From the Vault
As people get older they tend to wax nostalgic for “The Good Old Days.” this is because we remember nice things longer than bad.
There is a lot I miss about, for example, the 1940s. Aside from the obvious – being young and prices being much lower. For example, hearing Glenn Miller or even Spike Jones on the juke box instead of Kenny Rogers or Prince. Movie theaters used to display a dozen fine glossy scenes from the current attraction so that the passer-by could see exactly what kind of show it was.
In those days candy bars could be opened without a pair of scissors. In the grocery store you could buy real maple syrup and Del Monte canned figs. In the Chinese restaurant there was more than a smidgen of meat in the chop suey. The downtowns of large cities were safe, and trains took passengers to the centers, while airplanes must land a great distance from large city centers.
I really do miss LIFE and LOOK as weekly photo-and-feature magazines. For all there is on T.V., I still miss the weekly radio shows of Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Red Skelton. Prior to 1973 the out-of-town speed limit was 70. These and a few other things I sincerely wish we still had.
But I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to the times when a trip of any length involved driving through the middle of every town of every size, and competing for road space with monstrous vehicles stacked high with new cars. Nor would I relish a return to un-air-conditioned public buildings, doing tedious and erroneous arithmetic without a calculator, or waiting around for the long-distance operator to call you back and let you know the call you had placed has finally gone through.
Color TV, cablevision and VCR’s have made life in 1985 pretty agreeable. And microwaves and home computers. And waterbeds and snowmobiles. There is a long list of niceties that today’s youngsters have never had to do without.
For me, the plastic catsup dispenser has strangely come to symbolize all these modern improvements. Every time I use one, I am reminded to be grateful that I live in this decade. In “The Good Old Days,” I often chose to do without catsup on my burger and fries rather than shake and pound upon and otherwise struggle with the stubborn bottle.. And when it all came it was watery. Being able to get the quality of catsup you want where you want it is one of the numerous good things about life in 1985 that we often take for granted.
No I would not wish to go back to “The Good Old Days”! Still, Glenn Miller instead of Kenny Rogers!
– How Good were the “old days?” By Frank Parent, Aug. 19, 1985.
Sept. 30, 2015.
It is easy to agree with Tom Parent. When looking back at the past it is easy to compare and contrast the good and bad. But for some they can only focus on the good events of that time period, since you focus more on the exciting events you experienced over the mundane ones you experience now.
We all romanticize the past, along with the days when we were younger, and we do forget some of the more inconvenient chapters of life. Some people could say medieval times could be one of the best times to be alive. Focusing on tales of princes and princesses. While forgetting about the slight issue of there being no plumbing, horrible plagues, the sewage in the streets, and more.
Who knows, in 50 years I could be thinking back to when I was 16 and how stupid it was to need to drive a car around to get anywhere. When instead of teaching people how to full-screen a video, I could be the one getting taught how to turn the video into a hologram. We never know how our world’s going to change, and it is fun to look back at the “Good Old Days”, even though we would rather not relive them.
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