Things about your childhood that would baffle younger people of today

RangerPooh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
My mom and my best friends mom used to do this at our local six flags in the summer. Drop us off and come back like 8 hours later. I was 12 when they started doing this.

Also, every winter, on Saturday mornings, my mom would drop my sisters and I off at the ice rink at our civic center. We would skate for a couple hours and then go to the library to choose books. There were 3 of us. We would call our mom on a pay phone when we were ready to leave. I remember doing this when I was 8. My older sister was 10, younger was 6. I don't think this would even be LEGAL nowadays. This was in the mid/late 80s.
We did this as teens. We lived about 45 minutes away from Great America in Santa Clara, CA. My dad worked right down the street from the park, so we'd (my brother and or or me and my BFF) would take the bus and light-rail to the park in the morning and be waiting at 4:30pm in the pick up lane for my dad to take us home. Outside of WDW/DLR I cannot envision allowing my kids to do this today.
 

RangerPooh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
I'm a 6th grade teacher, and am already telling the students "back in your older siblings' day, they had to know how to write down APA citations." Now the kids just go a newfangled website, put in a URL, and it looks up all the needed information for them.
Citation Machine is wonderful at helping build your reference list. Appreciated learning about it in grad school.
 

Gumbo4x4

Note to the ladies who forgot to
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Getting your drivers license immediately with little to no time on a learners permit.

Seriously stunned at the number of DD18’s friends (male & female) who just rely on friends & family to cart them all over 2+ years after they could have had a license, and 3+ years after becoming permit eligible. There is zero public transportation here.
 
  • RangerPooh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    There are some great items listed. Here's my list (includes some duplicates listed from previous posters):

    Reel to reel slide projectors and individual slide carousels
    Dial up internet
    Not just having to call after 8pm to call long distance, but shopping around to find the provider with the best long distance rates. I believe it was MCI who had $.05/minute for a year when I was in college.
    Phone calling cards. Use to stock up on these at Costco
    Rotary phones
    Libraries: card catalogs and microfiche machines, navigating the Dewey decimal system
    Encyclopedias- the wikipedia of our day
    Ditto paper/machines- the smell and blue dye
    Being able to accompany people to their airport gate, and not having to go through security
    Network TV aired cartoons on Saturday morning from 6am-12pm, and it was the only reason (Aside from Christmas) to ever wake up early. USA Network aired cartoons on Sundays from 7am-12pm.
    Network TV often went off the air around midnight
    Blockbuster was the highlight of your weekend. What move would you rent? Who might you run into while there?
     

    jo-jo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2011
    assembly line vaccinations in the school cafeteria which NO ONE missed because people actually understood that polio could cripple you for life and TB was really a thing, and if the shot was gamma globulin someone in the school actually had the measles. ( there was no MMR vaccine.)
    missing two or more weeks of school a year actually sick with mumps, rubella, chicken pox and measles.
    black and white tv with three channels you changed with a dial
    Calling grandma once a month on the weekend because that was all the long distance we could afford.
    Cross country train and greyhound bus travel because flying was to expensive and my dad wouldn't let my mom drive alone.
    Shoveling the roof when you shoveled the walk ( we lived in the Colorado High Country in a government provided flat roofed champion trailer)
    I sold girl scout cookies for 50 cents a box :)
    When I was a kid, we got a polio vaccine on a sugar cube. A SUGAR CUBE. That was such a treat, I wanted to get in line again.

    Sending my sister on a bus from Phila to Brooklyn NY. to visit relatives. You think we were sending her across the county on a stage coach the way we acted like we'd never see her again.
     
  • barkley

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2004
    We did this as teens. We lived about 45 minutes away from Great America in Santa Clara, CA. My dad worked right down the street from the park, so we'd (my brother and or or me and my BFF) would take the bus and light-rail to the park in the morning and be waiting at 4:30pm in the pick up lane for my dad to take us home. Outside of WDW/DLR I cannot envision allowing my kids to do this today.

    do you remember the nickle root beers there? great way to stretch your food budget. along the same lines-i remember going on family vacations to santa cruz and my parents just letting us hoof it from the motels near the boardwalk down to spend hours on end. this was before they had the one price for unlimited rides wrist bands so we would be as prudent as possible w/what we used our allocation of ride tickets on-best bang for the buck was the fun house, you could spend hours in there (so sad to have seen it torn down after the earthquake).
     
