We often hear people say that they don't like change. For the longest time I resisted change. But change is inevitable. It is one of the constants of the world order.
It seemed that every time I had to deal with change I would get upset. A few years ago I realized that things are going to change and that I can not do anything about it. I had to accept change, otherwise it was going to stress me out.
My parents saw a lot of change; but then so did their parents. It was then that I started to think about the changes I and other early baby boomers born in the '40s have seen.
There have been many positive changes and a few changes that have upset me. For instance, I was very upset when the Beatles broke up, and I had a hard time when Annette Funicello (of the Mickey Mouse Club) married someone else.
But many changes take place where we do not seem to notice. I have put together a few of these changes, but have missed so many more.
Remember when in the fall you would put on snow tires and add antifreeze to the vehicle, only to do the reverse in the spring? And when was the last time you had to put on chains? You see, change is good.
But then when was the last time you heard, "May I check your oil and air pressure on your tires and clean your windshield?"
I remember my mother washing clothes with a ringer washer. I still have her wash tubs. One cannot even explain this way of doing clothes to people who have never seen this done. It took all day, once a week, to set up and wash clothes and then hang them on the line.
Maybe that is one reason many women didn't work outside the home.
Remember walking into a hospital and seeing nothing but white uniforms worn by the nurses and nurses' aides? Hospitals had the smell of ether in the air.
In schools the uniforms teachers wore were suits for men and dresses for women. Most social events and churches found people in the same uniform.
Today I know men who do not even own a tie. Clothes of the day for students did not include slacks by the girls and, of course, shorts were not allowed. Even certain truck drivers had to wear the uniforms of their companies.
Most of the changes in dress happened in the middle and end of the '60s.
Women during World War II, because they couldn't get nylon, would draw a line down the back of their legs and add some coloring to their legs to make it look as though they were wearing nylons. Today, nylons, even while wearing a dress, seem to be pass.
Weddings and prom, today, find young women wearing fancy dresses as they had in the past, but today what will we find on their feet? Flip flops. A $200 dress and a $2 pair of shoes.
There has been a big change in the way we drink coffee. We used to go into a caf and drink coffee for 10 cents with free refills. Coffee was made at home on the stove and took a long time to brew. Old-timers will remember the old coffee cans that had their own opener. I cannot tell you how many times I experienced a cut caused by this wicked opener.
Today we have coffee pots that brew the coffee just the way we like it and will turn itself off in two hours.
Remember quiet rooms in theaters for mothers and their children? Smoking rooms in hospitals and schools? When was the last time you saw a slide rule or licked a stamp?
Entertainment has seen some of the biggest changes in the last 50-60 years. In the early '50s TV came on in the afternoon and went off the air about midnight, ending with the same poem about a pilot.
Sunday morning TV was regulated and had to be educational or religious in nature. We only had three stations to watch where today many of us have more than 100 (and still nothing to watch).
Remember dial phones or, going back a few years, do you remember black phones with no dials? How about party lines? Youngsters today can not fully understand this concept not talking on your phone because your neighbor is talking on the party line. And when was the last time you saw a phone booth?
Remember when sport shows were first introduced on TV all day long in the '70s? "No one will want to watch sports all day long ," stated many men.
And today we have weather and news all day long when in the '50s you only saw it on the evening news.
Did you know the first Super Bowl played to a half-full stadium? Roger Maris hit his 61st home room in front of only 20,000 fans. And boxing, for years it was the biggest sport both on the radio and on TV. Everyone, male and female, seemed interested in the outcome of heavyweight boxing championships.
Can you name a boxing champion today? Can you name any heavyweight boxer?
The other day I saw a woman go into a restaurant for a takeout order. It took her more time to get her children out of their car seats than it did to go into the store and back. When our children were young we would just flatten out the seat of our station wagon, give the kids a pop and toys and away we would go.
I was looking at an old college yearbook the other day. Those students who were not seniors were called "under classmen." It was an all-women's college. We had mail-men, police-men ... Well, you get the picture.
Newsweek had an article that showed the changes in prices and salaries from 1900 to the present. The changes in the annual salary of Americans showed that in 1901 the salary was $454 a year. In today's money that was $11,900.
In 2008 the annual salary was $39,653. The president's salary was $50,000 in 1901 (President McKinley). In today's money that would be $1,300,000 to Obama's $400, 000.
In Major League Baseball the salary in 1900 was $2,200, or $58,000 in today's money. The poor players today made an average of $2,996,106 in 2009.
AARP magazine (June 2012) talked about the changes that may take place in the future. We will get all of our entertainment from the Internet, as we will get all of our mail. Phone books will be gone as will bank deposit slips. Three states have already dropped handwriting as an educational requirement.
When was the last time that you wrote a letter in cursive? Or looked up information in a printed encyclopedia?
We all know how fast technology is changing, and many boomers are having trouble accepting these changes. Younger adults and the children coming up see and understand the changes that take place. They have grown up experiencing changes and they take them for granted.
I accept change, but reluctantly.
I have only been to the movie theater once in 20 years. I only use my cell phone for incoming and outgoing calls. My music is played on a phonograph playing the Beatles, Bee Gees, Stones and music from the British Invasion. I do get DVDs by mail and am watching old TV shows, currently "Combat."
"That's what the world is about Changes." George Harrison of the Beatles.
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