A Lot of Changes in 80-Odd Years

September 20, 1987

In preparing a talk to be given at my upcoming 65th high school reunion in Howell, Mich., I am beginning to realize the enormity of the changes that all the members of that Class of 1922 have seen in their 80-year lifetimes.

When we were young, for a nickel we could buy a newspaper and get three cents change. For a dime we could buy a hamburger with all the trimmings. Fifty cents paid for a luscious meal, including the tip. A five and 10 store was just that, with five thousand items to choose from for a nickel or a dime. First-class postage was 2 cents.We antedated singing commercials and Air Mail, plastic and pizzas, Social Security and the income tax. We were long before credit cards and Kinsey.  We have spanned the years from “there’s a man in the moon” fantasy to “man on the moon” reality, from “around the world in 80 days” fiction to “around the world in 80 seconds” communication.  We’ve bridged the time from carbon paper to copying machines, from nickelodeons to television, from stereopticon slides to videotape recorders. We’ve lived through the change from cap pistols to Star Wars, from Teddy Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, from Billy Sunday to Tammy Bakker. 

According to Bible records, Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. In our 80 years, the Class of 1922 members have weathered 100 times as many changes as Methuselah did in his entire 969.

What will the future bring? With the speed of change now in high gear, no one can even guess.


Capistrano Beach

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