I remember when … wait … what?
It’s official. I am old.
The turning point for me coming around to this reality is recent conversations I have had with my children, my wife, friends at church, a person sitting on a park bench, a recent visitor off the American Queen and someone I randomly called out of the phone book (yes, the phone book).
During those conversations, I found myself using the phrase, “I remember when …” Yep, that’s the one. That’s the saying that, despite what your driver’s license says, how effective your Grecian formula hair product is, or how old you claim to be mentally, firmly plants you in the “old” category.
It doesn’t matter the conversation’s topic, location or length, I am completely capable and comfortable using “I remember when” and using it correctly.
With my children, I have used it when threatening punishment, or talking about school. I have used it with colleagues talking about how newspapers were once produced and the changes being faced by our industry.
It has even creeped into social conversations, like talking about how Wednesday afternoons and evenings were left to mid-week church services and time with family.
When working as editor of The Clanton Advertiser, a daily newspaper serving Chilton County, Alabama, about 40 minutes north of Montgomery, I remember having to rush around early on Wednesdays to get what I needed because most — correct that … all — the businesses and banks would close at noon.
Sporting events, either recreational or connected to the schools, were never played on a Wednesday and if anything was happing in Clanton on a Wednesday evening, it was happening at a church.
This was a community rooted deep in the Bible Belt of Alabama. It was a conservative, hardworking community driven by agriculture. Ever heard of Chilton County peaches? You should have. They’re amazing and have at times been sold at the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market.
While this was less than 20 years ago, time did seem simpler, slower and far less hectic.
In no way am I critiquing today’s society. I am as guilty as anyone about having something on a Wednesday night keep me and the family away from church.
Technology today is supposed to make our lives easier, but the time we have freed up with technology has been filled with other “stuff,” creating a life that is at best described as a roller coaster, and at its worst, a car crash that you’re simply hoping to hold on.
I remember when politics was more amicable, the television was three channels and a fuzzy PBS outlet, and the speed limit on the Interstate was 55 miles per hour.
Many things in our lives have changed for the better, but I remember when there was time we could stop, take a breath and do the things that were important to our lives and our family.
All of this doesn’t make me old … does it?
Tim Reeves is editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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