1124 gypsy.jpg

Ringing up the biggest sale of the day.

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes


We frequently get comments on our 100-year-old cash register and tease today’s youth with why it still works. No power and no computer chip. However, you must learn how to add tax, apply a discount and make change. Even I learned how.

Other things our youth may consider inconceivable or struggle with are:

  • Three on a tree — has nothing to do with birds, it’s a column shift manual transmission
  • Rotary dial telephone — “do you put your finger in the hole for speed dial?”
  • Party lines — imagine sharing you telephone line with two, four or even eight other families knowing there were several teenagers not so willing to share.
  • Analog clock — little hand between the one and two, big hand pointing at the seven. How do you get 1:35 from that?
  • Camera film — 35mm film in a tiny can that had several uses. After loading the camera, focusing and snapping 24 pictures, you take the roll to the photo mart for developing and wait impatiently for a week.
  • Phone book — regardless of size every city had one. White pages for alphabetical listings of name address and phone number. Yellow pages for all business listings.
  • Rabbit ears — sits on top of the TV (with only three channels); for better reception you might have to rotate the ears or put aluminum foil over the ends. They don’t believe this one.

How things have changed in just a few decades. So to be fair, below is what my generation struggles with.

  • Automatic downloads that force you to learn new tricks when the previous revision worked perfectly. A new version that solves one problem and inserts a yet-to-be-discovered one.
  • The more automation takes over our driving, the quicker driving skill is diminished. Is driving strictly point A to point B or is the fun gone? Be aware and improve your skill behind the wheel, not just aim a projectile.
  • Texting is a wonderful tool. Easily sending and receiving pictures for personal or business use is a great time saver. However, if one is not familiar with all the available texting abbreviations, one has to read, re-read and re-read again, and then ask for an interpretation. Now that’s a real time saver. ROTFLOL — yes I know what it means now.

It’s a complicated world and we all have things to wrestle with. At times it’s frustrating, other times all you can do is LYBO. I prefer the latter regardless of age.

Steve Barnes owns and, along with his shop dog Gypsy, operates Olde Inverness Antiques.

(3) comments

Phunkasaurus Wrex

OK Boomer




I am very familiar with everything in the first part and even drive my “3 on the tree” every day around Crystal River. You totally lost me on the texting abbreviations. I use a flip phone! LOL!

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