By Kevin Williams
There are a lot of things that the passage of time makes me miss. Here are a few on my mind today, how many of these do you remember?
GLASS BOTTLES: I remember once a week or so loading up a shopping cart full of glass bottles to return to the grocery store for a deposit. There many things I can take away from this pleasant memory. One, gee, where did I get my current adult addiction to sodas? I think taking shopping carts full of empty soda bottles to the grocery store sort of point towards a culprit. The grandmother lived within an easy walk of the supermarket and I spent a lot of time at her house as a kid. There was always a grocery cart parked outside Grandma’s house for my Aunt’s frequent walks to the supermarket. Um, don’t think you were supposed to just help yourself to the carts and keep them at your house, but that was a different era….SIGH, gone are the glass bottles…I think the soda tasted the best in a cold, glass bottle. You can still get Coke in glass bottles at the Mexican grocery in town, but I’m trying to avoid Coke altogether these days…
LONG DISTANCE: I don’t think anyone misses the long distance bills, but I’m sure most of you remember interrupting someone who is on the phone and they’d cup their hand over the receiver and say to you “just a second, I can’t be interrupted, this is long distance” And with those two magic words – “long distance” - the person would politely back off and let the person finish their call because everyone knew what those two words meant. It always meant the call was "important." Kind of nostalgic for those code words that meant someone very important was on the other end.
PAY PHONES: I kind of miss them. Yes, they were germy. But there was something somewhat satisfying about sticking a dime into the machine and being able to call anywhere. I remember the last time I ever used one. Not sure why I remember, but it was in Toledo from a rest stop on a cold, rainy night. I think my cell phone battery was dead so I was calling Rachel. That was probably around 2005.
ICE CREAM TRUCK: I remember the joy at hearing the jingle of the ice cream truck. They’re still around, but – is it me? – they just seem sketchier than they used to be. Not sure if Aster will ever experience that same joy.
CHECK WRITING: As soon as I turned 16 or 17 I got my first book of checks and I learned quickly that you always had a “couple of days” (this was back in the late 80s) before a check would clear so, well, yeah, there was a little bit of a built-in float. Now with hi-tech innovations the float is gone and, so, are checks, really. At least for me. I rarely write checks anymore. In fact, I rarely carry cash anymore. I miss cash.