How Old Am I?

Stay with this — the answer is at the end.  It will blow you away.

I was born before:  television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill.  In my day there were no:
  credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens, Xbox, email, Facebook or a twitter was from eating really cold ice cream.  
Man had not yet invented: pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and Neil Armstrong hadn’t yet walked on the moon.

We got married first, and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother. Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, “Sir.” And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, “Sir.” 
 I was born before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.  

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.  Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.  Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the evening breeze started.  Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD’s, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on our radios.   And I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.  Elvis was a skinny kid from Memphis and the Super Bowl was where you would find the fresh cut strawberries.

If you saw anything with “Made in Japan” on it, it was junk.  The term “making out” referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Burger King and instant coffee were unheard of.  We sat on the front porch and when neighbors came down the street, we waved. 

That was a drive by.

We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel, seven cents if you kept the bottle.  A haircut was .75 cents and a movie, two-bits.  Pack of Marlboro’s was .25 cents.  And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.  Crack was a uh, uh, old plumber’s joke, sorry.

You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600, but who could afford one?   Too bad, because gas was only 11 cents a gallon.

Back in the day: “grass” was mowed, “coke” was a cold drink, “pot” was something your mother cooked in and “rock music” was your grandmother’s lullaby. “Aids” were helpers in the Principal’s office,”chip” meant a piece of wood, “hardware” was found in a hardware store and “software” wasn’t even a word.  A car was used and not pre-owned, a salesman sold it to you, not a finance specialist.

We were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.  We were also the generation that was supposed to have lived without a war … didn’t happen.  Abortion was considered murder and not a lifestyle choice.  Genocide was indiscriminate killing not ethnic cleansing.  Civilians were PEOPLE and not collateral damage.

How old do you think I am?

You are in for a shock. 

Are you ready?

This person would only be 59 years old, and would have been born in 1952. 

Now if that isn’t good enough for you, think about this, look up the end of the Civil War and get ready for that.  It wasn’t all that long ago …  No wonder people call us “old and confused” and say there is a generation gap.


Thanks to Art in Nevada for the idea and input.

6 thoughts on “How Old Am I?

  1. Times have certainly changed for us, just as it did for our ancestors. I think our change just came at a faster pace, due to technology. Everything came faster because of television. I knew what the crazy trends were because I could see and hear them. I didn’t have to wait until someone came by to visit who happened to see something.


    The only thing that is permanent in this world is …. Change. I am old school, a lot of this new stuff is flat out wasted on me, I just don’t get it.



  2. And this whole time I thought you were older. Wink wink. X


    I am. Five years, give or take a few, but hey, who’s counting?



  3. TVs were around before 1952, but other than that bit of carping the piece was enjoyable and accurate from my 1943 perspective.


    If they were, I do not recall. My Dad bought one of the very first color sets that we can remember, I was his remote, “put it on 4, no 5, what is on 9?” I do remember that.

    Glad you liked the piece.



  4. I was born in 61, and some things listed, I see no problem with changes that occurred. However, I think much of the 50’s and 60’s era did provide a kinder, more responsible, and more respectful world. The issues that are judgment-based do not matter to me. Change is good, and most of the time, the good old days aren’t as good as we thought they were, in my perception anyway.


    Might be our nature as humans, to always remember it just a tad bit different than it actually was, I know I am that way. I call it “Selective Amnesia.”

    The sixties were very good to me, the part of it, that I remember, that is.



  5. The first color broadcast was around 1953 so I suspect TVs were around in black and while long before then.


    They most likely were, but at my age (then) I wasn’t into watching them. Oh yeah, sent you some pond photo’s yesterday.



  6. Another one that came up the other day, the term “roll up the car window”, you are old if you know where that came from.

    Tom Turner


    Now that is one I never considered Tom. How many people you think are out there that know how to drive a stick shift transmission these days, there is another one for you.



Comments are closed.