In Their Eyes

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It’s a strange feeling when you suddenly realize, to your children, you sound much the same as your parents and grandparents sounded to you when you were young.

I grew up with television, FM radio, and V8 engines, but I clearly remember my parents and especially my grandmother talking about how much had changed since they were kids. Of course back then it was impossible to think any of the adults in my life had ever been as young as myself, but they were. Once.

The talk of the times they sat around the radio in the evenings, just as we do the television today, except the pictures were in their heads and not on a screen. Long, lazy Summer afternoons and cold Winter nights curled up with a book because that was entertainment in those long ago days and just as I couldn’t imagine not having a television, todays children cannot imagine life without computers and cellphones.

They could never understand getting out of the house to just get away. No phone calls, no constant stream of information. Just time alone with your thoughts or maybe to spend time with friends walking, riding bikes, or when you were old enough, going for a drive in your friends beat up Pinto Wagon, Gremlin, or Pacer… you know because it was the only thing they could afford which was a sight better than you. 

Those were the days of hanging out listening to the new record someone’s parents got them for passing a test, or birthday, or maybe Christmas. Of weekends at the Roller Rink and cruising Main Street on a Friday night.

It was catching a matinee movie or family night at the Drive In. It was when going to a fast food joint was a treat and you went to the library to get books, records, and magazines because you spent your allowance on candy the day you were handed the money and your best friend in the whole world refused to let you borrow that copy of Teen you were dying to read.

It was a world of three channels and that other one which always showed the Lawrence Welk Show.A world of transistor radios which turned into Boom Boxes. Of 8 Tracks becoming Cassette Tapes and the slow death of vinyl. Though there was still time to find some wonderful cover art before it was too late.

It was also a time of awful fashion statements, though we didn’t see it then. Neon tops and stone washed jeans. Headbands and Leg Warmers. Leopard prints and zebra stripes. Studded bracelets, belts, and Michael Jackson look alike pleather jackets. It was Rock’n Roll and Breakdancing. 

It was the age of the “Brat Pack”; The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It was Back in Black and Electric Avenue. Pat Benatar and Bruce Springsteen.

It was the best time of our lives… only because we aren’t living them anymore, except in our memories.

One day our children will look back with fondness to these childhood years and find in themselves an echo of us.

10 thoughts on “In Their Eyes

  1. I read recently that nostalgia is actually good for you as long as you don’t dwell on it. I still remember our first TV set and I remember getting the first color set on the block. 🙂

  2. Very strange feeling when you think back and realise your parents or grandparents were the same age as you at a significant event or moment yet way back then you thought they were old, ancient even! Hopefully, our blogs will endure and our descendants will be able to relate to how their parents/grandparents and beyond felt at various times in their lives.

    1. I think this is one thing we have over previous generations, a way to allow those who follow a look into our private thoughts and know we were just as human as they.

  3. Very nostalgic post. But one thing that I find comfort in as far as my children are concerned: If they have a phone on them, I can check in anytime I need. I know my parents used to go crazy trying to track me or my siblings down. Those were the days when it was cool to carry a pager if your parent let you have one. It was also easy to ignore it or turn it off. I suppose the same is true of cellphones, but they now have these nifty little apps that lets you track where the people in your family are. Comes in handy quite a bit. 🙂 But wouldn’t it be nice to have things as they were, once upon a time? A seemingly peaceful, less complicated time. Even if that statement is untrue.

    1. It seems we look back and seek the happier memories making the past seem much better then what we really experienced. As proof, I suggest going back and watching some of those old television shows…

      For parents today’s technology can be a God send and a headache for our children, but your right in it allows parents a little more piece of mind to know they contact their children whenever needed. Unlike the old days of calling all their friends parents or getting in the car and going to look for them.

      Of course as with anything this is a two edged sword because it means they can track us down as well, even when we just as soon they didn’t!

  4. Then there was the assassinations of President Kennedy and later his brother Robert weeks after the Reverend MLK Jr., the freedom riders in the South, the killing of unarmed students at Kent State University by the Ohio National guard, Watergate and the impeachment of President Nixon, the War in Vietnam, women burning their bras in the streets, etc.

    1. Of course there are any negative memories, both private and public. Unfortunately, it truly is the common ground we all share. 9/11 is a prime example, the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Thailand. The losses of the space shuttles. The list goes on and on.

      The question is, what are you going to remember with fondness? What is going to bring a smile to your face and light up your eyes?

      There is enough sadness in the world why add to it? I don’t say forget the bad things which have happened, but balance them with the good.

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