In the first house we built- FHA financed- we had power, water, a phone-in the kitchen-a washing machine, a stove and  refrigerator, a hot water heater, a radio-I had my own- and, of course, a bathroom with the usual features.

We had two cars. One was a family car and the other was a Model T my father drove down the hill to catch a bus, a red train, a ferry boat-where he had a warm breakfast and a pleasant trip across the bay-then a street car and finally an up hill walk a couple of blocks to work. He said he rode everything but a bicycle.

I walked to and from school- rain or shine-up a long flight of narrow stairs built into a steep hill-side.

This was long before there were dryers, dish washers, freezers, microwaves, computers, televisions, blenders, and all the other high-tech stuff that gets us through the day today. When we wanted light we pushed a button or flipped a switch. We turned a faucet and hot or cold water  poured out. A milk man-a neighbor- delivered milk and sometimes-during the war-black market catsup and butter. Catsup and butter-and gasoline-were rationed.

A mail man rumbled up the road and delivered the mail. Dogs ran free. When things went wrong we could usually repair them ourselves. We went on long walks-with our dogs and often a cat- down quiet narrow, winding roads, often collecting neighbors and their dogs and kids along he way. I can remember the trees, tall and green, and the gorgeous golden eucalyptus. The rolling hills were rich and green with life. Once my dogs and I confronted a rattling rattle snake.

If I wanted to be entertained on a cold and rainy day, I read a book or listened to the radio. The good radio program usually began in the evening-although there were soaps at lunch time. I loved I Love a Mystery- so scarey- and the Shadow.  Laughed at Bob Hope and Baby Snooks, Jack Benny and Charlie McCarthy. So much of what was going on on the air was left to a kid’s imagination.

When the weather was nice I played with my dogs and rode my horses in the woods. Climbed trees, built rickety tree houses, which were not so much fun to fall out of, and some times played  hide and go seek with neighborhood kids.

We lived in the country so going to a movie was a real exciting treat. My father sent me to San Francisco, all dressed up in new shoes and a suit with a corsage on the lapel, to see Fantasia at the Geary.

Life was so simple. I was so happy.

Then came the Bay Bridge. No red buses, trains, ferry boats, street cars. Standard Oil, Firestone and Ford bought all the public transportation systems in the country With that came suburban sprawl-the richest loam in California concrete coated. Orange groves-like bad indians- bit the dust  The air went bad. Water went rationed.  Food went frozen. Press a button living began. Boobs and televised junk keep us planted in a chair or  glassy-eyed dazed to a screen. Fast forward to today where high-tech toys make us happier.

What? Sez who?

I just went through a scene with my computer Time Warner got involved. Kauai Electric Techies from all over the world keep my phone lines busy. Guys at MacPro in Lihue held my hand. Weeks of  struggle.

Does all this make me happier?

Hopefully this nonsense will pass and we’ll all be back to two tin cans and long string.


One Response

  1. I preferred the dinosaur era myself! Kimo


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