My old friend (and fellow oldster) Joe Truncale sent along the following. Makes ya feel good to be a geezer:

Stop and just think for a moment…

We grew up in the 40s-50s-60.

We studied in the 50s-60s-70s.

We dated in the 50s-60s-70s.

We got married and discovered the world in the 60s-70s-80s.

We ventured into the 70s-80s.

We stabilized in the 90s.

We got wiser in the 2000s.

And went firmly through the 2010s.

Turns out we’ve lived through NINE different decades

TWO different centuries..

TWO different millennia

We have gone from the telephone with an operator for long-distance calls to video calls to anywhere in the world, we have gone from slides to YouTube, from vinyl records to online music, from handwritten letters to email and WhatsApp

From live matches on the radio, to black and white TV, and then to HDTV

We went to Blockbuster and now we watch Netflix

We got to know the first computers, punch cards, diskettes and now we have gigabytes and megabytes in hand on our cell phones or iPads…

We wore shorts throughout our childhood and then long pants, oxfords, Bermuda shorts, etc.

We dodged infantile paralysis, meningitis, H1N1 flu and now COVID-19

We rode skates, tricycles, invented cars, bicycles, mopeds, gasoline or diesel cars and now we ride hybrids or 100% electric

Yes, we’ve been through a lot but what a great life we’ve had!

They could describe us as “exennials” people who were born in that world of the forties, who had an analog childhood and a digital adulthood.

We’re kind of Ya-seen-it-all.

Our generation has literally lived through and witnessed more than any other in every dimension of life.

It is our generation that has literally adapted to “CHANGE”.

A big round of applause to all the members of a very special generation, which are UNIQUE.

Thanks, Joe. I needed that…


  1. He left out being raised and working with folks who’d been through the depression-and polio. Some of the youngin’s need to read that and come to grips with it, though I expect that’s never gonna happen.

    I didn’t read it, but there was something online about some youngster who feels that boomers “can’t conceptualize” the stresses they face, ’cause the current crop is unique.

    • My father and mother went through the great depression. Back in the 70’s when I was working in the corporate world, I would complain to my father about something at work. He would simply say (with no sympathy) “at least you are getting paid”. 🙂

      Mas, I think you and I are about the same age, although you seem to have weathered the years better than me. I was reading your magazine articles and books long before the Internet. After looking at the list, I felt like an achiever at having survived all those social and technological changes. .. and we aren’t finished yet.

    • WR Moore,

      He left out the draft, which ended in January 1973, when I was nine years old. I remember a female teacher looking at us boys and being happy, because she knew we would not be drafted. She must have seen a lot of her former male students get drafted.

      • And, sadly, from mail-ordering firearms through the Sears catalogue and hardware stores carrying their own brand of guns, to NICS. (And worse in the less-free states.)

  2. We rode skates, tricycles, invented cars, bicycles, mopeds, gasoline or diesel cars and now we ride hybrids or 100% electric…

    And rode most of them without helmets, knee and elbow pads, or mandated seat belts.

    I’m not as old as most of that, but I remember riding bikes with no helmets, jumping on trampolines with no safety nets, drinking from the hose, and throwing lawn darts.

    According to the “helicopter moms” of today, it’s a miracle we survived!

    • Archer,

      In 1984 I bought a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. It had no seat belts, because in 1967, seat belts were optional.

  3. you think you’ve seen some changes? My grandmother went from horse and carriage to seeing a man on the moon. We’ll soon be moving ahead at light speed. Let’s hope society gets its act together and avoids plunging us back into the stone age.

