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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

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Whittling Away with Dick Brooks - Changes

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/23/24 | 2/23/24

In spite of my advancing age, there are still those rare moments when things snap into focus.  It’s at these times that I realize that things are missing or not the same.  Watches for instance, have you noticed that they are disappearing.  Very few folks under the age of 25 wear one.  Ask them the time and they pull out their cell phones—if they weren’t already talking or texting on them.  What ever happened to those bell hoses at gas stations?  I can’t remember the last one I saw.  I used to love jumping on them until the station owner came out and chased me away.  They’re probably stored away with the old Texaco uniforms, bow ties, hats and all.  When was the last time you went to a gas station and someone came out, pumped your gas, washed your windshield, checked your oil and gave you a glass or a plate and Green Stamps?  For that matter, what happened to Green Stamps?  They used to be everywhere, I can remember my mother sending me back into a store because I’d forgotten the Green Stamps.  They were taken home and pasted carefully into their little book.  Twenty or so books taken to the Green Stamp store would get you a washcloth or an ashtray.  Remember ashtrays, another object that’s disappeared.  They used to be everywhere, every home had a selection, the fanciest one was always on the coffee table in the living room.  The better homes had a cigarette lighter next to it that matched the ashtray.
Our public library had ashtrays on the tables where you read your books.  I don’t remember when glass milk bottles went away.  Those little paper tops with the pull tab on the side were so much easier to use than those paper cartons with the pull and pinch spouts that drive me crazy.  
Some of these things are hard to explain to those who have never experienced them.  I tried to explain The Empire State to a youngster the other day.  Do you remember The Empire State?  You don’t hear much about it nowadays.  It seems to have gone the way of the bell hose and the ashtrays.  We learned all about it when I was a mere lad.  It had the biggest city in the world.  Its education system was the envy of all the other 47 states.  It was the financial center of the world.  It had the tallest building on Earth.  The highest standard of living and the best medical care anywhere was found there.  Of all the busy and beautiful places on this old planet, this was the biggest, the brightest and the best.  Everyone wanted to live in The Empire State, people came here from all over the world and we welcomed them because that’s what you do when you’re The Empire State.
Yep, I wonder where all these things went, I miss them but that’s what life’s all about.  I guess change is a good thing but sometimes a glance backwards is a good thing.  A rearview mirror gives you a clear vision of where you’ve been and is a useful thing. 
I would like to have some things back the way they were though, like my former abs that now hang over my belt buckle.
Thought for the week—“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say.  I just watch what they do.”      
--Andrew Carnegie
Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

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