I was sitting in the studio at work last week, chatting up my peeps, my daytime partners in crime (and sometimes punishment); my co-conspirators and compatriots and somehow the convo got to the year we were all born. SOUND THE ALARMS! SHUT DOWN THE VAULT DOOR! TOP SECRET UNDISCLOSED DOCUMENTATION IS ABOUT TO BE REVEALED. Gawd I hate this revelation…they all know I’m a bit older and duh a lot wiser but really why or Gawd why do we have to focus on the number? It’s just a number you know!
So what…@%^#@%@ I could be your mother, or older; older sister maybe. So what you were born two years after I graduated university. So what you have no recollection of the Flock of Seagulls, Charlie’s Angels, 45’s, Tang or encyclopedias because you were born in 1992…which makes me ahem…30 years older then you.
Ahhh youth. Always seems so enviable but you know what I wouldn’t go back if you paid me. I ‘m proud of my years; my experiences, mistakes (sun-in hair lightener), lessons and lifelines. I’m also proud that I have stories and know things and done things you young’ ins can’t even imagine and well… will never have to experience…for better or worse.
For instance I did my university thesis without the existence of computers. It happened in a library, where I spent months researching articles on microfiche (flat sheets of film containing micro photographs of pages of a newspaper or document) only to have to get the original from the librarian to photo copy for a nickel each page, then hand write my 100 page draft to eventually be typed on a typewriter. BTW there’s no spellcheck in typewriters…just saying.
There was no Facebook, no cell phones, no texting or selfies. My phone was plugged into a wall and was a part of a party line (a shared local circuit) where at any given time you could be privy to someone else’s conversation. I was allowed 10 minutes after my homework was done to use the phone to speak to my friends. There was no sharing of photos (not that a teen, let alone a kid had a Polaroid in those days), no watching You Tube videos or trying to find Pokémon – we made plans to meet at the mall and trusted each other that we would show up. And being a part of a family that moved a lot – the only way to stay in touch with my far away friends was to write letters. I have boxes of them, documenting decades of my life…how many emails have you saved?
There were no iPod or downloading music. We listened to the radio or our records and then spent weeks saving our allowance to buy the latest 45’s at the record store. I remember waiting for over a month to get Jim Stafford’s “I don’t like Spiders and Snakes”….go on…You Tube it…I dare you.
Yes, there were massive gaps in technology, but this lent itself to amazing personal innovation far beyond the entertainment and production value of a computer. We were inventive and imaginative! We made things, from scratch – drew with pencils, wrote stories in scribblers, made paper fortune tellers to find out if Russel Wangurski wanted to “go around” (aka hang out/secretively date) me. We played out imaginary roles and scenarios, we spent time outside, getting dirty, being curious, and exploring our world – not watching it on a screen.
I’m all for the advances of our modern world, but there was something neato about growing up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. They were decades of innocence, incredible discoveries and innovation – a time that was constantly evolving, expressing and exploding with new statements in culture, art, music and fashion. It was a time of change, progress, and protest – like every decade I suppose, but I look back and feel like it was kinder, and gentler in some ways; naïve perhaps, perhaps more private than public. 1962 – the year Bob Dylan first performed Blowing in the Wind; Marilyn Monroe died, Nelson Mandela was arrested, the Cuban Missile crisis teetered on the brink of nuclear war, the novel A Clockwork Orange was published, the first Bond film was released and I was born just to name a few. Well it’s been over 50 years living on this planet and whether you’re a hippie or a hipster – one thing is for sure – Mork & Mindy, The Partridge Family and The Breakfast Club are still cool to the max….just saying. Peace out.