    • Mine, too. Horseback wo school, till the city ran the street car line out far enough they would walk to tne end of the line, and ride in. Had ten kids, nine of which survived infancy. Saw the Spanish American, First and Second German wars, the Cold, Korea, VietNam, more “cold” and various kerfuffles of ours. Watched the moon landing, kniwing one of her sons played a key role in making that happen. I watched her hold one of her Great Great Grandsons on her hundredth birthday…. not the oldest, just the only one who could make it to the HUGE party. Ony time I’ve seen, and photpgraphed, five generations at once.She died at 106, still functional, just her tome to go Home. I am not ware of her ever being “sick”. The Depression was not much of a thing for them, rural farm folk. She had a bunch of sons who could fix/make/build just about anything, and land to grow food and livestock. Some of her stories of her life and times are amazing. I well remember her 1947 Ford F1 pickup with the flathead V8 engine and straight stacks just behind the cab. Could her that thing literally a ile away. No one cared. It ran. She was still working the canteloupe patch in her mid-80’s.
      But I suppose any of us much over thirty could sit and tell similar ones, the “times they are a changin” so fast. When I was a kid I got fairly hooked on cycling.. ten speed bikes were a relatively new thing in the US and I had a good one. Helmets effectively did not exist. Sew up tyres made punctures an ordeal, but it was fix it or walk home, sometimes fifty miles away. Now we have 30+ speeds, clincher tyres hoding as much pressure as the sewups but can be changed in five minutes, twelve pound road bikes…. I kinda wonder what more changes we’ll see in the next thirty or forty years. Shoulder fired laser guided “hunting” (harvest?) rifles good to a thousand yards?

    • CaShields,

      You are correct. Your grandmother’s generation saw the REALLY BIG changes. I saw computers go from being big to being small, and television go from black & white to color.

      My great-grandmother lived from 1878–1971. She saw horse & buggy to automobiles, electricity, powered flight (the Wright Brothers), radio, TV, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and . . . . . . . . . . The Apollo 11 moon landing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!

  4. I don’t mind being a golden oldie at all Mas! I’ll be 66 this year and I’ve been through the fire but you survive, you adapt and you keep moving forward. It’s been one helluva fascinating trip for me through the years…lots of good memories to look back on and lots of adventures ahead…I like Joe’s uplifting perspective, thanks for sharing! I will also be sharing your article with my 90-year-old mom, she is fascinated but sometimes not too pleased with how the world has changed during her lifetime. My brother has been reading your articles since the 80’s so I have heard your name for many years. However, I just recently discovered your wisdom myself quite by accident in Backwoods Home magazine. In a world of constant drama and crisis, you are the calm in the eye of the storm with your knowledgeable, logical perspectives. Thank you for sharing your expertise with the world and a great big thank you especially from us ladies who choose to protect ourselves and our loved ones!

  5. I was born during the depression. My Dad couldn’t get in the Army during WW 11. Bad eyes and feet. So he became an Auxilary Police Officer. Mom took me by the hand and we walked about 2 miles for her to roll bandges. Grandma stood in line in her 80’s to get a polio shot. We had two Airman for dinner at different times who had been Shot Down over Europe. Quite an era. I’m still grateful for those men and women.

  6. One important lesson that I have learned is that working with equines tends to slow the too-rapid advance of time. One secret to maintaining freedom of activity while tending horses, mules, and burros is to intermittently caretake other peoples’ animals. Saves you a ton of $ on hay, feed, and vet bills, too. If you survive the experience intact, you have learned many important lessons. Examples: 1) Mules can kick hard in any direction 2) Standing behind a horse can be fatal 3) Don’t make any sudden moves 4) Make sure that women wear some kind of chest armor around horses. Tempted horses bite! 5) Horses that have been in horse trailer wrecks tend to be hard to load thereafter 6) Watch out for hunters shooting nearby. Startled horses can jump five feet in the air, spin 360 degrees, and land where they started. Just hope you stood clear. 7) The list is endless.

  7. Others have commented about riding our bikes without helmets. I can only speculate what kind of crap a kid would get if he showed up with a bicycle helmet. We had rubber band gun fights made out of truck inner tubes. We played mumbly peg with hunting knives. I dumped my first motorcycle so many times but never told my folks. Lots of bandaids and iodine. I loved every minute of it.

  8. I notice that all the innovations mentioned are technological in nature. That’s why I call our time, “The Golden Age of Technology.”

    I would like Bill Gates, and the other techno-geeks, to invent something that makes strong marriages, ends or lessens divorces, builds strong families, makes children obey healthy rules, and cures drug, alcohol and food addictions.

    It’s easier to fix machines than it is to fix people, I guess.

  9. Very observant. For most of human history the daily lives of common people differed little from generation to generation, absent the occasional war or plague.

  10. Thanks Mas. I’ve often wished I I talked to my grandmother about what it was like for her. She was born in 1881 and died in 1981. She come to USA at age 8. We miss out on talking to our elders and now WE are the elders!


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