It’s 2019. Our vehicles are another model year older. We’ve inched another digit toward the ‘20s.
I’m trying to absorb the fact that today’s 18-year-olds were born in 2001, the year of 9-11. They have little if any memory of events before 2006–no memory of what life was like before the iPhone or Facebook. They’ve always written current dates with a “20” prefix, when they write a check, which isn’t very often with on-line banking.
2019 will bring some anniversaries. It will be 60 years since 1959, the year of Fidel Castro’s revolution and the death of rock legend Buddy Holly. You know, the day the music died.
This year, will mark 50 years since Woodstock and the first moon landing. And a group called Chicago Transit Authority, aka Chicago, released a hit single, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
It will be 40 years since 1979, the year 52 American diplomats and other citizens were taken hostage in Iran.
It’s been 30 years since the Berlin Wall fell.
Twenty years ago we were prepping for the Y2K disaster that never happened, and
partying like it was well, 1999.
Ten years ago Barack Obama was inaugurated as President. Less than a week earlier,
Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger landed an American Airlines Airbus on the Hudson River after two bird strikes disabled the engines.Was that really 10 years ago? Time really does fly.
Today’s 30-somethings arrived when Ronald Reagan was president. They might remember what life was like before personal computers existed, but they probably don’t.
The year I turned 30, my employer offered early retirement to those 55 and older. I looked around and saw these gleeful people signing up for a pension and thought they were pretty darned old. Now, the youngest Baby Boomers are 55, and I’m not sure how this happened.
When it comes to the topic of age and our role in history, I recall a talk by one author Reynolds Price. When he was born in 1933, his 65-year-old grandparents knew some ex-slaves.
I scratched my head until I realized that of course he was right. When I was born in the 1950s, at least one Civil War veteran was still living, The last confirmed veteran from either side was a man named Albert Woolson who died in 1956. The year 2012 saw the last World War I veteran..
History touches us from all sides. Growing up I often heard that my grandparents had seen more change than I would ever see in my lifetime. Why they had gone from horse and buggy to Man on the Moon! Yet NASA sent Neil Armstrong to the moon using less computing power than in today’s average automobile. Armstrong, by the way, is the topic of a movie First Man released late last year. First Man depicts ancient history to those under 60, who are most people these days.
My husband and I often discuss the changes that would shock our mothers, both of whom died in 2002. Neither of them ever took their shoes off to board a plane. Neither one ever heard of Smartphones or Satellite radio or would have considered buying water in individual plastic bottles.
My mother, who grew up ordering clothes and supplies from the Sears & Roebuck catalog, loved receiving packages in the mail or picking up her order at the Sears store in town. Eventually the catalog agencies were considered old-fashioned. Big Box stores were the way to go.
Except now they aren’t. Sears is going belly up and everyone has returned to mail-order, except we call it “ordering on-line.” If Sears hadn’t bailed out of the catalog business in 1993, they could have out-Amazoned Amazon.
What’s new is old, including ideas…and us.