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Sunday, August 04, 2013

"Just a Thought" column continues in La Prensa of SA, 8-4

Just a Thought: “Old School”
By Steve Walker

For the past two weeks I have gone nostalgic and sentimental by reliving some of my youthful memories by referring to them as the “good old days,” or “back in the day.”

As an original baby boomer I sometimes yearn and reflect on days gone by, convinced as I wrote last week, that it was a much simpler life that appeared less complicated and much less expensive back then. It may in reality not have been less complicated, but it was definitely less expensive that in today’s world.

I reminded the reader two weeks ago the differences in purchasing a movie ticket that went from 25 cents to $7.50 a ticket in today’s market. Now that is inflation. In those days the dollar was actually worth a dollar whereas today we are lucky if it is worth three quarters or even half what it was then.

This week in my third installment of nostalgia for now, I title this column, “Old School.” The term is defined as “Anything that is from an earlier era and looked upon with high regard or respect. It can be used to refer to music, clothing, language, or anything really.”

It also can be defined as “To do something in a way that is more in line with traditional technique/style rather than modern or progressive style.”

For me “Old School” is related more to the second definition that necessarily to the first. For me it is a way of thinking like it is to many my age and older.

Growing up in the 50s and 60s when I was a kid, teenager and college student, it seemed like the TV sitcom from the seventies captured the essence of the 50s and 60s with “Happy Days,” and the Cunninghams.  Going to school then I knew characters like Ritchie, Fonzie, Ralph Chachi, and Joanie, before heading off to war in Vietnam when life went into a totally different direction. 
People of my generation looked at life through a different prism. It was expected that we would go to college if we could afford it, get married, and have children, keep the same job for 30 to 40 years, retire and grow old and watch our grandchildren go through the same process. That is what we call “Old School.” There are still some young people left who subscribe to “Old School” thinking.

Not so much anymore these days. Since we are now living longer, we don’t retire until later in life, or can’t afford to do so. Young people may pursue two or three different careers in their lifetime, families have become more mobile moving all over the country and families are more likely to be separated because of those moves.

While the technology is rapidly improving and making certain things more accessible to our every day lives to make things easier, “Old School” is quickly becoming a term referred to by some as ancient folklore and a lost art to many as we know it.

Gone are the days of black and white television, movie tickets for a quarter, and twenty cents for a gallon of gas. But to those of us still wandering around in our senior years, we still fondly refer to the terms “Good Old Days,” and “Back in the Day,” as “Old School.”

Anyway, as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist. 

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