I remember when

As I dressed for a long walk this morning, I was reminded of an old dressing habit. This prompted a reflective post (you can hum Nat King Cole’s “I remember you” as you read with me):

I remember when we used to cut the tops off athletic socks to make footies, as they did not make those when I was growing up, at least for boys and men.

I remember when phones were dialed and not keyed; if you did not complete the dial, the phone might call the wrong number.

I remember when there were three serious US news anchors whose words were gospel; Nixon once said when he lost Walter Cronkite, he lost the country.

I remember a time when we lived in blissful ignorance that all priests, pastors and evangelists were above board and not participating in criminal behavior.

I remember when both parties cared that the US President was exactly what he said he was not; Nixon said “I am not a crook,” but that was a lie.

I remember when Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assasinated, but was too young to remember JFK’s,

I remember the moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s words of “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Sadly, I remember the Challenger blowing up with citizen astronauts aboard. It showed how difficult it is to leave and return to our planet.

I remember when the US celebrated its bicentennial and when we prepared for computers programmed in Cobol to recognize the new millennium.

On this last comment, my wife and I hosted a New Millennium Eve party. We got so interested in shooting fireworks with the kids, we forgot to put the lamb in the oven. That was the only time we cooked lamb, and almost did not then. We were eating at midnight when the year 2000 rolled in.

I hope I spawned some memories. Please share a few of yours. I remember when…

11 thoughts on “I remember when

  1. As a Canadian, I remember when the US had the ultimate respect of the world and treated its friends with reverence and its enemies even more so. I remember 1979 when Ken Taylor the Canadian Ambassador to Iran helped 6 Americans out of Iran at the risk to his own safety and the relationship of Canada with Iran, because that is what friends do. I remember when Canadians were not considered a security risk to the US and didn’t have crippling tariffs levied against them.

    I remember…….

  2. Thanks for this post, Keith.

    I do remember JFK’s assassination. I was in grade 8 at the time. The principal announced the shooting over the P.A. saying that we need to pray for Mr. Kennedy who was shot. I thought she meant Mr. Kennedy, one of the ushers at our church. It wasn’t until I got home that I found out it was the President. I remember crying out loud when the TV camera zoomed in on young John John as he saluted his father’s coffin.

    I also remember teaching a history lesson on the morning of 9/11. Two former students knocked frantically on the classroom door. Annoyed, I answered the door to the news that someone flew a plane into the WTC. I gave them my look that said I wasn’t amused. “Seriously sir! You should turn on the TV!” And so I did… and wished that I hadn’t as I saw the second plane crash into the other tower.

    • John, thanks for sharing these stories. You make them live with your whereabouts. I was at an intown retreat for 9/11. Our first reaction was also disbelief. But, working in a 60 story Bank of America tower, we feared being a target so we evacuated. Keith

      • John, I was at this offsite, so my colleagues were being evacuated. We leased space in the corporate HQ of BofA, so the symbol of our landlord gave everyone pause. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: A few more. I remember when the Berlin Wall fell (or was destroyed piece by piece). I remember when the Shah of Iran was overthrown and several Americans from Ross Perot’s company were taken hostage. What we Americans did not know, is the US helped overthrow a democratically elected leader to put the Shah in place in 1953.

    I remember when John Lennon was murdered and when Princess Diana was killed in a car accident precipitated by the paparazzi. I remember Jim Croce dying in a plane crash when his career was about to soar even more. I remember Harry Chapin dying in a car crash on the way to a charity concert. And, I remember Stevie Ray Vaughan being killed in a helicopter crash as he left a concert which included Eric Clapton. The latter switched places with Vaughan in the departure order, reminding me of Ritchie Valens winning a coin toss to ride with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper on that fateful plane crash years earlier.

    I remember the recession and oil shortage in the early 1970s where people lined up for gas and pushed cars into the lot after they ran out of gas in line.

  4. Nostalgia is good and aging makes everyone pause from time to time and remember what we had and the more you remember the more comforting it is. As we revel in our excellent abilities to recall days gone by one thing we usually don’t recall is a the bad things that happened back then that don’t happen now. That’s usually the case. I believe that nostalgia can also be used as an excuse to lament things happening today that we don’t like or understand and excuse our ignorance of advancements as not as good as what we had back in the day simply because we’re to lazy and uninterested to take the time necessary to learn the benefits of these advancements and strut our perceived superiority of sticking to what works because it gives us a sense of individuality. Entitlement! That I believe is where all this entitlement comes from.

    • Russ, well said. We should never forget the Jim Crow era and the many lynchings sung about in Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” Or, the Birmingham bombings oe Emmett Till. We should not forget the Pentagon Papers which recorded how leaders knew of the lost cause of Vietnam and sent people to die. We should not forget these things because racism and intolerance os rearing its ugly head and we have a President once again condemning the media.

      Thanks for your comment. If we do not learn from history, we are destined to repeat it. Keith

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