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Because I work for an Anderson County institution that has been in operation since the late 1800s, I feel it’s my duty to appreciate the reporters, designers and proofreaders who came before me by taking a trip into The Anderson News archives.
I recently got my hands on a bound archive of the paper from 1973, and I realized something.
Well, two things.
One: the R-rated movies that used to play at the Twin Hills Drive-In are much more racy and more seemingly degrading toward women based on just reading their titles than anything I’ve seen in recent YouTube movie trailers.
Two: there are physical objects that existed 40 years ago that I’m not sure kids today have any clue about.
Before you hear the last sentence as a crotchety “them darn kids with their newfangled phones” complaint, I do not place blame on anyone under the age of 30 for these things fading away to the yellow pages of newspaper archives.
Things change. Products get better and more efficient, for the most part.
I, for one, appreciate efficiency.
But I thought it might be fun for some of our readers to quiz their children or grandchildren to see if they know some of these commonplace objects circa 1973.
In the interest of youth research for The Anderson News, I asked my 19-year-old sister what she thought via e-mail (per her request) because calling people on the phone is so 2004.
One of my earliest anxieties about the opposite sex was wondering if I should ask Mike, the cute blond who had a locker next to me in the sixth grade, to skate with me around the rink.
We’d fall in love under the epileptic flashes of colored lights and the smell of burnt popcorn as the roller rink piped in the latest radio single from the spring of 2000.
It would have been if I ever got the courage move from the wallflower wall to ask Mike to escort me around the rink during the Sadie Hawkins-esque portion of the roller rink dance.
I know Mike is probably out there somewhere, pining for me when he hears an early Britney Spears song on the radio.
I apologize, Mike.
Now that roller rink locations are few and far between, I’m afraid there’s an entire generation who will miss this opportunity for soul-crushing rejection and adolescent awkwardness.
Middle schoolers out there: you don’t know what you’re missing.
My sister’s answer (she’s a senior-level figure skater): “I think of my figure skating even though the sports are completely different, they are slightly relatable. Have I ever been to a roller rink? Yes. In 3rd grade.”
And you think the design deficiencies of the iPhone’s iOS7 are first-world travesties. Think about dealing with the excruciating pauses in switchboards as you’re transferred to a call for a moment.
My sister’s answer: “Switchboards … I am thinking this is something technical/techie or is it that thing on the side of our house? Have I seen one? Based on my first answer I have no clue.”
I collect typewriters like some people collect decorative plates or postcards. By collect, I mean I own exactly one.
My sister’s answer: “Portable typewriter — I think of old-fashioned and how you liked to write with one like the olden people. Yes I have seen one; we have one in the basement.”
Record player console
Once upon a time, you needed an entire console on wheels just to play music.
No web surfing. No TV. Just to play music. Really.
My sister’s answer: “I think of Michael Jackson [when I think of a record player console] because one time [my best friend] and I played Thriller on her mom’s record player.”
Wikipedia, meet your extinct Neanderthal ancestor — the encyclopedia.
My sister’s answer: “One word for this. Gross. I hate big words. No me gusta.”