A look at then and now


By Jim Bucher



Sorta’ funny to think about it.

When I was in high school way back in 1977 at Dayton Christian (6 years, but I made it!) staring at the clock on the wall in Spanish III class, daydreaming about the year 2000, which was just 23 short years away, wondered what life had in store.

Now, some 17 years after the turn of the century, much has changed. To put it in perspective, I was 17 at the time, same age as my youngest daughter is now.

Back then we thought about playing at the local park after school. Today kids romp in a virtual one on their mobile devices.

What else is different, then to now?

Well, teens ‘hook up’ on-line. Back then, we wrote love letters and stuck it in a locker.

Today you order food through a microphone. Then we actually parked the car, walked in to the neighborhood Hasty Tasty, and ordered face to face with another human being.

Way back when you filled out a withdrawal slip for cash standing in line at Gem City Savings. Today it’s drive through ATM machines all the way.

Currently while checking out at the grocery, again use your debit card and the new ‘chip’ device. Then, at IGA you wrote a check with proper ID of course.

Right now, you can check your mobile device for the cheapest gas, fill up at self-serve.

Then, gas stations competed for your $$ with attendants cleaning your windshield, checking the oil, and offering glassware, dishes and the latest Firestone Christmas album at Sohio. Anyone remember those?

Also, you went to the IGA for milk, bread and cheese. Now convenience stores/gas stations got you covered. With conveniently higher price.

Now, all your news comes on-line. Then, the Dayton Daily News was delivered sometimes twice a day to your home.

Today, your gas and electric meters are electronically read with the dreaded bills coming soon after. Back then, the DP&L meter reader entered your home and had enough keys from neighbors heavy enough to use as an anchor. And you could hear he or she blocks away by the loud jingling.

Today, friends or family are one call or text away from your mobile device. Then it was, ‘Who’s on the upstairs extension, I need to make a phone call.’ If you wanted privacy, could always use the pay phone booth on the corner. Also, remember the ‘busy signal?’

Presently there is a plethora of devices to catch your fav TV show. Cable, satellite, tablet, PC, phone. Then it was ‘rabbit ears’ turned a specific way to receive the clearest picture, and occasionally tin foil. Also, today you can binge watch shows when you want. Years ago, it was, ‘join us next week, same time, same channel’ for The Brady Bunch praying it wasn’t a rerun.

Today you can purchase movie tickets on line or at a kiosk at the theater. Back in the day you would pile in the family station wagon and head to the Salem Mall Cinema’s where you’d have to physically show up to the box office. Didn’t know if a show was sold out until then. Or had the option of waiting ‘on hold’ for the three-minute phone recording with the rundown of that days shows.

Not too long ago, if you had difficulty in making a long-distance call, dialing zero would connect you with a live operator. Today, you need to push this and that and this again to hopefully get someone who speaks English.

For high school homework chances are you studied from real live text book. (I believe they still use those seeing my daughters book bag which needs a backhoe to lift.) And you used a typewriter for term papers unless you needed a new ribbon. Today, word processors and printers do the trick.

Also, back then your automobile had an AM/FM radio with the possibility of an 8-Track or cassette deck. Today your car talks to you and tends to cause a driver to say’ ‘shut the hell up!’

At this time, you can take top quality photos with your phone and print in seconds. Back then you purchased film, had it developed then picked up at your local parking lot Photo-Mat. Unless lucky enough to own a Polaroid Instant Camera. The envy of the block.

When I was a kid, during summer break from school and while playing outside, your folks made you head home when the street lights came on. Now, you better answer your FaceTime or I’m coming to get you via ‘find my iPhone.’

So, what will my off-spring be writing about 17 years from today, about their kids.

‘If you don’t get your dad’s flying car home right now you’re grounded to your pod on Mars for a month.’

Some things will never change. — Cheers, Buch

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By Jim Bucher

Buch is a local resident and a guest columnist.

Buch is a local resident and a guest columnist.