I've reached that age. No, seriously, I mean I've reached that age.

I find myself in conversation using phrases like 'back then' and 'when I was a kid' and 'the old days'.

I've achieved that age.

When I was a young 'un, cute as a bugs butt, I was...my parents would tell me how tough it was in the...yes, 'old days'. Growing up with horses instead of tractors, playing with sticks and stones instead of Tonka Trucks, getting an apple for Christmas instead of something 'store bought'. How on a cold winter night they'd go out to the coal shed for more, well, coal...if they had any.

I just kinda shook my head and thought 'blah, blah, blah'.

So now fast forward several decades (and several more) and I've crossed the fence. I'm a Grandpa now with 5 of them Grand Young'uns. And low and behold, I tell them how tough it was back...say it with me...in the old days.

For instance, we had to wait in line to get on the pay phone. The pay what? they'd ask. Yep, back then (there's that phrase again) we'd have to wait our turn to put in our quarter (maybe a dime depending how old you are) and use the phone at the gas station.

Oh but that's not all, I'd tell them, not only that but sometimes the doggone phone back would be half ripped up and pages missing! To which they reply 'What's a phone book?'


I'd go on to tell them about those ancient cassettes and and 8-tracks for our music. They ask if I downloaded them.


I'd tell them all about how we couldn't take pictures if we ran out of film (they look down at their phone and scratch their head) and how we had to pay more if we didn't rewind the tape before bringing the movie back to the store.

By this time they're making excuses about why they have to leave 'ol Gramps.

But I get in one more 'back then' shot...And we had to wait all the way til Saturday Morning to see Popeye, too! Pop what?

Well, maybe it wasn't quite as dramatic a change as when my parents told me about their 'old days'. I suppose having to actually get up to change TV channels doesn't quite have the impact of having to walk uphill both ways to get to and from school in a snowstorm.

No really, my parents had to do that.

Dusty Old Thing Contributed To This Article



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