52-Weeks-Personal-History

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #8 – Technology

I missed week 8 too but here is my entry for Technology:

Technology exploded during my childhood. From the time I was a little girl until now there has been incredible progress in every area of scientific exploration! It is sometimes completely unimaginable to me how things were when I was a little girl compared to the technology that is available to my niece and nephews and the information explosion that has taken place in that time.

When I was first born, the United States had not sent a man to the moon! Pluto was still a planet and computers were computation devices that took up rooms and processed punch cards to store data. Now a computer that would have taken up a complete floor of a very large building is not held in your hand as a cell phone. As a little girl, we got only about 20 or so channels and our TV didn’t have a remote control (that was something that was shown on TV as an advance for the distant future on Star Trek!). Although parents did have remote controls in the form of children who got up to change the channels for them!

I was in high school the first time I ever used a computer. It was an APPLE that was programmed in BASIC programming language. The program had to be retyped into the computer anytime that the computer was turned off or rebooted. I also worked on a word processing device in high school in my typing class.

When I was in college was when I really started to use computers. I was a junior in college when I got my first home computer. I bought it used and got a virus on it the very first weekend! It had a newer operating system on it than I had access to so I had to call the guy I bought it from and beg for a copy of his operating system startup disk so that I could get back into the files I had already loaded onto the computer! It was a tremendous buy at the time $700 and it had 4MB of storage memory (Hard drive space!). I thought it would surely see me through the rest of college and that it would probably even see my brother and sister through college!

I got my second computer about 2-3 years later and it had more storage memory (probably a few hundred MB) and the operating system was on 25 or so 3 1/2 inch disks. I again thought that would be a computer that lasted for probably 10-20 years.

I have since been through at least 5 computers after that. Now I use a laptop that has 3GB of RAM memory and 150GB of Memory storage. Dad is now using a laptop with 4GB of RAM and a 320 GB Harddrive! Mom has a netbook! My Brother and Sister and their families all use computers. In fact, my youngest nephew who is four years old spent time playing games on the old laptop the other day and one of his favorite things for me to do with him is show him the videos of Volcanoes we find on the internet.

The internet was just beginning to come into its own while I was in college. Chat boards and AOL Chat rooms, Instant messaging and email were just becoming widely used.

When I was in high school and I had to do a paper on some subject, I had to go to the library and search through numerous reference books and encyclopedias to find the information for my report. It was usually at a least several years old. Now, when my niece and nephews have to do a report, they look on the internet and find the information! My oldest nephew who is 10 does his presentations on powerpoint. My neice has her own cell phone! My nephews want cell phones! I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was in college!

When my niece and nephews have a sporting event or a school program I got and take photos and videos and I can post them on facebook for all the family to see within minutes from my cell phone! My mom would take photos and go get them developed and we could look at them a week or so later! The grandparents would be lucky to see them a month or so later!

The advances in technology especially in computers make my genealogy research possible! I can only do my genealogy on weekends and evenings because I work all day during the week. Without the records available on the internet I would make little progress but with the internet I have added generations and hundreds of records!


Week #8 – Technology

Week 8: Technology. What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology to you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

This challenge runs from Saturday, February 19, 2011 through Friday, February 25, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

52-Weeks-Personal-History

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #7 – Toys

Well, I missed posting during the actual week but here is my entry for the week of Toys:

One of my favorite toys when I was a kid was Barbie Dolls and an old bag of quilt scraps that my grandmothers had given to me. I would make entire fashion ensembles for my little Barbie’s! They were the best quilt scrap dressed barbies in the whole world – at least according to me and my sister.

I also had a bike that I would ride for hours each spring and summer.

My most favorite toy though didn’t come along until I was a young teenager when we got our first video game system for Christmas in the early 1980s. The Atari was shared by me and my sister and brother and we played that system for hours and hours! I could only play a few of the games because I wasn’t then and still am not very coordinated! But I was the family Pac-Man Champion! I got over 200,000 in one game and I remember this because it caused a very big fight with my sister when my turn lasted well into her favorite TV Show that night and she wanted me stopped so she could watch her show.

