When the ice storm was forecast last week I dug out our old, green, full-size rotary telephone and hooked it up downstairs in case we lost power and our cordless phones were inoperable.
Even though the threat has passed, I can’t put it away. First of all, just looking at it takes me back 50 years. And then there’s its ring. Sounds like a fire alarm compared my other phones. Rattles the woodwork.
It also got me waxing nostalgic for other 60s gadgets.
Remember when you got your first transistor radio? I sure do. Fit in the palm of my hand (in fact, about the size of one of today’s smartphones). Having one said you were “cool,” as you could take the top hits from WHB AM out of Kansas City wherever you went.
I vividly remember listening to Percy Sledge sing “When A Man Loves A Woman” on my transistor radio at a strip pit swim with the Kotzman brothers. Can you dig it?
How about cassette tape recorders. Way cool.
I would record my own comedy shows and do sound effects with my friends. Still have one of those too. I also have a cassette player — aka boom box — because I have a ton of far out music on cassettes that I can’t play in my car or on my stereo anymore. Bummer.
Going through my attic a while back I came across my Classic Samsonite attaché case. The one I got when I first went to work after college. Made of lightweight plastic and aluminum, it was thin and sturdy. Even had locks … just in case I was required to carry some secret documents, like 007. Remember who sang “Secret Agent Man”?
I was in the 5th grade when I got my first Shaeffer Cartridge pen. This was a grade school status step up from the ballpoint, but they could get messy sometimes. Like when we squeezed the cartridges onto folded paper to make inkblots. More than once I got it on my shirt. My mom flipped out.
I have a scrapbook in which I have an entry the day John Glenn made the first American orbital flight around the earth in February of 1962. No mistaking the flowing, light-blue, cursive ink script of my Shaeffer Cartridge pen.
The Polaroid Swinger camera was hot when it came out in the late 1960s as it gave instant pictures so there was no required trip to the drug store and ensuing wait for developing. The photos were black and white … but so were most TVs.
I’m guessing the name ‘Swinger’ was selected as a reference to the “Swinging 60s.” They also had flashcubes rather than bulbs. Very Groovy.
Well, that’s about it for my gadget flashbacks. To close, here’s a few musings from my random notes file:
Word has it that part of Brownback’s latest budget balance proposal includes disposing of mug shots when arresting city, county or state offenders and, instead, requiring them to take a selfie.
With the way e-commerce is taking off, it won’t be long before you can place online orders for leftovers – maybe from tablescraps.com.
With the new year comes renewed determination to moderate the amount of food going in my pie hole. The key word for me is moderate. I’m not much for the word diet.
Of course, along with pie hole moderation comes standing on the scale, which is best done in your birthday suit. But you can’t always strip down. How many of you readers, besides me, put your car keys and cell phone aside when weighing in at the doctor’s office to knock off a few ounces?
Other ideas I’ve had but not followed through on before weighing: get a haircut; take off my glasses, go to the bathroom and trim my nails.
Overheard in a supermarket checkout line this week: In America, anyone can be president! Yeah, that’s the problem!
Speaking of grocery store lines, hold up your hand if you remember when “on line dating” meant trying to pick someone up in the grocery store checkout line.
— J.T. Knoll is a writer, speaker and prevention and wellness coordinator at Pittsburg State University. He also operates Knoll Consulting & Mindfulness Services in Pittsburg. He can be reached at 231-0499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.