When was the last time…?

Nick Wolochatiuk ~ Dances With Words
When was the last time…?
POVERTY OR FASHION? – Do you remember when jeans with rips and holes were a sign of hard work or poverty, not an expensive fashion statement? (Photo by Nick Wolochatiuk)

If you’re too young for a driver’s licence, or you’re just visiting from another planet, nothing of what is to follow will evoke any memories. You’ll have to have a chat with your grandma.

When’s the last time you received or wrote a hand-written letter? To receive one today is a rare and memorable event. Very few people do cursive writing today. They communicate by Tweet, texting or E-mail. A computer-generated letter can be written in a font such as Bradley Hand TC, but it’s as treasured as a photocopy of the Mona Lisa. Can you imagine in the Ten Commandments, Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence were delivered in the form of a tweet? Any American president whose main form of policy proclamation is in ALL CAPS deserves to be voted out of office.

You’d be amazed if this winter a youngster appeared at your door, asking “Wanna pay me to shovel the snow off your sidewalk?”

Bread and milk used to be delivered to the window ledge beside the front door. The milk was in glass bottles, with the top all cream. When was the last time that happened at your place?

Can you remember the sound of coal for the furnace tumbling down the chute into the basement bin? Heat for our homes is now delivered silently through wires or pipelines and not noticed.

Back then, any day you saw a line of cars approaching and their headlights were on, you pulled onto the shoulder. It was a sign of respect of a passing funeral cortege.

To signal turning left, right or slowing down, there were prescribed hand signals. Then the Morris Minors and Austin Devons from the UK introduced flipper signals. They too are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, too many of today’s drivers don’t signal their intent in any manner.

Starting in the 1940s, rural roads had signs proclaiming “TRACTORS WITH LUGS PROHIBITED”. Do you remember having to affix new licence plates every year, rather than just slapping on a renewal sticker?

If you remember any of the above, you are about my age, and you could add dozens more ‘remember whens…’

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