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Bring back the baton!

January 23, 2012 - Taste Buds
During a recent outing, the Buds waxed philosophic about their childhood. Bud Shaunna mentioned that one of her favorite childhood pictures was of her at age seven in her gold-sequined parade outfit (which included a tam, white boots and too big tights that bunched at the knees) holding her precious baton. Bud Shaunna loved baton twirling and took lessons as a kid. Bud Em commented that there just aren't many baton twirlers these days. It's true. And that led us to think about other cool things that we no longer have around anymore.

How many of you remember 8 track tapes? Fancy pants cars had radios PLUS 8 track players installed. Bud Shaunna and her sister remember taking many trips with mom and grandma while listening to the collective works of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. We especially loved it when the 8 track would stop in the middle of a song and "click" over to the other side. Bud Shaunna even had an 8 track that was fashioned to hold a cassette tape! That's right--8 track players were more readily available at some point in time than cassette players, so this nifty gadget was perfect for Bud Shaunna and her sister to listen to Michael Jackson's Thriller album over and over and over (and over and over). Sadly, 8 tracks are no more but a memory to the Buds, and we venture to say that cassettes have also gone the way of the dinosaurs.

And speaking of ancient electronic devices, what about VHS tapes? Remember when a VCR cost $800? Now you can get a cheap-o VCR for $25! The Buds remember racing to their television sets to "program" the next episode of Beverly Hills 90210. We couldn't miss one second of the Dillon-Brenda saga! And it was just disaster if the VCR stopped taping one minute before the program ended. Oh no! But now we'll never know if 45-year old Andrea was able to fool the school district into thinking she was a high school student! Horror would also befall us when, we'd sit down in the evening to view the episode of Days of Our Lives that we so carefully programmed, only to find out that 45 minutes of the episode was interrupted by an NBC Special Report. NOOOOO!!!!!!

When we were in grade school, the Buds got copies of their worksheet assignments made on a ditto machine. Remember those? You were lucky if you could even read a sentence in size 8 font with really blurry purple ink. But we did enjoy that fresh ditto machine smell. Mmmmm....inky. Nowadays second graders print out book reports on the computer. We had to write ours by hand--and got extra credit if we included illustrations!

Hey, who remembers Roo's shoes? There was a little zipper with a compartment in the sides, big enough for a quarter, but not much else. We definitely couldn't hold our calculators in there, especially those fancy graphing ones that were the size of a textbook. I need to solve this geometry problem...let me just slap this cash register sized calculator on my desktop....

Maybe these things sound silly now, but we sure do miss these gadgets of yester-year. They were ingenious! And they were so bulky that we weren't interested in carrying them around with us. We just wanted to go outside and run around and dig in the dirt and ride our bike up and down the road. Carrying an 8 track or a VHS tape or a graphing calculator was too much and just weighed us down. But you could carry a baton. And you could twirl it through your fingers back and forth (well, Bud Shaunna had this skill; Bud Em did not). This was good stuff!

We want to lead the parade to resurrect some of these old things, if for nothing more than to see the looks on the young folks' faces when they try to figure out what these things are and how to use them. Just let us go find our gold tams and boots first!


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