Things I Remember Life Before

You know that survey someone releases every year, focusing on that year’s incoming freshmen and the world they grew up in? It has entries like they “have never known life without DVDs” or something like that.

Well, since I am feeling my years,I thought it would be neat to list the things that are commonplace now that I remember life without.  This should freak out the youngins.  Many of these things MIGHT have existed when I was little, their usage just wasn’t widespread enough for me to remember it. 

I remember life before:

  • DVDs (and their players)  Heck, videocassettes came and went in my youth.
  • CDs
  • Microwaves (we warmed stuff up on the stove).  Popcorn was either popped in a large saucepan, or if you were lucky, Jiffy Pop.
  • Cable TV.  You watched something on the big three (Fox didn’t exist, and PBS – I don’t even think it was called that back then – was for Grandpa).
  • Unleaded gasoline.
  • Cell phones
  • Drip coffee makers (I remember when Joe DiMaggio introduced the first Mr Coffee in the 70’s). Every now and again you can catch me calling it a “peculator”.
  • Airbags
  • Remote controls (I remember some of the first ones.  They call it the “clicker” because at one time remote controls actually clicked.  The child’s job in the 70’swas to get up and change the channel.  Or hold the rabbit ears in that perfect spot to get a reception)
  • Laptops.
  • Whoops, I remember life without home computers.  (Oh, how I loved the TRS-80 and TI-99a when they came out!)
  • Auto emissions standards.
  • The Chzek Republic, a single country called “Germany”, Kazakhstan and any number of independent nations that were founded or re-founded after the Soviet Union fell.
  • Cordless phones.
  • The southern Auto Industry
  • Working class southern people who vote Republican.
  • Rich elites who aren’t Kennedys who vote Democrat.
  • FM Radio (OK, that’s not totally true.  But in the early 70’s, NOBODY listened to FM that I knew of.  All the best stations  – WSM, WLAC, WMAK, WVOL, etc were on AM.
  • MRIs.  If you got hurt, you got an X-Ray.
  • Israel and Egypt at peace.
  • The Opry House.  Shoot, Opryland was another thing that came and went.
  • Jeans in church 🙂
  • Drums and guitars in church (that was for those “holy rollers” as my dad called them)
  • WalMart (at least in Nashville)

Anyway, that’s a good start.  I’m sure some of you other oldsters could come up with more.  Sometimes, when I tell my kids about my childhood, to them it’s like I lived in a cave or something.

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5 Responses to “Things I Remember Life Before”

  1. x117236 Says:

    Power windows and keyless entry in cars. I was a teenager before we got air conditioning at the house. I think the early remote controls that had wires might have been genius, at least they didn’t get lost.

  2. jim voorhies Says:

    I remember when we got our first TV.
    58 Buicks had power windows and air conditioning in a car, no less.
    I also remember the big Coke sign at 21st & Broad and Kinnards Restaurant at Blair.
    And Green Hills before the Mall.
    There was a place next to Hillsboro High School where you could rent time on trampoline. The girl who ran it was cute.
    And no Interstates – none.
    I’d never been to Madison, much less the area around Rivergate, or across the Cumberland until the late 70s.

  3. Ford Prefect Says:

    we didn’t have…
    touch tone phones just rotery (Granny had a party line!)
    String Trimmers for your yard – we used hand clippers to edge around the house.
    video games (Mom suprised us and brought home PONG)

    Came and went…8 track tapes, cassette tapes, Home Beta.

    LP cleaners, vinal singles and the little plastic things you had to have to play them on your record player

    Dang we are old!!!!!

  4. jim voorhies Says:

    Vinyl is apparently coming back. Musicians always thought it was a better medium for sound playback.

  5. tlhumphries Says:

    When we got our first dishwasher, we had to role it from the pantry to the front of the kitchen sink and hook it up to the faucet. This was in the early 80’s, I believe.


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