What Was and What Is

By: Opa

Our keeper wants us to bare our souls and confess to the wants and whys of our writing. I like the thought process that your mind takes when you try to tell a story and where that process starts and where it ends is amazing. So, with that being said, on with the story.

When I was a kid a lot of years ago.

Car Safety:

Car safety consisted of a parent’s arm flying to your chest when a sudden stop occurred, for we had no seatbelts.  Parents would throw an arm out to save their children from smashing into a steel dash. Car seats for kids? No way!

Today cars have air bags in the steering wheel, dash, side panels, roof panels, not sure but there may be some in the seats.  On impact, the air bags deploy instead of a parent’s right arm. Children have special car seats based on age and weight; they sit in the back seat, no parent’s right arm to the chest.


Phones were at the grocery store, gas station or outside the police station, not in our home. I remember going to the phone booth at the grocery store with our coffee can of change to call the Grandparents (who had a party line in their home) on birthdays and holidays. I loved hearing the operator tell us the cost for how many minutes you would get. It was so cool putting in the coins. Oh, a party line was one phone number that four or five homes would share. You would have your ring to let you know it was your call. My Grandparent’s was two short rings—RingRing pause RingRing—and you would answer.  If it was one long Rinnnnng, it was the neighbors. You weren’t supposed to listen on other’s calls but most did.

Today, there are very few without their own personal smart phone. My grand babies will never get to have an operator tell them to add “35 cents for the next three minutes.” I guess the smart phones are okay.  They sure make fixing, making, and learning way easier, but while they seem to be smart, we seem less smart.


Before they weaponized our airplanes, I was able to take my father to the local airport for him to catch his flight to Vietnam. The plane had propellers, and we walked him up to the rolling stairs. We waited on the tarmac as they started the engines, and we waved like crazy as he looked out his window and waved back.

Today, you need to do your waving in the parking lot. You’ll get no farther than the TSA security check point. No walking to the gate.  Hell, this generation may be able to eliminate the word tarmac from the dictionary as they will never have a need nor an understanding of what it is.


I lived in a trailer park, and as soon as you were done with breakfast, you were out the door. With mom yelling at you to be home for lunch. You see we had no internet or computers, hell, we didn’t have a TV.  When we got one, it was black and white with three channels if the weather was good. No remote, you had to get up and turn the knob. So outdoors we went; all the kids in the neighborhood. Old to young. We needed them all to be able to make the field and to field the teams. Yep, we made our own baseball field right there in the picked tobacco field, rakes and shovels to clear it and make the base paths. We played all day until dark and only went home when Dad was yelling for us to come eat.

Today, if you travel around our communities, you’ll find children playing on a regulation field, dressed in uniforms with coaches and referees with concession stands selling food. But, you will be amazed to find very few children playing together outside without parents. Cable, computers, hundreds of channels on your TV, with a remote.  I’m not sure, but you may be able to have Alexia change the channel. Lots and lots of entertainment opportunities but none for making your own baseball field. 

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