The main game with the system though was a game called pitfall where the little guy had to be guided to run and jump over things in order to find the prize at the end of each level. By myself, I never got passed the first scrolling screen when you had to time the guy jumping to catch the rope and then quickly use it to jump over this big pit full of alligators or something that would kill him if he fell into them. Now, I can verify that it was indeed a very good game because my sister and brother played it often and I think she even made it all the way to the end of the game!

The Atari systems have made something of a comeback in recent years as a quick hook to the TV game for younger children but they were clearly the predecessors to the current WII, Playstations, etc.


 

Week #7 – Toys

Week 7: Toys. What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

This challenge runs from Saturday, February 12, 2011 through Friday, February 18, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

52-Weeks-Personal-History

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #6 – Radio & Television

Well just one favorite TV show is impossible for me to pick so I am going to talk about a few of my favorites. I grew up in the 1970s. My favorite shows as a young child were the cartoons, of course. I remember watching Scooby-Doo, the Smurfs, Superman and Wonderwoman. There was also Batman and Yogi Bear.

As I grew older, I remember liking dramas. As a young teenager, I waited every week for Dallas. I loved JR! I remember being so mad that I had to wait all summer to find out who shot him! However, I didn’t watch the series after the year when the opening episode showed that the previous year had all been a dream! Even I can’t suspend that much reality!!

Some of my favorite comedies were The Cosby Show, All in the family, the Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and the Carol Burnett Show. I especially loved it when it would show the Mama’s Family clips. I used to watch that show when it was a spin-off of the Carol Burnett Show.

One of my favorite dramas was a show called Family. I loved it and watched it every week!

I also remember watching the who Bionic people series of shows and movies. I watched faithfully the 6-million dollar man, the Bionic Woman, and the show with the bionic kids. I loved Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman.

I also watched a lot of cop shows. I remember Ellery Queen, Dragnet, Adam-12, Hawaii Five-O, Kojak, Hill Street Blues, In the Heat of the Night, Murder She Wrote, and I was watching when the Law and Order Series started!

I love movies too. I especially like some of the old movies. I watch Dial M for murder and a lot of those old murder mystery movies over and over. I watched the Rocky Series. I watched the Back to the Future series. A couple of my favorite romantic movies are Pretty Woman and An Officer and a Gentleman. I just can’t get enough of the happy endings!

For music, I am a country music fan but my sister loved Rock. I also loved the oldies of the 50s and 60s. I was a teenager when all the music video shows began and I remember my sister and brother and I coming home from school and watching those as we turned the living room into our stage and singing along (well at least we called it singing even if others might not have been able to identify it as singing!). What fun we had doing that!

I have also been a political junkie since I was a little kid. I like to watch the news shows and I remember being around when MSNBC started. I watched the opening night of the new network.

I have watched at least the clips of the presidential inaugurations from President Carter to the present. I watch the news conferences and as much of the political shows as I can. I liked it better though before so much of it has become trashing the other guys instead of doing what needs to be done for the country. I am one of those people who watches and probably keeps the 24-hour news shows in business but sometimes I wonder if we wouldn’t be better off with just a little less knowledge of what was going on in the rest of the world every minute of every day!??

My sister and I have always been interested in the Kennedy presidency and I have probably seen every TV show about the assassination and the theories of conspiracy surrounding it.

I also remember watching many historical events on TV. There were the war scenes that were happening as we watched on TV from the comfort of our homes. For days, I have been watching the coverage of the fight for freedom in Egypt! I remember the challenger explosion and the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma and none of us can forget the World Trade Center on 9/11. I also remember the minute by minute coverage of the little Jessica who was stuck in the well and the sighs of relief when she was removed safely!

I was one of the viewers of the original court TV. I like the concept of the trials being made truly public. I watched much of the OJ Simpson trial and I still struggle to maintain my view of the trial as from when I watched it to now when I have read and viewed so much more and know so much more about the people involved.

My sister is a huge Elvis fan so I think I have seen every movie he ever made at least twice! My younger brother insisted that we watch Forest Gump and the Christmas Story every time they were on TV so I have those two shows almost memorized! He also used to go around reciting every commercial he saw on TV! How annoying!!

My dad watched wresting with his dad and later with my brother. There were some sports for my dad and brother but my dad’s favorite shows have always been westerns! He has watched every movie with John Wayne that was ever made – at least three times and too many times to count for the better ones!