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    Getting your drivers license immediately with little to no time on a learners permit.

    Seriously stunned at the number of DD18’s friends (male & female) who just rely on friends & family to cart them all over 2+ years after they could have had a license, and 3+ years after becoming permit eligible. There is zero public transportation here.
    I got a permit at 15 1/2 and a license at 17 1/2. Back then it was permit at 14 and license at 16. I didn't get a license because I didn't have a car. No reason I saw to pay for it (and yeah I paid for my own license) when I didn't have a car to use it. Just after I got my license I bought a car.
     
  • fortwildernessishome

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2010
    This thread is the most fun EVER!!! Thanks so much to the OP for starting this and to all of the posters who have contributed!! I have had so much fun reading all of the posts!
    -Many of the things already written I can relate too, here are a few others that may not have been mentioned.

    -When I was a kid we did four cross country trips to visit National Parks. (1970's) My Mom would write to the state (got the address's from a travel book) to get information about what the state had to see and do. We would travel in our van and camp every night. We had no reservations and never had trouble finding a campsite. We would be gone for 3-4 weeks and never called home because, "it would have been too expensive" so had someone passed away or any other great tragedy, we wouldn't have known until we returned home.

    Fast forward to now, and we have taken five western trips with my kids. We don't camp, but stay in hotels and have reservations for every single night. If we camped it would be the same deal! There is NO WAY you can stay in the National Parks in the summertime without a reservation! Of course with cell phones we call home almost daily to update my Mom on what we did that day. And I plan most of the trip before we go just by going on-line and reading about all of the things to see and do! (No waiting for say, South Dakota to send an envelope with brochures in it!!)

    -As a kid we stocked up on film, before the trip. One time, I dropped my camera and the little door opened up where the film was and half the film fell out. The entire film was ruined. Another time we returned home from a trip and left the film off at the drugstore, where it was then sent out and you returned in a week or two to pick up your photos. Somehow, all of the films were lost and that was it, we had NO pictures from the trip!

    My kids get to take all of the pictures they want on their phones, can get them developed in minutes with no fear of them getting lost!

    -When I was little we would drive to WDW once a year. You wouldn't know until you got there if any rides were closed for refurbishment. There was a sign under the train station at the Magic Kingdom that had a list of any rides/attractions that were closed. We were pretty bummed the year Space Mountain was closed, as that was what we had been counting the days to ride!!

    With my kids, we have always gone on-line and looked up MONTHS before we go to Disney to see what is going to be closed!

    -I flew for the first time when I was 18! It was a HUGE deal, my parents hadn't even flown on a plane!!!

    My kids flew for the first time when they were 2 and 5!

    -I grew up with a black and white TV with two channels/no cable!

    -I grew up with a bath tub and no shower! If we didn't have time for a bath, we just washed our hair in the kitchen sink!

    -We had no dryer and lived in NH. In the winter we hung all of the clothes to dry on racks in our kitchen around the woodstove!



    -
     

    *pixie*

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2008
    The whole phone thing: Rotary dial, party lines, ONE phone that was attached to the wall, calling information for numbers or using a phone book, waiting until late at night to make calls as it was cheaper then, collect calls, setting up "codes" so we wouldn't have to pay to make a long-distance call (if I got to college and placed a collect call from "first name"my mom wouldn't accept it because that meant I was back safely; if it was a call from "first name, middle name" there was a problem and she would accept the charges... which makes me laugh seeing the old ad about "this is "Bob Haddababyitsaboy" being played again, as that's exactly what we'd do!
    Just the other day, that old Geico commercial came on. My 18-year-old DS was so confused, and DH and I tried our best to explain what a collect call was and when you would need to make one. I don't think he ever really did understand the whole concept, lol.
     

