In the years since home computers arrived we’ve watched an overall evening out of the culture from urban to rural, West to East and North to South.
The cultural differences of the different areas are slowly disappearing (but are still obvious) because there is so much interaction via social media and the immediacy of information transfer via every form of media.
So, if a kid graduated high school even in 1978 (technically he’d be a senior citizen by now), as an adult, he never knew life without a computer and his remembrances of pre-computer times would be his school days.
A 1998 graduate lived with computers and cell phones from the moment he/she was slipped into their first diaper.
Guns Were Just “There”: there’s a two-minute 16mm film floating around somewhere that I shot with my dad’s camera and my ten-year-old friends and I are using real Mausers and German Lugers playing war. In this case, it was a single shot and I turned it down in favor of roller skates (dad had a roller rink) and the next year I paid for my own Marlin lever action .22. Rule was I couldn’t go out shooting with any of my friends for two years, but I’d be gone all day prowling around the rivers and small forests a few miles from town.
The same year (this was NOT universal) I paid for a wooden crate a vet brought back from WW II. M-80s: They were common and we blew up everything we could find. Match guns: Modified wooden clothes pins to light and throw wooden matches at least 20 feet.
Still have most of it and the sub guns have been legalized. Trying to see how fast I could get my new speedometer to go, hit almost 30 mph going down the hill past Hughes brothers plant. Bike buried in snow: storm hit while we were in school. I had a bunch of them usually found in wind breaks (narrow rows of trees where everyone’s junk accumulated at the edges of fields).
9/11 is a classic example of that: Rather than reading about it in the paper the day after or seeing a TV broadcast of the high lights that night, at the time it was happening, my daughter called me and we watched the towers fall together on the phone, her in LA, me in Phoenix sitting on the floor next to the bed on Marlene’s side. It wasn’t something that happened in New York, which only a few years earlier was considered by most of us in the Fly-over States to be so far away geographically and culturally that it was located on the moon, it was something that happened to every one of us in our own living spaces at the same time.
This kind of immediacy was unimaginable only a few years earlier.
I look back at the happenings during my high school years and don’t even bother bringing any of them up to my kids because the immense changes make them nothing more than quaint tales from a long ago time in a country that no longer exists.
However, when you line a bunch of them up, they not only point out the differences but some are amusing.