Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pages fade from memory

Yellow and white
London, ON, April 2008 [Click to embiggen]

About this photo: Another in this week's Thematic Photographic series on patterns. Please click here to share yours. We're also still taking captions for this week's Caption This entry (click here for that.) New one hits the blog tomorrow.
Technology is increasing the pace with which former staples of our lives disappear from our everyday existence. Already, I marvel at the things that were normal to a much younger me that our children will never know. Cassettes (ah, the mix tape), rotary dial phones, busy signals, the DOS command prompt and phone books merely scratch the surface of what we've lost.

So when I saw this phone directory in a phone booth (another soon-to-be goner, I suppose), I decided I should grab it photographically while I still could. Only after it sat in my archives for a few months did I realize the edge-on view makes for a pretty compelling pattern. Alas, it's still foreign to my kids - they'll just look it up online.

Your turn: Something that's either disappeared from our midst...or soon will. Please discuss.


Mojo said...

You read my mind Carmi. I had the idea that the pages of a book might bean interesting pattern, but never got around to taking the shot.

My oldest son might remember the time when we didn't have a computer in the house. When he was born (1982) the "personal computer" was still pretty much a novelty. His younger brother (born in 1987) wouldn't remember a time when there wasn't at least one computer in the house, and might have trouble remembering the time when there was only one. Their kids will never know a time when Grandpa's house didn't have (hard wired) network connections in most of the rooms. Or maybe by the time they have kids everything will have gone wireless.

I remember in The Time Before Pong when the most advanced thing we saw at the arcade was a digital scoreboard on the pinball machines (2 plays for a quarter!). I remember when you could get away with a few warmup frames at the bowling alley because scores were kept on paper. Which meant you had to know how to keep score (and add!).

Pay phones and typewriters, cash registers without scanners (or even the ability to calculate sales tax), soda machines that dispensed 16 oz glass bottles of your favorite cola for a dime. Gas pumps manned by actual gas pumpers that washed your windows and checked your oil at no extra charge (self service was the novelty then). And my father railing on the oil companies when gas went up to a quarter a gallon. the first time I saw 99.9 cents for a gallon (c. 1973 I think). I even bought gas for my own car for $0.47.

Crikey, I'm old...

tommie said...

My favorite find in any antique store is a card catalogue from an old library. They have all these fun little drawers for all the many adventures waiting to be read. Holding their breath waiting to be picked ...<----totally stole that from one of the kids' cartoons = Harry and a Bucket Full of Dinosaurs.

I haven't seen card catalogues in forever.....some ancient PC is usually there waiting to be pecked.

Barbara said...

Clotheslines and clothes pins. Today I was thinking of summer days spent with my grandmother. We would help her hang out the wet clothes to dry in the warm summer breeze --- that was after we "pulled" each item through the back of the ringers over the semi-automatic washer.

Milk delivered in glass bottles right to our door. Again at Grandma's, the Omar man delivered fresh bread and pastries once or twice a week. When we visited we got to pick our favorite donuts.

Remember when there was only one TV in the house; maybe two. Since we've moved I now have a TV in storage because there is an ample distribution around the house. I even have a computer in storage!

Floppy discs --- no, really, the soft ones that preceded the little squares that go into the A: drive. For that matter, A: drives. This laptop doesn't have one.

Enough already! Time to put on my night cap, sip a night cap, and put a lid on it!

Anonymous said...

A few days ago, in a fit a paternal discipline, I used the phrase, "I'm tired of sounding like a broken record." My eight year old asked, "Dad, what's a broken record?"



Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Along the same line as r. sherman - once at a thrift store, when my son was about 4 or 5, he looked at the records and said, "Wow! Those are huge CDs!"

I'm definitely as old as Mojo. I remember my first car (65 Impala convertible) and how I could scavenge up a dollar's worth of change and that would buy me TWO ENTIRE GALLONS of gas!

I do hang towels on a line, so they are familiar with the true purpose of clothes pins (they're not just for holding bags of chips closed). I also have my grandfather's portable typewriter that I pull out once in a great while. But it does have the automatic return. I actually learned on one where you reached up and pulled the lever across the typewriter for the return.

Oh, I have one - what about the television with a DIAL for changing channels? You know, you had to wait at least a minute or two for it to warm up? And when you turned it off, it faded out into that little dot in the center. You could stare at it for awhile before it went away entirely. We only had three channels here - the major networks, and maybe one for PBS. There was no 24-hour tv. "Ant wars" my husband called them - all the static when there was no more broadcast.

And what about going to the drive-in theater? I know there are still some around, but not many. My kids don't know what it's like to climb into the station wagon in your pj's to head to a movie.

Last but not least, we lived seatbelt free (not that living dangerously is always free), so in our station wagon, my sister and I would lay all the seats down, wrap up in blankets while sitting cross-legged, and my dad would take corners a little faster, stop and start more abruptly, and we would slide wildly around the back of the big old station wagon! It was a blast. Sometimes we crashed. Sometimes we wonked our heads on the car somewhere. But we never cared. It was too much fun. Sort of akin to the days of rolling down a hill in a barrel. It's no wonder I have scrambled brains as an adult! LOL!

On the seatbeltless note, we also rode in the back of the pick-up all the time. We sat in the back corners. Me on the left, my sister on the right. For a time, my dad even put bucket seats back there for us to sit upon. Not attached. Just sitting there. Even on the highway. But I especially remember going to the neighborhood drive-in for a cherry dipped ice cream cone, while riding in the back of the pick-up. The cool thing? We take our kids to the same joint. Only we ride in a topless jeep - with seatbelts.

Crazy stuff. :D

Anonymous said...

Ahhh! GREAT stuff from EVERYONE here! Dianne's thoughts were my favorites--I can remember lying in the back window of our car and feeling the warmth from the sun; my own children enjoy the RARE treat of riding in the back of my husband's pick-up. What's novelty for them was common for me.

My first thought was "record player" in answer to your question. I can remember slumber parties with my girlfriends and we'd all bring our favorite 45s and play them over and over and OVER. S i g h...old fashioned jukeboxes are SO much cooler than today's CD version.

You've inspired me again, Carmi! I hope you have time to look at my post for today. I know you've been through Chattanooga before, and yesterday, while we were tooling around downtown with guests, I found a thousand pictures (almost ;) ) for this week's TP.


Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

another masterpeice from you, carmi!!!! at first glance, it looked like the threads/tassles on an old scarf ...........beautiful shot!