(For a Ten on Tuesday prompt today)
This is really gonna date me, but here are a few intriguing changes I have noted lately:
As a child, I loved to visit the Five-and-Dime for penny candy. A quarter would fetch a big bag of goodies. Today, a quarter might buy a jawbreaker.
Does anyone even remember phone booths? How many teens actually fit inside a single phone booth at one time?
Now that everyone (even a kindergartner) has a cell phone . . . where’s a neighborhood superhero supposed to change into costume?
The original Volkswagen Beetles hummed and buzzed all over town. We had a little red Beetle with a stick shift. What a hot set of wheels.
Of course, folks today have Beetles too . . . but they are simply not the same.
When I was in high school, we paid less than a dollar per gallon for gas. ‘Nuff said.
Does anyone remember those blousy, one-piece, snap-up gym uniforms with the elastic waists? They looked like prison jumpsuits. Gee, maybe they were. . . .
Today, kids wear logo-imprinted tee shirts with comfortable gym shorts and designer sneakers that cost more than my first car.
When we were kids, my big brothers were charged with the responsibility of keeping track of my whereabouts. Now a very different Big Brother seems to be doing the same thing.
Walking to School
I can recall a time when children actually walked to school, despite neighborhood bullies and loose dogs. Big kids served as crossing guards. These volunteer posts (as safety patrol students) were coveted honors.
In recent decades, as the suburban sprawl has blanketed the landscape, school buses have become mandatory for nearly everyone. Kids who live across the street from school must board the bus. Does anyone wonder why childhood obesity seems to be on the rise?
Home for Lunch
Elementary and middle school schools used to dismiss students for the lunch hour. Children would walk or bike home for the noon meal and return to school for the afternoon.
Usually, at least one parent would be at home in most houses in that era.
Does anyone remember having those metal milk boxes on the porches of their homes? In our neighborhood, the milk man would stop by each week to pick up empty glass milk bottles and deliver fresh ones.
Sometimes, if we timed it right, our neighborhood bunch would hitch a ride home with the friendly neighborhood milk man.
(Actually, home dairy delivery has become available again, at a significant premium. Companies like PeaPod and Oberweiss Dairy offer this service.)
New Blue Jeans
Today, designer denims are available in a full range of colors and textures. When I was in school, I remember the painful process of breaking in a brand-new pair of dungarees. Dark indigo Levis could almost stand erect on their own. We would wash them several times in the laundry before driving over them with the family car to soften them.
Of course, once our blue jeans were finally softened and form-fitting, we might have outgrown them.
I remember getting a new pair of Levis , during my nine-year-old summer. I wrestled myself into them and headed out to ride my stingray bike. Unfortunately, I could not bend my legs to work the pedals.
Today, in pre-faded, stonewashed, cozy jeans, life is very different.
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