In just a few weeks, I will be celebrating a milestone birthday that ends in a zero. If you can remember most of the following, you're probably just as old as I am.
1. Toys were made out of wood rather than plastic.
2. You had to get up out of your chair to change the channel on your television; this was not a big deal as programming was available on only seven channels.
3. You constructed your personal play list by stacking several long playing records on the spindle sticking out of the turntable on your record player; the obvious shortcoming of this method was that you were forced to choose which side of the LP you preferred to listen to.
4. As a cost saving measure, your parents chose a party line for your home telephone service. This meant that the family across the street and two houses up could listen in on any of your family's telephone conversations if they so chose. Conversely, this meant that you could listen in on their conversations too although you never did. It also meant that you sometimes had to wait for that other family to get off the phone before you could make your own call.
5. Telehones actually had dials, hence the term "dial tone".
6. Clothing got hung out to dry on a clothesline that ran from a hook on the back of your house to a pole on the far end of your backyard. In winter, towels would be reeled back into the house frozen stiff as a board.
7. Milk, soda and seltzer were delivered directly to the house. So was bread.
8. People with coal burning furnaces got delivery of their coal straight into the cellar by means of a metal shoot inserted through the window, making a loud rattling noise. Basements were "finished," cellars were not.
9. Pediatricians made house calls.
10. At the supermarket, nobody asked you to choose "paper or plastic."
11. Your Mom brought home "green stamps" from the supermarket which she then glued into little booklets and which she eventually took to the redemption center and cashed in for prizes.
12. Window blinds were Venetian rather than mini or vertical.
13. Roller skates were made of metal and worn over your shoes; their fit was adjusted by means of a special key.
14. With late autumn came the intoxicating scent from the piles of burning leaves that lined the curb, usually on the weekends.
15. Elementary school students were sent home at lunch time where Mom often had a hot meal waiting. Everybody walked, even when the weather was bad.
16. Trucks with miniature versions of carnival rides (ferris wheel, merry-go-round, whip) made weekly stops by the neighborhood grocery store and a ride could be had for a dime.
17, Candy and cigarette vending machines were common fixtures in a variety of locations. A row of pull rods was situated beneath the display of the items available for purchase, activating a mechanism inside the machine that caused your selection to drop to the metal tray near the bottom of the machine with a satisfying thunk.
18. A large number of adult women did not know how to drive.
19. Going to the movies meant seeing a double feature.
20. Fast food meant making a sandwich.
How did I get this old?