May 192016

OBH Photo TRS 80The somewhat inelegant title of this article is a comment I saw on a social media network when someone posted the You Tube video for the song Brand New Key by Melanie. It was released in 1971.  Which got me to thinking. . . . I know.  Dangerous, eh?

My first thought was, “Whaddya mean you don’t know WTF a roller skate key is?” And then it hit me that it’s probably been a long time since kids strapped on those metal skates and tightened them onto their PF Flyers with a key. Let’s see what else I remember from my childhood days of yore.

>I had an original Barbie doll.
>I had an original Hula Hoop.
>I was married by the time the first Atari ping pong ball jumped the cyber net.
>I was married when Beta and/or VHS movies became *the thing* to watch at home.
>I got my first cell phone at 49.

And the beat goes on.

Okay, okay, I’ve got it. I quality for Certified Old Fart status.

In my own defense, though, I should point out that I had a computer in 1985. It was a Radio Shack TRS 80, lovingly called a TRASH 80 by its aficionados. For what I paid for that machine back then, I could get one today that could run your life, right down to cooking your eggs sunny side up. It used huge 8″ floppy disks (two of them!) and it was slow. S-L-O-W. How slow? Thanks for asking. My old joke was that you could give it a command, go cook dinner, have dessert, wash and put away the dishes and you might. . . . might come back to a finished task.

Today’s younguns have grown up on technology. That’s both good and bad. They can run circles around me techwise, but will they ever know the extreme thrill of getting royally pissed and slamming a heavy black telephone receiver down in an attempt to shatter the ear drum of the person on the other end of the line? Can they jump Double Dutch? Do they know what Olly Olly Oxen Free means? Well, quite frankly, I had to look that one up for the exact meaning. . . but my pronunciation was first rate!

And, unfortunately, most of them will never know the thrill of tightening your skates with a skate key and taking off down the sidewalk or the back alley with the wind in your hair. It’s sad, really.

The children of today have all new entertainment, some of it good and some of it not so good. I applaud the new and the good, but I mourn the passing of the old.

Now where did I put that skate key?

OBH over and out.