The ways the country has changed in my 82 years astonishes even me!
I can remember World War ll.
What I remember clearly is watching ‘news reels’ at the movies.
I knew that the war was far, far away but ‘seeing‘ it was scary.
When an airplane would fly over, I crossed my fingers hoping it wasn’t a Japanese plane.
Hey! I was very young.
I was 6 years old and playing outdoors when suddenly every car in town was honking their horn. Every church bell was ringing. People were going crazy!
It was the day World War ll ended. All the commotion was a celebration.
World War ll was supposed to be ‘the war to end all wars’.
Beside the movies, the radio was a major source of entertainment.
Families would gather around the radio to listen to favorite programs.
For some odd reason, everyone would stare at the radio while listening. I don’t know why.
Television did not make it to my neighborhood until the 1950s.
When it did arrive, the quality was nothing like today.
It was a faint black and white picture; fuzzy and dim.
An outside antenna attached to the roof was required for reception.
Sometimes it was necessary to go out and turn the antenna to a different direction to get the best picture. Color television didn’t come until years later.
My town was segregated.
The Blacks had their own side of town, schools and recreation facilities.
I can remember public water fountains that were separated.
Any public facilities were clearly marked to maintain segregation.
Sadly, at that time it did not seem unusual.
There were no personal computers.
There were no cell phones.
No video games.
Social media was non existent.
The Salk vaccine to prevent polio was made available in 1954.
The world sighed with relief.
The telephone in my childhood was unbelievably different from today.
First, you spoke to the ‘operator’.
You told the operator the telephone number you wanted to connect with.
The operator would then make the connection.
If you had a ‘party line’, you often heard another person speaking when you wanted to use your phone. Then you just waited until the person finished their conversation.
I won’t even attempt to talk about the difference in cars in my lifetime but I can tell you that I remember when gasoline was 25 cents a gallon!
– Sue Williams