On a recent visit to my favorite restaurant in Florida City, Capri, I was speaking to the owner, Jimmy Accursio, about how lucky we were to live in our respective generations. We bragged about walking or riding our bicycles to school, not locking the doors at night, etc. — things not too common nowadays.
I am sure by now my own grandchildren are bored to tears hearing my repetitive stories about “The Good Old Days.” I began to wonder what my grandchildren might be telling their grandchildren sometime in the future. Don’t worry, kids, you will be doing it! These are some of the things that I imagine they will be talking about and getting the same blank stares and rolling eyes that I do.
They will tell ridiculous-sounding stories about how someone used to actually drive by their house and throw a newspaper on the lawn in a plastic bag so that you could take it inside and read it on the kitchen table.
They will describe the funny little blueand- white trucks that used to go up and down the street placing advertising material and perhaps a few letters into a box attached to your house or stuck on a pole at the end of the driveway.
They will tell their grandkids how inconvenient it was to carry around a telephone that was almost the size of a deck of cards and all you could do with it was to phone or text people and perhaps take an occasional photograph or movie.
Remind them also that we used to have big tall boxes out in the street with a folding door to allow you inside so that you could place a dime in a little slot and telephone someone for up to three minutes — what a blessing these were.
How will they possibly explain to these new youngsters the concept of binding together a stack of paper with printing on it and then cover it so that you could read what was between the front and back covers.
Will they believe that in order to move from one place to another you needed a vehicle in which you placed a volatile explosive liquid that set off a bunch of tiny explosions under the hood and that is what propelled this vehicle from one place to the other. They certainly will laugh at this one!
Will they believe that in the old days, in order to drive a vehicle from one place to the other there was a silly thing called a steering wheel which you used to aim your car in different directions? You were unable to simply give verbal instructions to your vehicle. Reminds me of my Dad telling me how he needed to crank his Model T Ford to start it. These vehicles, by the way, were originally made by actual people using tools and muscle to put them together, unlike our new robots.
It will be difficult to explain that in the olden days, in order for people to live together they needed a license, which was received only after a ceremony called marriage. Hopefully they will not dwell on this story for too long because this surely will bore the heck out of these new young ears. Imagine, a license to live together and perhaps have children. What purpose could this possibly serve?
They will have to be told that everyone believed in a different God and that people used to fight over who had the best God. They won’t grasp that concept immediately but give them time.
You can tell them that English was not taught as a foreign language in the olden days. To impress them you might want to utter a few phrases in English to show that you still remember some of it.
Of course they never will believe that when you flew in an airplane you did not have to pay extra to sit down and that you might receive, absolutely free, a glass of water and four pretzels.
Perhaps you also can tell them that at one time men were the dominant physical species, but that may be taxing their minds too much at this stage. They probably will not believe that people actually lived in separate houses surrounded by lots of land and hardly ever saw their neighbors.Of course living in 50-story highrise apartment buildings in the future, this will seem strange to them but assure them that it was true.
Children at one time were not allowed to own their own automatic weapons. Thankfully, a new branch of the government, the NRA (No Realistic Approach), saw to it that children can now protect themselves and stand their own ground.