I stumbled across something recently that I immediately connected with. I jotted down a bunch of the things mentioned in the article, but can’t recall where I saw it. It may have been on Facebook or Reddit. At any rate, I thought this was something that might jar your memory, too!
You can find the first batch of memories in Part 1 here:
Let’s continue with Part 2 …
Video rental stores
I can remember the first time we had a VCR. To rent tapes was quite expensive at first. Over time, it became the thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night.
I remember walking through the store to get to the New Release Wall. Often times, I would wait until a movie came out on video to see it. The only problem was that sometimes all the copies would be checked out. There were plenty of times I’d see a film I didn’t even know existed. I would pick up the box and read the synopsis on the back and we’d make a decision as to whether or not to rent it.
Then, of course, you’d always check out the classics. Movies were still a bit expensive to buy at the time, so I would rent Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and so many other movies I had grown up with.
I truly miss browsing the shelves to see what movie to watch. I miss sitting on the couch with a bowl of microwave popcorn with the lights down watching videos without the issues you’d experience at the movie theater.
Making plans – looking up movie times
Before videos, you went to the movies. But before you could do that, you have to get a newspaper and look up the movie times. Theaters would take out full page ads to promote the movie times. I remember your entire date revolved around the times that a movie would start. Dinner before or after the movie – depended on when the show started.
Sometimes, you could call the theater and they had a dedicated phone line with a recording that gave show times and the movies that were showing.
Calling a friend and talking to their parents first
I remember how many times I would call up a friend and their parents would always answer. Some of the parents were nice and would chat with me as I waited for my friend to get on the phone. Other times, they were short.
As a teen, when I called a girl to chat, I was always freaked out if their dad answered the phone! “That Keith boy is on the phone for you!” Yikes!
If the conversation went on for more than 20 minutes, which it often did, my folks or their folks would get on you because they had to use the phone. Summers I would spend a lot of time on the phone, mainly in the evenings talking to girls who I had a crush on.
When TV went off the air at night
Back in the day, when there were only 3-5 channels to watch on TV, many stations went off the air at night. Today, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can turn on the TV and get 100 stations of stuff to chose from. When I was a kid, however, you would turn on the TV and see the above test pattern with audio of a single tone playing loudly.
“This concludes our broadcast day” the announcer would say. Sometimes it would be followed by the National Anthem and then the test pattern. Because of this, I would grab my little radio and listen to the late night DJ’s and my love for radio was born.
Sitting down to read a book because nothing was on TV
When we only had a few channels on TV, there would be those times when there was “nothing to watch.” It was then, that you would go to the bookshelf in your bedroom or living room and grab a book to read. There were many hours spent reading books on my bed. My imagination took me to the streets of London, or the deck of a ship as I read adventure stories. I wish I had read more as a kid.
Saturday morning sitcoms/cartoons
Saturday Mornings were heaven for my brother and I. We grabbed a bowl of cereal and plopped down in front of the TV to watch cartoons. Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, the Laugh-O-Lympics, Captain Caveman, and more! When the cartoons were done, there were other shows on we watched like Dr. Shrinker, The Monster Squad, and Electra Woman and Dynagal. Those shows bring back many fond memories of Saturday mornings. It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend!
Not being accessible to work outside of the work hours
It is far too easy for employers to reach employees today. I get work email on my phone, although I try to avoid looking at it when I am not there. Employee burnout is high in every profession. The line between work life and home life is blurring. People are bringing work home with them. They are taking work calls during “home time.” This, to me, is unacceptable.
Work needs to stay at work. They get 40 hours of my time during the week, and sometimes more than that (even though there is no pay for it). I try my best to ignore anything work related when I am home. That needs to be my time with family.
I truly miss those days when you only had to think about work when you were there. I miss the days before cell phones when you could actually play 18 holes of golf without having to read text messages or emails from work. If I am out on the beach, the last thing I want to be doing is answering an e-mail.
I love the fact that we can have a phone with us to call someone in an emergency or snap a picture of a neat moment, but when the tech starts to intrude on family and leisure time, we are only adding to burn out or losing precious time with what is really important.