meal up front.
When I play golf, it's from the shortest set of tees that aren't painted red. And I'm still amazed that I can't reach the areas in the fairways that I did 10 years ago from longer tees.
I'm still working, but I'm really retired. I was tired yesterday and I'm tired again today.
And that snap, crackle and pop that I hear every morning definitely ain't coming from the Rice Krispies.
The BW seldom complains, bless her gentle soul, but I did overhear her telling a neighbor, "Sometimes I wake up grumpy and some days I just let him sleep."
I know she still cares for me, though. Just yesterday she went shopping and brought home some of that new large-type Campbell's Alphabet Soup.
I have learned the secret to staying young, though: Live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.
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