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Everything Old Comes Around Again

Sometimes seniors are stereotyped as set in their ways, insisting that the old way are always better.  The truth is that when you are privileged to live long enough you end up experiencing both the old way of doing things and the new way.  And you know what you like better.

Covid 19 has brought back a number of old-fashioned things that I thought had died out.  I wonder what young people think of them.

I read in the Wall Street Journal that Wal-Mart is going to use some of their parking lots for drive in theaters.  Parents used to love them because you got a double feature for less than the price of one movie in an indoor theater.  Kids used to love them because they didn’t have to sit still in a seat for two hours.  Teenagers loved them for the privacy.   I have mixed feelings about the drive ins coming back.  I have fond memories of watching A Hard Days Night and 2001 A Space Odyssey for the first time in drive ins.  The current autos have vastly better sound systems than the old speaker on a stick of the fifties, but are vastly inferior in comfort to the cars of the fifties and sixties.  And you need an engineer to figure how to keep the lights off and the sound on when you turn off the car.

I am anxiously awaiting the first drive in restaurant complete with window trays and carhops.  They don’t even have to wear roller skates; I’m going.  No more cold take-out.

Another thing in the Wall Street Journal; drive-up teller stations with pneumatic tubes are popular again.  These never became widespread, but were used to add a drive-up window when there wasn’t room for a window against the building.  Talking to a teller on the television and exchanging paper receipts by pneumatic tube was quite the novelty in the sixties.  Of course, they became obsolete immediately when ATMs came out.  They were never removed because those pneumatic tubes were buried.  Now people prefer them to getting Covid 19.

I hear people are longing for real walls.  People who are working at home have discovered how messy kitchens get when real cooking is being done.  They make a wonderful background for Zoom meetings.  Not to mentions the TV noise or the even greater noise of a child who has been told to turn the TV off.  There’s also the joy of trying to watch TV while the dishwasher is running or someone is cooking fish or broccoli.  People who are sheltering at home are discovering why the walls were there in the first place.  Now if we can only stop them from painting everything prison grey.

We were dumb enough to sleep on these.

Life would really be great if they brought back 25 cent gas.  Oh well, I’ll be happy if nobody tries to bring back rotary phones or hair curlers.