Aging Well in the Gorge March 7th 2017

With social media, and the technological advances, the world is a lot different than when I was growing up. I wouldn’t say I would like to go back to those days (although there are many times I wish for a less connected world where I didn’t know everything that happened when it happened). But those memories of growing up bring back a time that seemed less complicated – even if it wasn’t. Every generation has those shared experiences that we can tell our children and grandchildren – often with the intention of reminding them that if they think they have it rough – think again.

For my children, it is hard to imagine a time when there were only three television stations – and if the test pattern came on, you knew you were up too late; when the choice of gym shoes were between high top or low top Converse shoes; when school desks were in rolls bolted to the floor; when you would jump in the piles of leaves, and then burn them – creating the smell of fall in the neighborhood; when you would buy items through lay-away or installment plans because you there weren’t credit cards; and when there were two and sometimes three gas stations on a street corner.

But then being a Baby Boomer, born in ’48, it is hard for me to comprehend what it was like for the Silent Generation (a misnomer because they weren’t silent) – the generation born in the 1930s and early 40s, raised in families climbing out of the depression and living through World War II. That was a time when there were ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves; when you saved tin foil, and poured fat into tin cans; when you had to hand mixed ’white stuff’ with ‘yellow stuff’ to make fake butter; when you saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available; when the ice man delivered ice for “ice boxes” before the refrigerator was invented. (My parents always called a refrigerator an “ice box” – a term I occasionally still use.); when childhood was without television and instead you imagined what was heard on the radio; and when the interstate highway system was created by President Eisenhower – increasing mobility and changing the urban landscape.

Each generation has its own unique experiences creating a shared common bond. But I wonder what future generations will be telling their children. Maybe, “You think you have it rough. I remember when we didn’t have robots taking out the garbage!”?

Because of the rain that was forecasted last weekend, the schedule for installing the roof joists at the Center has been moved back one week. Now the Center and Meals-on-Wheels will be closed on Monday, March 13th when the roof joists will be installed – snow or high water.

But that was not the only postponement. Nehemiah Brown was scheduled to sing last Friday, but fell ill and regrettably could not perform. The good news is he has been rescheduled for Friday, June 9th.

For Tuesday Night Music at the Center on March 14th, Martin and Friends will be playing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 6:30, and donations are always appreciated. The song by the Doors that included the lyrics, “You know that it would be untrue/ You know that I would be a liar/ If I was to say to you/ Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” was “Light My Fire”. (Correct answers were sent in by Don McAllister, Jess Birge, Sandy and Bob Haechrel, and Jeanne Pesicka who is this week’s randomly drawn winner of a quilt raffle ticket.)

Switching gears, this month’s “Remember When” questions will be about items that we seldom see any more. And this week’s question comes from my high school math classes. What was the name for a mechanical instrument used to compute mathematical problems that looked similar to a ten-inch ruler and consisted of three linear strips of which the middle strip moved back and forth? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a TI-30 scientific calculator.

Well, it’s been another week, waiting for recess to begin. Until we meet again, it’s hard to keep one foot in the present and one foot in the future, while keeping one foot in the past.

“The digital camera is a great invention because it allows us to reminisce. Instantly.” Demetri Martin

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