I passed a test — or flunked it depending on one’s point of view — sent by email earlier this week.
“The result?” you ask.
“I now know that I am truly older than dirt,” I answer.
The email, sent by a friend, truly made me think about what I’ve experienced in life and how times have changed. A second one, sent from another friend without the test, just made the realization sink in deeper.
Am I old? Sometimes, I think so. At other times I don’t feel quite so old even though I always realize I’m no spring chicken. My body reminds me of that daily and those frustrating senior moments make me wonder just how many brain cells I have left.
The emails took me back to simpler times. And, I actually remembered.
One included a saying we “old fogeys” grew accustomed to over the years. It was from NBC’s nightly news team. “Good night, David,” the first phrase read. It ended, “Good night, Chet.”
I remembered Chet Huntley and David Brinkley as if it were yesterday. And then, I thought, “And that’s the way it is...” recalling Walter Cronkite’s normal sign off on his CBS news show.
Both of those take you back a while.
The one titled “Older Than Dirt” reminded me that fast food came along in my lifetime, that drive-in banking did too and that television signed off the air nightly with the National Anthem. It took me back to walking or riding a bike to school, to using the phone on a party line, to the day when there were newspaper delivery boys and milk was delivered to the home — not pizzas.
I smiled when I read about headlight dimmer switches being located in the car’s floorboard, ignition switches on the dash and used cola bottles with holes punched in the metal cap recalling they were used in the days before steam irons.
The email ended with an older than dirt quiz. It listed 15 items.
The scoring system was simple. If you remembered 0-3 you were termed young.
Recall 3-6 and you’re getting older, 7-10 don’t remember your age and 11-15 “you’re older than dirt.”
I got 14 out of 15. Well, 15 out of 15 if you count me remembering people using wash tub wringers. Luckily for mom, we didn’t have one at our house.
Do you remember (just a few because the point is not to make folks feel bad): candy cigarettes, television test patterns, peashooters, 45-RPM records, metal ice trays with or without the lever, cork popguns, blue flashbulbs and Howdy Doody?
Join the club. Like me, you’re older than dirt. But, those memories of balsa airplanes, snowy black and white television with only three channels, no seat belts in automobiles, Keds, PF Flyers and Hush Puppies, Easter bonnets, AM radio only and no credit cards sure are special.
If you’re old, pass this on to someone older than you. You will make their day in one way or another.