Mom has never really had just one show that she liked but she loves to watch the music and TV Award shows! She also loves those variety music shows.

When I was a kid, we had one TV in the living room. As I got older, Mom and Dad got another TV for their bedroom and we thought that was just extravagant. Now, there are three people in my house and one dog and we have four TVS! Also, I am still young enough that I was one of the kids told to get up and change the channels. At least until my younger sister and brother could do it and then I made them do it!

The other day we lost the remote to one of the TVs when my niece and nephews were visiting and they thought the world was going to come to an end because they couldn’t turn on that TV! I explained to them about turning it on with the button on the TV. Then, they just didn’t understand how they were going to change the channels!! How much things have changed!!

In closing (I bet you thought I was never going to get to that didn’t you?) What shows do you remember and why?


 

Week #6 – Radio & Television

Week 6: Radio & Television. What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

This challenge runs from Saturday, February 5, 2011 through Friday, February 11, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

 

52-Weeks-Personal-History

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy: Week #5 – Favorite Food

Well favorite food is a hard choice for me to make so I am going to just talk about several of them.

My Grandmother Treat was a great old-fashioned southern cook! She always had something on the stove when we would visit and most of it came from her very own garden! She had 6 children and never seemed to be able to make smaller amounts of food so whenever you stopped by there was food on the stove keeping warm for later!

At the holidays she always made two pies: Chocolate and Lemon Meringues. I loved those pies and looked forward to them every year.

For everyday type of foods, I loved her fried chicken that was battered with a corn meal and flour combination and pan-fried until the batter was crisp (and the chicken was completely cooked) usually in “lard”. She always made cornbread and usually homemade mashed potatoes with it.

Another of my favorites was her stew. She also made a soup that everyone else seemed to like but I am not a big vegetable eater and her soup had every vegetable she grew in it! This stew had big chunks of potatoes, corn, Tabasco sauce, tomatoes, cabbage, and huge chunks of browned hamburger meat with some onion and peppers for seasoning. She would make a huge pot and leave it simmering on the stove all day. She would have large pans of her cornbread to go with it. I loved this stew and can make some that is close. I don’t think mine will ever taste as good as hers but at least I can eat some of it once in a while!

She taught me how to cook many of the dishes she made when I was a teenager and would visit their home in the summer for a week or two. I can come close on many of her dishes but I never had any baking talent and still can only manage to make even a boxed cake mix turn out about half the time. I am probably the only grandchild who ever received the advice from this from the garden to the table cook to find a good bakery because I would need it!!

My Grandmother Thompson was also a good cook. I am told by Dad that she used to cook a lot more when he was a young child and he remembers fondly the huge meals she used to put on the table for their family dinners. What I remember though is that she used to make these decorated cakes with flowers and such on them. Also, she made chicken and dumplings that were wonderful. One of my favorites was her potato salad and deviled eggs that she made at the holidays.

My very favorite food at Grandma and Grandpa Thompson’s home at the holidays was Grandpa Thompson’s Rocky Road Fudge that he started making in the late 1970s. I think someone else had made it and brought it to work for some function and he found out that the recipe was on the can of condensed milk so he got the stuff and made it for that Thanksgiving dinner. It was delicious and became a family tradition for years after that.

Mom and Dad would cook for us most nights and I remember liking their meals but my favorite meal when I was a kid was when they would take us out for pizza. We would go to Pizza Hut and sit at the tables with the red and white checked clothes and be served our pan pizza straight from the oven to our table! I loved those pizzas and it was such a treat for us to go out to dinner! Another favorite was Kentucky Fried Chicken when they had the original “Original” chicken and it was served in those little boxes with the “sporks” and wet wipes to clean your fingers with when you finished eating.

The foods now though sometimes don’t seem to measure up to those of my childhood but I think I remember the people who made the dishes more than the actual taste of the dish.

My favorite foods now are much the same as when I was a child: fried chicken, potato salad, fudge (well really anything chocolate) and pizza. Now my sister, sister-in-law, and I make the holiday dinners with all the special treats for the children! Hopefully they will remember our dinners as fondly as I remember the ones from my childhood.


 

Week #5 – Favorite Food

Week 5: Favorite Food. What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

This challenge runs from Saturday, January 29, 2011 through Friday, February 5, 2011.


 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.