Views from the Hills by R. E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail

How Many New Opportunities Are There?

If you have ever wondered about how many opportunities are out there in the real world, consider the following.

Can you guess how old this grandfather really is?

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events.  The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age and just things in general.

The granddad replied, "Well, let me think a minute.  I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill.  There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens.  man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon.

Your grandmother and I got married first, then we lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than I "Sir."  After I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, "Sir."

We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense.  We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Saving your Country was a privilege; living in this Country was a bigger privilege.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their front door when the evening breeze started.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt or guys wearing earrings.  We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny and the President's speeches on our radios.

I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out after listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with "made in Japan" on it, it was junk.

The term "making out" referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 & 10¢ stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10¢.  Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar and a Pepsi were all a nickel.  And if you did not want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600 but who could afford one?  Too bad, because gas was 11¢ a gallon.

In my day, "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, "pot" was something your mother cooked in and "rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby.  "Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office, "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store and "software" wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.  No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap.

 . . . and how old do you think I am?  ---------------------------- I am only 58 years old."

(Sorry, I don't know who originated this piece, but I think it is well worth reading.)

Just a few years ago, I was the keynote speaker at the IFT Convention in Atlanta.  The topic of my talk was "Keeping the Pipeline Full."  To point out how fast things were changing, I showed the audience the first calculator purchase for me by Procter & Gamble.  That calculator was a Picket & Eckell Vector Hyperbolic Log Log Function SLIDE RULE.  I still keep it in the top drawer of my desk as a reminder of how things change in a relatively short period of time.

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