Thanks For Stopping By, Earthling!

I’d like to try and give those with far less living experience a scouting report so that you have a better idea of what lies ahead when you blink and it’s suddenly 50 years later.

Eventually, the world changes so much around you that there comes a day where you feel like an alien visiting another planet.

That may sound a bit over-dramatic, but let me provide some examples.

The planet Earth I grew up in is vastly different than what today’s kids are experiencing. Back in my day, when you picked up the phone to make a call, there was a cord attached to the wall-mounted base of that phone. And if you heard people talking, it was due to the fact they were using the party-line at the time and you had to check back later to see if that line was available. Oh, and long distance you had to use sparingly, because back then, that was an extra cost. I remember when I was 18 and went away to college, my first month’s phone bill was $118 because I spent so much time on the phone with my girlfriend back home in Torrance.

During my “Wonder Years”, televisions did not have remotes. You had to watch what was on or get up off your keister and change the channels, and when you did, it clicked. And we only had a total of 6 stations to choose from. Somehow, we survived.

There were no copy machines, there were mimeograph machines, with a cylinder that had to be refilled with a cheap-high fluid and you hand-cranked it to make blue-scale duplicates.

Not every game of every sport was on a TV channel somewhere. During the 1960s, most of the Dodger games were NOT on television, so I spent an awful lot of evenings listening to Vin Scully do the play-by-play of my team. When I was 8, they won the World Series–sweeping the Yankees four straight. In ’65, they lost the first two games at home against the Minnesota Twins, and then managed to pull out the series in 7 games. The next year, however, they ran into the dominant pitching of the Baltimore Orioles, who swept them in four games.

But think about that–my favorite Major League Baseball team went 3 of those four seasons to the World Series. It was just assumed they would go, if not this year, then next. Here in Seattle, we have generations of kids who have grown up, never knowing that thrill.

We not only had the Popsicle Man, but also the Helms Bakery truck driving up and down the streets in our area. I could have cared less about the bread, but the Helms guy DID sell baseball cards. At a stage of my life when I couldn’t just run down to the store to buy them, the Helms guy had the goods. I think it started at 10-cents a pack and that included 10 cards and a stick of gum you could have used to pry open a window. Thank God my mom was not among those who threw out their kids’ seemingly worthless collection.

Thank you, Helms Guy!

Move that bread stuff and gimme the cards!

My diet of cartoons included all the Warner Brothers “Looney Toons”, before the days of editing out anything that resembled violence. The rest of my gang included, “Rocky & Bullwinkle”, “Beany & Cecil”, “Felix the Cat”, “Astro Boy”, “Gumby” and Sunday morning’s before heading off to church, I’d try to sneak in an episode or two of “Davey and Goliath”–which used the Gumby-style early attempts at Claymation animation.

Most of those characters are confined to my memory bank, with an occasional sighting whenever I get nostalgic about my childhood.

Speaking of nostalgia, while some may view it as a sentiment waste of time, a new study claims that looking at nostalgia actually triggers something in the brain that helps relieve pain. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling better.

So yes, the world I grew up in was quite a differently. What’s interesting to me is that, in comparison to all that kids have today, I never noticed that I was missing things. In fact, I had everything I needed.

It was a very simple time. I mean, we considered Tang a major breakthrough in space age technology. So, when I compare that era of my life to today’s extremely complicated world, you can see why I almost feel like I was raised on another planet.


But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Thanks for stopping by, Earthling.

Tim Hunter

3 thoughts on “Thanks For Stopping By, Earthling!

  1. How funny…I just happened on this , when only a few weeks ago I was trying to explain to the grands, what is was like to have the Helms Bakery truck around, and the milk man bringing bottled milk to our back doorstep of the first CA house we lived in. It was in Hermosa Beach. With 4 mouths to feed, and my Mom not driving once they arrived in the booming Metropolis of LA, milk delivery was a pretty big deal. The wood and metal crate was put out on the back step with empty bottles cleaned for return the night before delivery. Low and behold! The next morn, there were four full bottles to replace those. What was really special, was ever so often the milkman would leave 4 1/2 pint bottles of chocolate milk, no charge! Perfect individual sized servings for a little kid. We thought that was pretty special. Tasted very different from my mom’s homemade chocolate milk made with her own cooked chocolate syrup, for a special treat. Loved my Mom’s. But the dairy type was super thick, and now that I think of it, almost too sweet.
    One could ramble on about many other foods, and treats of the past like Fizzies!
    or how about toys? Lots of fun stuff.

    Fun memories…. and thanks for the memories of the cartoons also. When we were older our group also loved the Flinstones, and the Jetsons!


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