Please excuse this indulgent piece of my past. It makes me feel old to write it, but I am grateful. Not everyone in my high school class had made it this far.
Back In the Day (on the occasion of my 58th birthday)
Single ring for the other party, double ring for us.
Or was it the other way around?
I didn’t know who the other party was but I think I answered
Her phone for her once or twice.
Not much of a party, really.
Record players. (And records.)
Small—move the switch to 45
Medium—move the switch to 78
Large—move the switch to 33.
Little Toot gave way to American Pie.
The nuns called the record player a school the Victrola. Seriously.
The TV lived in a piece of furniture.
Black and white, sometimes snowy.
Get up and change the channel for your dad, wouldja?
Turn the knob on the antenna box, wouldja?
You make a better door than a window.
Humph! The neighbors have a color TV.
Going to the movies was an event!
Driving downtown in the afternoon.
The red velvet ropes and red velvet seats—
Like Hollywood itself.
Snow White. The Jungle Book. The Sound of Music.
Larger than life stories I imagined myself in for weeks.
Flip up the lid of the brown box camera to view the scene.
Press a button and the flash kills your eyes.
Turn the knob to advance the film
Replace the flashbulb, but not until it cooled down.
Send the film away and wait and wait and wait.
Now, I take out my phone out of my pocket
And make a call
Listen to music
Watch a TV show
Watch a movie
Make a movie
Take a picture
Send it to someone
Send a message
Find out where I am and how to get there
Read a book
Write a book.
Look up when all this stuff was invented and what was the number one song on the day I was born. (Perry Como was my mom’s favorite crooner.)
Dang, I feel old.