Remember when?

27 Jul

Remember when?
by L. Stewart Marsden

There’s a Facebook fad (FF) that I’ve noticed of late. It’s the “Do you know what this is? Do you remember this? Do you remember when?” fad. You know what I’m talking about, right?

I’m not sure what’s causing it. Maybe it’s a throw-back to when we were kids and we came out of a movie and everyone started talking, “Yeah, and remember when that guy . . . ?”

Remember doing that?

Saturday Night Live’s Chris Farley (remember him?) developed a character who interviewed people, like Paul McCartney, and would ask, “Remember when you were in ‘Yellow Submarine?'” Etc.

So, there are pictures of things we no longer use, along with the question “Do you know what this is?” as if to say, “If you don’t know what this is, well — YOU”RE AN IDIOT!”

Things like:

  • old vacuum tubes for radios or TVs;
  • the foot button that controlled your high beams on your car;
  • a hand-crank ice cream freezer;
  • an old rotary dial telephone;
  • an ice box;
  • glass milk bottles;
  • a dairy home-delivery truck;
  • an engineless push mower;
  • a hand-crank drill;
  • and much, much more.

Why do I need to remember these things?

And then there are pictures with the question, “Do you remember . . . ?” again, as if to say, “If you don’t remember this, well — YOU’RE AN IDIOT!”

  • Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody;
  • Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans;
  • Beaver Cleaver;
  • Rod Serling;
  • The Cartwright family;
  • Ozzie and Harriet;
  • Perry Mason;
  • Andy Griffith and Don Knotts;
  • and, again, much, much more.

Again, how do I benefit remembering this stuff?

Not that these memories don’t conjure up days when life was really very different from today. You know, the “good ol’ days.”

But times change. Technology changes.

My dad was born in 1919. He lived through the advent of technology that included radio; television; nuclear energy; satellites; space exploration; computers going from multi-room configurations to the laptop; rotary dial telephones to cell phones; film cameras to digital; Model T cars to the Chevrolet Corvette. And a whole lot more! You know someone like that, chances are.

And guess what? I never remember him asking his contemporaries, “Do you know what this is?” or “Do you remember?” He simply enjoyed it all.

It’s not like any of us has much to do with all of these memories. They are part of our past. They are milestones and markers of the passage of time. None of us is any wiser, or any less of a person because of our remembering these things.

Save it for your kids. Amaze them with the hardships of your life having to live without HDTV, or texting, or microwave ovens, or tablets, or Beano.

Yes, I do remember most of the stuff. I want to shout back, “Don’t YOU?”

Okay. I feel much better. Got that off my chest.

So, whatever you do, don’t forget this post!

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