Today, I was reflecting on this old blog post about my Dad. I realized I omitted a secondary facet of the story. Our family friend in this story, Bob James, had a special way of introducing his tales of yore. He would begin all his woeful with “Back in ’02.” He would then explain what was missing, “we didn’t have …,” and how those barriers were overcome in the old days, “we had to ….” The stories were dramatic exaggerations, but entertaining and maybe frightening to children. For example, Bob described how we should be grateful to ride the bus to school, because back in his day, back in ’02, they didn’t have buses; he had to walk 20 miles to and from school, uphill, in the rain and snow, in both winter and summer.
I always wondered how horrible life must have been way back “in ’02” without all the simple things we have today. Of course at that time, the simple things were automobiles and electricity.
I wonder, in the future, if I should explain to my grandkids that back ’52 we had to research using an archaic printed systems of card files and numeric cross-reference lists called the “Dewey Decimal System.” Of course, it would also have to occur in the rain and snow.