The Nostalgia Post – Things I sorta miss

I’ve been a technogeek most of my life – pretty much since I pushed a touch-tone phone pad at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.  In this digital age of the iPad, Netflix, and other new consumer technologies, it is clear that technology has changed much of what we do each day.  There are arguments to be made about the cost of technological advance, in terms of impact on human behavior, effects on our environment, and in other ways, but I will leave those to another time.  Instead, here I present a list of some of the things that, while probably not as efficient or as cheap as we do them now, I miss at least a little bit.

  • Running to the store to pick up photos 3-5 days after we dropped off the film, and wondering how they’ll turn out.
  • Waiting at the mailbox for the photos 5-7 days after I mailed in the film, and wondering how they’ll turn out.
  • My Polaroid Swinger and Model 80B Land cameras
  • Gathering the family around a double 8 projector to watch the 4-minute silent movie that just came back from the processor.
  • My sore index finger, after repeatedly dialing a busy phone number.
  • Phone number exchanges that had meaning: TUxedo, FRanklin, BUtterfield, PEnnsylvania.
  • 45 RPM single records, paying only 79¢ for the one song you wanted, and occasionally finding a gem on the flip side.
  • Console television sets
  • Pocket-size AM radios with awful sounding earphones
  • Chemistry sets
  • Heathkits
  • A clear starting date for the new television season
  • Movie double features
  • Drive-in theaters (yes, there are still some around)

What do you miss?

7 thoughts on “The Nostalgia Post – Things I sorta miss

  1. Though they aren’t practical anymore, I do miss 45s. I used to stack about 10 or 15 on the stereo, turn out the lights and listen to them straight through in the dark. With iTunes, there’s no such thing as a “rare” B-Side. Everything is as available as everything else, which is probably better for all of us. But I still remember buying the single for George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set on You,” listening to the A-Side, then flipping it over to discover an amazing song called “Lay His Head.” I used to listen to it on infinite repeat, so much so that the record developed a pronounced hiss from overplay. That song still hasn’t been re-released and isn’t available on CD or any legal download. The only way I get to hear it now is on YouTube:

  2. And a few more I omitted:
    E-Ticket rides
    AG-1 and AG-1B flash bulbs
    Magicube flash
    Kodak Instamatic and Pocket Instamatic cameras

  3. Don’t miss the sore rotary finger, but do sorta miss the sound of the dial clicking back in place.
    Here in Rochester, we have a theater that shows double features (cheaply!) but we have a special reason to miss photo processing, flash bulbs and the Instamatic: the demise of film is the demise of Kodak, our former #1 employer and regional economic engine.
    It’s the transistor radio, though, with all it embodied – the nightly waiting to hear a few favorite songs, the excitement of a new release, the variety of music and the first time hearing a new artist – that’s #1 on my list.

  4. I don’t miss film processing because I still shoot film, though not exclusively. And I still buy vinyl records: singles and albums, though the singles are a lot more expensive these days.

    I miss something worth watching on broadcast television. I don’t have cable and I prefer to watch series on DVD, but I will put the TV on when I’m home on the weekends. Sunday in fall is still full of football, but I have been amazed by the amount of paid programming on the networks, especially on Saturday afternoons. All the niche sports (remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports), weird movies and Star Trek reruns are all on cable channels now, so the networks that don’t have a major sporting event just run infomercials all day.

  5. Just found this thread from a few months ago…

    -I miss when area codes were few enough that you could be a geek and actually memorize (most of) them and know where a long-distance number was located. And when they only had a 1 or 0 as the middle digit. Similarly, when you could tell where in town someone lived by their phone exchange. And when calling a long-distance number within your own area code, you would just dial 1 + the number.

    -Yes, 45s (though they were 96 cents, plus 4% tax = an even dollar, when I came along), and also Top 40 radio, where you would hear hard rock, “soul”, and bubblegum pop side by side, not today’s overformatted radio cacaphony.

    -I REALLY miss the smell of mimeograph machines! How do schoolchildren find anything pleasant about tests, anymore, without the fresh, addictive smell of that wet (preferably) purple mystery “ink”?

    -Having to write your name on a card to check out a library book, and being nosy and seeing who else had checked it out before you.

    -Pizza places with jukeboxes, and jukeboxes with the loud red buttons that made a satisfying “chunk” when you made your selection.

    -When cans in the grocery store had the prices stamped on them in that little purple circle

    -When, if there was nothing you specifically wanted to watch on the 3 channels of TV, you’d turn it off and read or play a board game–not everyone go to their separate laptops, not speaking.

    -When there weren’t SO many choices of every thing. There was basically ONE flavor of coffee in the grocery store, ONE kind of Coke and one kind of Pepsi (maybe Tab and Diet Pepsi), two kinds of Crest and one kind of Colgate, not 26 slightly-different kinds of each that you could never find again if you wanted to.

    1. Dan,
      Thanks for your recollections. Not to be overly picky, but the blue ink on flimsy paper copy was the product of a spirit duplicator, a cousin of the mimeograph machine.

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