I’m old enough to have put a quarter and two dimes my father gave me into a cigarette machine, asked the man at the gas station to help me pull the very stiff lever to dispense a pack of my father’s brand, thanked the man, and carried my purchase home to dad.
I’m old enough to have parked at an airport, walked thru the lobby to the ticket counter, bought the ticket with cash, received my ticket then walked to the end of the counter, out the door, across the tarmac, up the stairs , into the plane and sat down. Of course, I was careful to get to the airport at least twenty minutes before takeoff.
I’m old enough to have lain in a hospital bed, rang the nurse and asked her to bring me an ashtray and a match so I could smoke the cigarette I bummed off the doctor.
I’m old enough to have seen a formation of three B-36 Bombers fly over my house.
I’m old enough to have put a nickel and two penny’s in a coke machine, cranked the lever down, pulled a six-ounce Coke out of the tall glass door on the side of the machine, put the top of the bottle in a hole in the front, levered it down and pried the cap off.
I’m old enough to have gone to the local theater with one dollar in my pocket, bought a ticket for the Saturday Matinee of five movies, six cartoons and a serial episode; bought a bag of popcorn, a dill pickle, a twelve ounce coke and a hot dog.
I’m old enough to have gone to the theater to see; Ben Hur, Gone with the Wind (the studios used to release it for a short run every couple of years), My Fair Lady, The Sound Of Music, Gigi, Where the Boys Are, Follow the Boys ( I had a thing for Connie Francis) All of the Elvis movies, The Fastest Guitar in the West – the only movie Roy Orbison made, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Forbidden Planet, and Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (the first one)
I’m old enough to have seen the first broadcast of all of The Twilight Zone episodes, The Honeymooners, Star Trek (the first one), The Wonderful World of Disney (In black and white), and a twenty something Paul Newman in a bit part on a thirty minute Sci-Fi show.
I’m old enough to have seen a TV station sign off the air for the night, and back on in the morning.
I’m old enough to have stood in assembly in a public school and sang Christmas Carols, decorated a Christmas tree in my classroom and exchanged presents with my classmates. Old enough to have taken an Easter Break from school.
I’m old enough to have filled up a twenty gallon tank on my car for five dollars.
I’m old enough to have talked to a Civil War Vet, don’t remember what he said though.
I,m old enough to have driven across several states before the Inter-State Hwy. system was built.
I’m old enough to have seen Rock and Roll bands wearing suits and ties and playing steel guitars.
I’m old enough to have changed the oil in the Oil Bath Breather, checked the fluid level in the six volt battery, changed the spark plugs – points and condenser on the Flat – Head- Straight-Eight in my Pontiac, and polished the Fresnel lens on the dash so I could see the traffic light from under the foot wide visor mounted over the windshield.
I’m old enough to have seen the first president sworn in with his wife holding the bible. (Look it up, I won’t tell you who.)
I’m old enough to have looked at the TV section of the newspaper and seen what was showing on all five channels.
I’m old enough that all the movie stars I admired or lusted after are either dead or close to it.
I’m old enough that when I look at the magazines by the check-out counter, I don’t have the faintest idea who any of the names or faces are.
I’m old enough to have sat in the freshman class with the first Black students to attend school with White kids in my town.
I’m old enough to have drunk from ‘Whites Only’ and ‘Colored Only’ water fountains. Going from one to the other I couldn’t figure out what the difference was.
I’m old enough to have stood with my feet in a Fluoroscope and looked through a little window on top to see the bones of my feet in the new shoes my mother was buying for me. It seemed pretty neat at the time.
I’m old enough to have gotten really mad when the price of comic books went from 10 cents to 12 cents.
I’m old enough to remember our mother taking my three brothers and I to the doctor for our required shots and the occasional cut, broken bones, and the ‘thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to’, and my father covering the cost on a carpenters wages.
I’m old enough to have driven a car, flown in an aircraft, watched a TV, worked on Office equipment; none of which had a Single Computer Chip in them.
I’m old enough to have paid $1,000.00 for my first VCR. It was the size of a small suitcase.
I’m old enough to have gone to a reunion where everyone brought food for a supper on the grounds, and all of it, every pie, cake, pan of cobbler or Banana pudding, all the fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes and onions, Cole slaw, green beans, corn on the cob, okra, squash, rolls and biscuits came from one of the participants garden and kitchen.
None of it, Not a single dish, came from a fast food or grocery store.
I’m old enough to have watched them build, tear down and rebuild the same bank three times, and that’s where I end this tale.