(For those born before 1940…)


Written by: John O'Brien 2002


We were born before television, before penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, videos, mobile phones, Frisbees and the Pill. We were before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ball point pens; before dishwashers, tumble driers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes ..... and before man walked on the moon.


We got married first and then lived together (how quaint can you be?) We thought “fast food” was what you ate in Lent, a “Big Mac” was an oversized raincoat and “crumpet” we had for tea. We existed before house husbands, computer dating, dual careers, and when a “meaningful relationship” meant getting along with cousins, and “sheltered accommodation” was where you waited for a bus.


We were before day care centres, group homes and disposable nappies. We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yoghurt and young men wearing earrings. For us “time-sharing” meant togetherness, a “chip” was a piece of wood or fried potato, “hardware” meant nuts and bolts and “software” wasn’t a word.


Before 1940 “Made in Japan” meant junk, the term “making out” referred to how you did in your exams, “stud” was something that fastened a collar to a shirt and ”going all the way” meant staying on a double-decker to the bus depot. Pizzas, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of. In our day, cigarette smoking was “fashionable”, “grass” was mown, “coke” was kept in the coal house, a “joint” was a piece of meat you had on Sundays and “pot” was something you cooked in. “Rock music” was a grandmothers lullaby, “Eldorado” was an ice cream, a “gay person” was the life and soul of the party and nothing more, while “aids” just meant beauty treatment or help for someone in trouble.


We who were born before 1940 must be a hardy bunch when you think of the ways in which the world has changed and the adjustments we have had to make. No wonder we are so confused and there is a generation gap today.......BUT


By the Grace of God ..... We have survived!