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Whatever happened to ...
Notes in [square brackets] are things I found out after I'd added the item.
Burma Shave
Animal Cracker boxes that had a red string on top.
Decoder rings in cereal boxes.
Bo Jackson.
Overseas phone calls via satellite.
Training children not to be left-handed.
Go-go boots and miniskirts. (I miss them.)
Polite drivers.
Cuff links.
Nonpartisanship in politics.
Bella Abzug. [4/1/98: she just died]
J. Edgar Hoover's reputation.
Men's hats. [7/23/98: they're coming back!]
Reading the classics.
Large families - they've gone out of style.
Affordable tickets to rock concerts.
The words "juvenile delinquent".
Manual typewriters.
Front panels on computers.
Green stamps.
Strawberry soda pop.
Iron Butterfly.
Herman Kahn.
Washing your hair in rainwater.
Tan Man. (Went shirtless year-round in Lawrence, KS.)
Squeaky Fromme.
Elke Sommer.
Using cigar boxes to hold small toys.
Mimeographs (& smell of the pages). (Tx, Charles Sharp)
Wing vents (little triangular car windows). (Tx, Charles Sharp)
Light-brown M & Ms (food isn't blue).
Bill Vaughn.
Seymour Cray.
Willie Horton.
The smell of burning leaves in autumn.
Above-ground nuclear testing (good riddance).
Pagan babies.
The metal rungs for climbing wooden telephone poles.
Faded neon clothes.
Brother Donald, the storyteller at the Renaissance Festival.
Strother Martin.
Wooden storm windows (the kind you hang in fall).
The lambada.
Sonic booms.
Saul Alinsky.
Gunsmoke (the TV show).
Jimmy Durante.
Reddy Kilowatt.
Fallout shelters.
Compasses for car dashboards.
Those handles on steering wheels so you can turn fast.
Spud guns -- not the big PVC ones, but the little metal ones.
Summer serial movies (& ticket books for the entire series).
Herve Villechaise.
New spring outfits for Easter Sunday.
Cabbage patch dolls.
Marijuana use.
The word "honky".
Smoking in public. Smoking at work while at your desk.
Hollywood heroes who don't look like G.I. Joe on steroids.
Pension plans.
Children addressing elders "Mr.(last name)", not first name.
Pipe cleaners.
The Legion of Decency.[4/4/98: kaput]
Consumer electronics that are cheaper to repair than replace.
Matrons wearing girdles.
Family meals.
Family drives in the country.
True leisure: time to kill, with no schedule to meet.
The SDS.
Mimi Farina. [4/4/98: Bread and Roses]
Charles Atlas ads in comic books.
Herpes. (Thanks, David Tribble, for this suggestion.)
Jukeboxes and pinball machines.
Pez dispensers.
Trampoline parks.
Candy cigarettes.
Madame Nhu.
Captain Midnight.
Heart (the band).
Annette Funicello.
Chuck Wepner.
Fawn Hall (Oliver North's secretary).
Mark English.
American elms (yes, Dutch elm disease; I miss their shade).
Lindsay Shannon and the Blues Show.
Gas wars.
Donovan. [9/28/99: Living in Ireland.]
Inserts to stiffen shirt collars.
Mood rings.
Wa-wa boxes.
Church keys (beer bottle openers).
Hosing down the driveway; people used to do this a lot.
Masten Gregory. [8/22/00: Read this]
Clifford Irving.
Joey Heatherton.
Parody Hall.
Dogs wandering around loose.
Pia Zadora.
Christine Keeler.
Mario Savio.
Elevator music (except as music-on-hold).
Dashboard Jesuses and Marys.

From S.G.:
The Sears wish book catalog
Caterpillar roller coasters
The Tunnel of Love
Skate keys
Van Dyke cigars
Spuds McKenzie
The Frito Bandito
Break dancing
Milk with cream rising on the top
Vinyl records making a comeback  
Wood burning kits

And something related, in a note from my coworker Curtis Bennett, himself no geezer:


     Interesting facts: The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1980. They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era and did not know he had ever been shot. They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged. Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression. There has only been one Pope.
     They can only really remember one president. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War. They have never feared a nuclear war. "The Day After" is a pill to them, not a movie. CCCP is just a bunch of letters. They have only known one Germany. They are too young to remember the Space shuttle blowing up, and Tienanmin Square means nothing to them. They do not know who Moammar Qadhafi is.
     Their lifetime has always included AIDS. They never had a Polio shot and likely do not know what it is. Bottle caps have not only always been screw off, but have always been plastic. They have no idea what a pull top can looks like. Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums. The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. They have never owned a record Player. They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong. Star Wars looks very fake, and the special effects are pathetic. There have always been red M&M's, and blue ones are not new. What do you mean there used to be beige ones?
     They may have heard of an 8-track, but chances are they probably have never actually seen or heard one. The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old. As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 32 cents. Zip codes have always had a dash in them. They have always had an answering machine. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV. They have always had cable. There have always been VCR's, but they have no idea what Beta is. They cannot fathom not having a remote control. They were born the year that Walkman were introduced by Sony. Roller-skating has always meant inline for them. They have never heard of King Cola, Burger Chef, The Globe Democrat, Pan AM or Ozark Airlines. The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool. Popcorn has always been cooked in a microwave.
     They have never seen and remember a game that included the St. Louis Football Cardinals, the Baltimore Colts, the Minnesota North Stars, the Kansas City Kings, the New Orleans Jazz, the Minnesota Lakers, the Atlanta Flames, or the Denver Rockies (NHL hockey, that is). They do not consider the Colorado Rockies, the Florida Marlins, the Florida Panthers, the Ottawa Senators, the San Jose Sharks, or the Tampa Bay Lightning "expansion teams." They have never seen Larry Bird play, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a football player. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as W.W.I, W.W.II or even the Civil War. They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are. They don't know who Mork was or where he was from. They never heard the terms "Where's the beef?", "I'd Walk a mile for a Camel", or "de plane, de plane!".
     They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is. The Cosby Show, The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, The Love Boat, Miami Vice, WKRP in Cincinnati, and Taxi are shows they have likely never seen. The Titanic was found? I didn't know it was lost. Michael Jackson has always been white. They cannot remember the Cardinals ever winning a World Series, or even being in one. Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America and Alabama are places, not groups. McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

     Do you feel old now? Remember, the people who don't know these things will be in college this year.