    Prince_Hawkins

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2019
    Having to wait a whole week for my photographs to be processed/developed (a cartridge of film, removed from my 110 camera)

    No TV spoilers -- it was actually a SHOCK when beloved characters would get killed off of TV shows

    Needing to rewind music cassettes by hand, in order to replay a song

    The fact that we were forced to take showers in front of each other after gym class

    Female/multiracial/LGBT politicians being considered a novelty

    A trip to the local county fair in the summer being the highlight of one's year

    Ordering from a menu at a sit-down restaurant and getting your food served to you half an hour later

    Being wide-eyed and amazed by the magic of a food processor
     

    PollyannaMom

    I was a click-clack champ!!
    Joined
    May 16, 2006
    Not being able to find my friends. And actually having to speak to friends family members on the phone.
    This happened to DS a few years ago, before a friend of his got a cell phone. Friend's grandmother was staying with them, and didn't speak English. I posted by the phone how to ask for his friend in French, but DS said it still felt "weird".

    Citation Machine is wonderful at helping build your reference list. Appreciated learning about it in grad school.
    The kids at DS's school use one called EasyBib.

    microfiche machines...Encyclopedias
    ::yes:: fun times

    Being able to accompany people to their airport gate
    I'd forgotten all about this one!
     

    barkley

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2004
    Being able to accompany people to their airport gate, and not having to go through security
    and not needing any form of i.d. to buy a ticket/fly-just show up at the airport w/cash in hand.


    Network TV aired cartoons on Saturday morning from 6am-12pm

    and on sundays the only kid's show was 'davey and goliath'


    I lived in the town with the fairgrounds. It changed everything for a whole week!
    and allot of the juvenile entries for ribbons were things made in home ec or wood shop classes during the prior school year.



    some shockers for my adult kids to fathom that i grew up with-

    no fico scores (didn't exist)

    women couldn't apply for credit (unless married w/husband co-signer)

    women couldn't serve on a jury (in some states till 1975)



     

    mrodgers

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 29, 2009
    I got a permit at 15 1/2 and a license at 17 1/2. Back then it was permit at 14 and license at 16. I didn't get a license because I didn't have a car. No reason I saw to pay for it (and yeah I paid for my own license) when I didn't have a car to use it. Just after I got my license I bought a car.
    Couldn't get the permit until 16 in PA. But, there was no requirement of anything other than parents should drive around with you. You got your permit, turned around and got in the line for the license test.

    It was done back then at the State Police barracks by State Police through a course in the parking lot. I did mine in an '83 Ford Escort. Tires squealed through the S turns and the officer chuckled and told me I'll get in trouble if I drive like that. 3 point turn, if it was another inch wider, I would have done a complete u-turn. The line was out the parking lot, down the road, and spilling out into the main road of 16 year old kids trying to get in for the driver's test. Last thing I had to do was parallel park in front of the building and it was so busy, the officer just told me to pull in and park and skip parallel parking.

    I never practiced parallel parking. The first time I ever parallel parked was when my own 17 year old daughter had her permit 2 years ago and asked, "can you teach me to parallel park?" We were in the little course at the DMV she asked what I was doing on the phone. I was looking up youtube parallel parking, LOL.
     

    RangerPooh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    -When I was a kid we did four cross country trips to visit National Parks. (1970's) My Mom would write to the state (got the address's from a travel book) to get information about what the state had to see and do. We would travel in our van and camp every night. We had no reservations and never had trouble finding a campsite. We would be gone for 3-4 weeks and never called home because, "it would have been too expensive" so had someone passed away or any other great tragedy, we wouldn't have known until we returned home.

    Fast forward to now, and we have taken five western trips with my kids. We don't camp, but stay in hotels and have reservations for every single night. If we camped it would be the same deal! There is NO WAY you can stay in the National Parks in the summertime without a reservation! Of course with cell phones we call home almost daily to update my Mom on what we did that day. And I plan most of the trip before we go just by going on-line and reading about all of the things to see and do! (No waiting for say, South Dakota to send an envelope with brochures in it!!)

    -
    Our family use to pick up AAA travel books for each state/section of state for trip planning.

    As for National Parks, I remember as a child going with my mom to Ticket Master on the reservation day (however many weeks/months out) to snag our annual camping reservation for Yosemite. Later it would evolve to making phone reservations, constantly hitting redial at the designated time.
     

    RangerPooh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    Not my kids, but students...

    When I was a college freshman (97-98) we could either register for classes at the College Registrar's desk or over the phone at a designated time, entering codes for each class. These days you register on the computer.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Daily Updates and News




    Top