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Vintage 1980 - All Original Parts

So once again my birthday has come and gone. Another year passes by, and I don't feel any more grown up than the previous years.


Must be my strong sense of immaturity.


Growing up, I always had the comfort that no matter what happened, my parents knew what to do. They knew everything. Parental wisdom. As I became a parent, I realized that wasn't true. I believe they winged it like I do now. Do what you think is right, and hope for the best. THAT'S parental wisdom. If it doesn't work out, learn from your mistakes and try again. Never let your kids down, and always want better for them than what you had.


I grew up in the 80's and 90's. As a kid back then, after watching our Saturday morning cartoons (and having to wait an entire week to watch the next episode unlike kids today with Netflix and other streaming media), we would disappear all day. Riding bikes around the neighborhood, playing with friends, etc. The one golden rule being as soon as it started to get dark, you better get your butt back home.


Video games became popular in the 80's and 90's. I, myself, had a Super Nintendo, and a computer. Wanted cheat codes for your favorite games? Ask a friend who may have some, or head to a bookstore and page through the latest monthly gaming magazine. In today's world, if you are playing a game and want a way to get ahead... pull our your credit card and buy your in-game money or items. Game glitchy? well we couldn't download game updates like we can now. You better pull that cartridge out, blow into it, shake it a bit, and plug it back in, or get that boot disk in your computer, restart it, and free up some of that memory to play your game.


We had social media back then... it was called hanging out with your friends. Whether at the mall, or grouped up at a friend's house to game all day. Hey, we also had AOL chat rooms, email, and instant messaging. $9.95 for 5 hours of internet per month... Can any of you actually do 5 hours or less of internet time in a month? And how about that screeching modem sound, or waiting 2-3 minutes for a web page to load?


Had a report due in school? Better head down to the public or school library. Not sure where to find that book? Better start perusing through the book catalog, and hope you are proficient at the Dewey Decimal System. Good times...


MTV actually played music videos back then...


Toy companies seemed to take more pride in their toy manufacturing. I think toys back then were much better made...well, with the exception of lead paint.


Pagers or "beepers" were popular, although if you were caught one in school you'd be expelled. Of course, if someone were to page you, you'd still have to use someone's phone, or have some change to use a payphone...which don't exist anymore. Cell phones were relatively new, and expensive. I had a cell phone at 16. Not slim and trim like today's phones. Big and bulky, and looking rather awkward if stuffed in your pants pocket. No unlimited calling. No cellular internet. No text messaging.


I think my generation was the transitional generation. We grew up without technology, and with technology. We are a mix of old and new. Caught between two worlds. We survived without the internet. We survived without social media. We had Toys R Us.



Photo of me snapped by my wife as I ponder life on my birthday while we were on a lunch date.

© 2020 by Phillip Ward