Things I Experienced As A Child, My Children Will Not Pt 2

15 Dec

Things I experienced as a child, my children will not Pt 2

You can read part one here.

Beepers – Before everyone had cell phones, if you wanted to get a hold of someone you had to Beep them, and that doesn’t mean taking your fingers and honking their nose. Beeping consisted of calling their Beeper number (which they had in addition to their regular home phone number) with a regular telephone. Then a little square box that they would wear on their belt would make several loud beeping noises and display your number in a small window. The person being beeped would then look at the number thoughtfully and have to find a telephone to use. If you wanted to look pretentious or uber important, you would have a friend randomly beep you in social situations, so you could excuse yourself to make a fake phone call.

LaserDisks – These played movies and looked like DVDs, but were the size of your head. Despite their size the movie was encoded on both sides of the disk. This meant in the middle of the movie you had to flip it over. I had a rich friend who had close to a hundred movies on LaserDisk, but because the disks and case were so large, he stored them on the floor in large stacks. His entertainment room looked like a garage sale of giant flat disco balls.

Typewriter – Microsoft Word replaced this with the ability to easily erase sentences, save your work, store your thoughts, and not get typewriter ribbon ink all over yourself. I was clumsy as well and tended to miss the keys and pinch my fingers in the large spaces between them. One nice thing the typewriter did was make a large dinging noise every time you got to the edge of the paper. You then had the option to type on the roller of the machine, or push the roller back over to start the next line. If you don’t know what I am talking about, go rent any movie from the 1940’s. I guarantee there is at least two scenes of a room full of newspaper reporters typing away frantically.

Polaroid Camera – Before the Polaroid camera, you would take a picture, the camera would store the picture on a film cartridge, and then you would take it to the store to get developed. After about a week, you would go back to the store, pick up your pictures, and be disappointed about how bad they were. With the Polaroid camera you could instantly be disappointed, because the picture spit out of the bottom of the camera after you took it. Once the picture was ejected you would either have to shake the picture to see it (earlier models), or just sit and wait. The best part of the Polaroid picture? They were easily ruined by heat, water, air, looking at them wrong, or storing them. If you wanted a keepsake photo, Polaroid was not the way to go.

Fold Out Maps – Before the GPS, if you didn’t know where you were going, you had a paper map. The paper map was stored in a nice origami sized square, with which once you opened it, only Grandpa could get it back to the original fold. The map was filled with different colored lines that represented different streets, highways, biways, and toll roads. It unfolded to the size of a wall poster, so if you were lost at the moment you needed the map, your options were to:

A) Stop your car. Get out of your car. Unfold the map on the hood of your car. Not be able to make heads or tails of the map. Go ask a stranger.


B) Unfold the map while driving. Block your view of the road and/or not pay attention to the road as you try to figure out the map. Not be able to make heads or tails of the map. Go ask a stranger.

Yellow Pages/Dictionaries/Encyclopedias – All of these were gigantic reference books, some times with multiple volumes, that sat on a shelf somewhere, collecting dust, until the rare occasion some one needed them. With the Encyclopedia you had one volume (sometimes two) for every letter of the alphabet. All of these were replaced by web pages on the internet. Book shelf sales have gone down since.

13 Responses to “Things I Experienced As A Child, My Children Will Not Pt 2”

  1. mooselicker December 15, 2011 at 5:20 PM #

    I remember in 6th grade a kid found a beeper in the trash can and it went off in class. I’m 24 but that makes me feel ancient to know that even when I was that age a kid would be willing to crawl through a garbage can to get one.

    I saw a typewriter for sale at a flea market recently. Some kid actually tried to haggle for a good price.

    I’ll stop there on my stories about these items. Good post. Very funny. I enjoyed it.

    • chrisdevoss December 15, 2011 at 5:29 PM #

      I made a mess out of the grade school newspaper when I had to type it. I would never write anything today if the typewriter was still the major form of printing the written word. I make way too many mistakes.

  2. ksbeth November 4, 2012 at 5:49 PM #

    i always horrify my children when i remind them that i was born, ‘b.r.’ (before ranch dressing)

  3. ksbeth November 4, 2012 at 5:59 PM #

    In my case, in the 60s, my family went to California and came back with an amazing discovery, ranch dressing. I was terrified of the thought of buttermilk in anything I might ingest, though with my first swallow, my world was opened up to a whole new taste sensation. There was no going back to the days ‘b.r.’ for me. as a bonus, i love that clorox now owns it, makes it sound even better. similar to purina owning jack in the box.

    The original ranch® dressing seasoning was created in the 1950s as a delicious, take-home gift for visitors to the real-life Hidden Valley Ranch in California. As its popularity grew in the 1960s, the ranch owners began selling it through local retailers in the Santa Barbara area. By the 1970s, the dry mixture of select herbs and spices (which was combined with mayonnaise and buttermilk) was such a hit that The Clorox Company acquired the brand and the ranchers’ dressing became available in 17 countries and more than 15 varieties, including Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Ranch, Cracked Peppercorn Ranch and Spicy Ranch. Subsequently, ranch dressing has become a national favorite and beloved dressing, topping, dip and “secret” ingredient in favorite family recipes.

  4. bodhimoments November 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

    Really? You were around during the days of typewriters and even used one??? Wow!

    • Christopher De Voss November 15, 2012 at 7:43 AM #

      Unfortunately…and I used a lot of white out!

      • bodhimoments November 15, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

        🙂 Just that you look VERY young.

      • Christopher De Voss November 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM #

        Thank you. I’m actually 132.

      • bodhimoments November 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM #

        I see. Still younger than me!!!!

  5. dreamshadow59 November 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM #

    So…Just what IS a typewriter anyway??? Hehehehehe…

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