Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten Things My Son Will Never Do

Times change. Technology advances. Events that were common in my childhood will be an interesting note in my son's history books. I've compiled a list of experiences that Peter will (probably) never have.

Use a card catalog for research. I was always fascinated by the card catalog as a child. Whose job was it to cross-reference everything? Search engines are infinitely more efficient, but the sense of wonder is lost.

Follow a AAA triptik. I have my doubts that even regular maps will be a part of Peter's life as he gets older, but I'm pretty sure GPS devices have made paper triptiks nearly obsolete.

People use these? I thought they were posters...

Meet someone at the gate at the airport. I loved coming up the tunnel and seeing someone waiting to greet us. I remember the excitement mounting as we waited for Grandpa to appear behind the other passengers. Somehow the walk through the terminal and back out security deflates the thrill.

Shoot a picture with a Kodachrome film. Growing up in Rochester, NY, Fuji was a bad word. Everyone had Kodak film, some of which was used on manual wind cameras. (Kodak stopped producing Kodachrome in 2009.)

Call from a pay phone. I know these still exist, but they are getting fewer and farther between as cell phones become increasingly popular. I suspect Peter will not understand why every woman used to carry a quarter in her purse.

And these? Forget about it.

Flip the cord on a lawnmower. When I was a kid, part of learning to mow the lawn was remembering to flip the cord out of the way every time you turned to start a new row. I wonder if extension cord companies saw a drop in sales when battery lawn mowers hit the market.

Watch a VHS tape. These will be for Peter was laser discs are for me. What's a laser disc? Exactly.

My husband's laser disc collection

Read the evening edition of the paper. It's hard to believe, but until 1997 Rochester had two editions of the daily paper. The Democrat&Chronicle came in the morning and the Times-Union in the evening. Poor Times-Union.
Fun facts: The D&C was a merger of "Daily Democrat" and "Chronicle" in 1879. The Times-Union was a merger of "Evening Times" and "Union and Advertiser" in 1918. The D&C and Times-Union merged in 1992.

Tune a radio dial. No no, not the digital tuner in the car. I mean the radio where you had to slowly turn the knob until you hit the right frequency. "Don't move that dial" was more important when you couldn't be sure of finding the station again if you did!

Take his temperature with a glass thermometer. Glass was easier to clean than the plastic/rubber thermometers popular now, but it was also easier to break. And filled with mercury. And COLD!


  1. I feel compelled to defend my honor and note that, despite the prominence of Land Before Time 4 in this photo, I do have several good movies on laserdisc as well...

  2. We still have a decent sized collection of VHS tapes, quite a few of which are more geared towards children, so I think that David will see some of those (although, some of the good ones, like Toy Story, we intend to get on DVD). As for the corded phone, those are great if you lose power, but not phone service! My parents still have one in their bedroom. And while there are battery operated lawnmowers, there are also ones that use gas (that's what ours does) that also don't require "flipping the cord."
    Great list!

  3. We recently got rid of all of our VHS tapes and bought on DVD the handful we really wanted to keep. We're in the process of selling many of our DVDs, too, in an effort to cut back on stuff. :-)

  4. I can't believe how fast technology changes! I'll be 24 this November, but I've only ever experienced these:

    Watch a VHS tape.
    Shoot a picture with a Kodachrome film.
    Take your temperature with a glass thermometer.
    Meet someone at their gate at the airport.
    Call from a pay phone - I did this one time when I was 10 for fun.

    My husband is 29 and he remembers doing all of these things! :)

  5. Wow, that's crazy! I was talking with my dad recently about how much medicine has changed, too. One of my friends has Hepatitis that he contracted from a blood transfusion as an infant, because blood wasn't screened for diseases then (1984). Now, we don't even put a band-aid on a kid without gloves!