Rix Quinn – Generations

Published 10:30 am Sunday, May 8, 2022

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I’m a Baby Boomer with several Millennial friends. I don’t know if it’s because they value my wisdom, or because they find it amusing to watch me type text messages using only my index finger.

     Since many of us work from home now, we see each other often on the walking trail. I get questioned about the “ancient past” (1970s and 1980s) all the time, and here are my replies.

     What is a clothesline? It’s an outdoor, elevated line between two poles where your Mom hung clean, wet clothes to dry. These worked well if birds didn’t use them as toilet stalls.

     How many channels did your TV receive? Four on a regular day…and six on the cloudless days when somebody accidentally adjusted the rabbit-ear antenna properly.

     What is a phone booth? This was a tall, enclosed box with a door, usually on a major street. For ten cents, you could walk into that box, close the door, and make a private phone call. For reference, see dozens of movies from the 1940s through the 1980s.

     Did you have a GPS in your car? No way. I’ve still got wrinkled paper road maps in my car from 20 years ago. I’ve been lost so much, I’ve discovered more untraveled trails than the Lewis and Clark expedition.

     Do you remember the Great Depression? Of course not! That was long before I was born. In fact, I’m not all that old…I’m just prematurely wrinkled.

    Could cell phones from the 1970s take photos and stream video? There were no cell phones in the 1970s. Phones plugged into a wall, and you could carry them only as far as your extension cord would reach.

     Cameras took pictures. Movies appeared in theaters and on televisions. Back then, if we had one product that could accept calls, take photos, and show movies, we would call it “magic.”

    WHAT SUBJECT would you like Rix to talk about? E-mail him at rix@rixquinn.com.