When I was 8, we wore uniforms in Catholic school and we were proud to support our Parrish. We were taught by nuns and they were allowed to punish us, and it wasn't always by calling us "dumb bunnies". We went to church on Sundays, and the church would be full. My dad was a member of the Knights of Columbus and they had a group of a couple of hundred men, when I was 8. That same group now numbers in the handful and meets in the church basement. People went to Confession when I was 8, but I wonder how many do now? When I was 8, people went and worked for one company and sometimes for life. For their loyalty, they were rewarded with a pension. By the time I entered the workforce this benefit had all but disappeared and people started to job-jump, myself included. 401k's you see, are transportable. We had a TV when I was 8, but it remained off for most of the day (except for Saturday morning cartoons, when our chores were finished). We may have gotten 5 channels, that was until we got cable and all of us promised Mom and Dad that we would pitch in for that. I don't recall that any of us ever did. After church each week we'd visit my Dad's relatives that lived nearby. Sometimes nearby meant Buffalo, but back then it was important to keep up with family, is it still? In summer, I had a lake to swim in, a park to play in, and an amusement park that was located at the south end of my town. The park still exists but with fewer summer programs, the lake has much less access to it, and the amusement park has been gone for 20 years, but it was all there when I was 8.
It's a short blog this week, but maybe you'll fill it up with some comments of things that you know have changed since you were 8. I suspect my kids wouldn't know how to communicate if the satellites for their cell phones went down. It's amazing how dependent we become on things we didn't even imagine a decade or two ago. When I was 8, we didn't have a computer in the house. When my youngest was 8, we had 3, not counting all the ones embedded in our appliances. I'm sentimental today, missing the simplicity of the life I had at 8, care-free and with broad boundaries. I wonder what this generation will remember of the time when they were 8? Probably not Eddie Munster.