Seniors, do you remember when?


MISSOURI, March 27, 2014 — Seniors remember a time very different than the world we live in now.

Smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes were commonplace. There was no crusade to get people to stop smoking and no realization that smoking caused cancer. Doctor’s even acted in cigarette commercials on the television. For some of the stronger of heart, a good chaw of “red man” was what you needed to quench that thirsts. In those days, cigarette manufacturers worried that the price of cigarettes could hit a quarter, and that such a high cost would make some consumers quit.

Buying groceries was a very different experience. Families ran tabs at the corner grocery store. Some weeks, a family could not pay the entire tab, but the good-hearted grocer would carry the balance over and make sure a family had food. Many decades ago, people worried that with the way prices were escalating, $20 wouldn’t buy a week’s worth of groceries.  

Buying a car was a major purchase. Very few people owned a new car. Some had used cars, but there were a lot of people who rode the street cars and buses. Men often talked about the price of new cars. “Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be long before $5000 will only buy a used one.”

People worried about the deterioration of language. “I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying ‘damn’ in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ it seems every new movie has either “hell” or “damn” in it.”  There was a major uproar when” in the movie Clark Gable took off his shirt in “It Happened One Night” and he did not have an undershirt. However, undershirt sales went down as all the men wanted to be like Mr. Gable. Boy! We sure have come a long way.

Remember several decades ago we would be discussing around the water cooler-hey! Did you hear where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise anyone if someday they’ll be making more than some of our leaders of industry.

Well today there are a lot of baseball players making more than these leaders of industry.  However, our free-enterprise system is based on “supply and demand.”

Seniors, did you ever think that you would see the day our kitchen appliances would be electric powered? The old-fashioned opener still is needed for camping trips. In some homes, the lights automatically turn on at night, and you just clap your hands to turn on the television. Just don’t start clapping your hands during a program as you might really confuse your television.

Many seniors hear younger generations say, “don’t live in the past,” and that maybe is a result of seniors referring to the past on certain happenings as a reference to “then and now” but that does not mean they live in the past. They refer to things in the past regardless if it was better as it relates to social values or to how bad they had it relative to medicine, science advancements and the comforts that are enjoyed today.

So when you hear seniors talking to one another referencing the past, they are enjoying the moment with stories. When you hear a senior talking to a young person, they are trying to tell them how better off they are today relative to medicine, technology and the sciences are they are telling them how society has gone downhill comparative to social values we once had.

However, that’s from a time and place I am from-

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