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Thread: Life 50 years ago.. for better or worse

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Life 50 years ago.. for better or worse

    Some people feel life was simpler back then (my DH for instance).

    Others might feel we've come a long way (baby).

    Some of you here are going to remember well life back then when you see this slideshow:

    http://www.countryliving.com/life/g5.../?src=arb_fb_d

    Others, the "young'uns" here, will simply have to imagine what it was like (hint--only landlines, no computers, no seat belts, no civil rights to speak of).
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I was married 53 years ago so a lot of the images are actual memories for me. Most had little impact on my life living in Canada.
    I believe 1963 was the first year that student loans were available and mine was $500. I repaid it in 6 months from my first job after graduation.
    My DH could borrow money without my knowledge or consent and I was liable for that debt. I could not borrow money without his knowledge or consent.
    I love, love my life today! So much has improved for me, my children and the world. We seem to take it all for granted but I know how things used to be and never cease to be grateful.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Hah! Thanks for posting. When I compare quality of life in 1968 to quality of life now, I find it to be a mixed bag. Some things, like advances in rights for women and minorities and advances in medical technology are unqualified goods. Some modern conveniences, like ATMs and cell phones, are useful.

    Other "advances" in technology, not so much. Cable TV has simply taken the vast wasteland and made it vaster. Always-on connectivity is mainly useful for corporations to keep their workers on a tighter leash. Advances in computer technology have made possible tremendous increases in worker productivity, but those benefits have been very unevenly shared.

    One thing that always strikes me when I think about our household in 1968 versus the households I see today is how much simpler everything was. My family, and virtually all of our neighbors, had one phone, one TV, one record player, one camera, one or two radios, and minimal appliances--maybe a toaster and blender for the kitchen. Most consumer goods were a lot more expensive, which some might see as a disadvantage, but it made us more thoughtful about what we bought.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I personally like the one (#18) that talks about how "rotary phones remained popular for household use until well into the '70s."

    We moved to our current home in 1985, and it still had a rotary wall phone. A couple of years later, one of my son's friends asked if he could use the phone to call his mother. I said, sure.

    I didn't hear any sounds coming from the kitchen, but he emerged a few minutes later. I asked him, "Chris, did you get your mother on the phone?" He said, "No, I couldn't figure out how to use it."

    I can't remember when we finally gave up the rotary phone, but it probably wasn't until the 90s.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    I was almost 7. Life was so good, fun, home was loving with great neighborhood. Can't add much more than that for my own life 50 years ago.

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    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    50 years ago I was in third grade, and starting to read the encyclopedia for fun (we had no childrens books at my house). Little could I have imagined, that I could have every encyclopedia every made ***in my pocket***!! Even just 40 years ago, I had a guidance counselor tell me that girls can't be engineers, and why didn't I be an English teacher instead. Its an amazing world indeed. We still have some intractable problems, for sure, but so much progress in so many arenas!

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Really, I have to challange the no civil rights to speak of generalization. I cant let that go.

    This countrys entire founding story is the ultimate exercise in civil rights.

    But carry on.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I personally like the one (#18) that talks about how "rotary phones remained popular for household use until well into the '70s."

    We moved to our current home in 1985, and it still had a rotary wall phone. A couple of years later, one of my son's friends asked if he could use the phone to call his mother. I said, sure.

    I didn't hear any sounds coming from the kitchen, but he emerged a few minutes later. I asked him, "Chris, did you get your mother on the phone?" He said, "No, I couldn't figure out how to use it."

    I can't remember when we finally gave up the rotary phone, but it probably wasn't until the 90s.
    Dont know why you would give up a perfectly good phone! Our rotary phone still works and we have it up on our third floor in DH’s tv room.

    Meanwhile, the cute retro style phone I purchased one year ago has already gone kaput, the cheap
    Chinese piece of junk that it is. It was made to look loke a rotary phone from the outside.

  9. #9
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    In the 50's we had one of those windup phone that were wooden boxes about 18" tall and 6" wide and deep. Not sure when they bit the dust. I really liked the rotary phone by comparison.

    In the mid-70's we were on a rural party line. You could hear the nosy folks listening in by their breathing.

    One time, the police from another province were trying to get hold of us for some info but we were on holiday. It drove the various neighbours on our party line totally nuts because they would keep asking us if any thing happened on our holiday and we answered no. Turned out someone had finally answered our ring and told the police that we were away so they speculated all kinds of adventures. The police had told them who was calling and a contact number. We never did tell the neighbours the answer to the mystery. Chuckling just thinking about it. Nowadays with cellphones, the entire world hears what you are saying.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I could probably argue a case that life is simpler now with all the electronic devices and media. I can remember a time as a kid when we did not have a dishwasher, garbage disposal, or garage door opener. We trimmed the lawn edges with hand clippers. Cars were always breaking down and since Dad always bought retreads you needed tires every 10,000 miles or so. The houses in my block had an alley and next to the alley everyone had a concrete or brick ash pit in their backyard where they would burn trash, which seems pretty wild these days. And we were pretty middle class..

    It all seems to have freed up a lot of time for people to use cell phones, play computer games, and watch cable TV (joking, but there were some better things about the old days).

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