Well, Dear Reader, here I am again, posting on A Certain Point of View, Too a mere two hours after posting another mini-memoir Tempus Fugit piece about my memories of the summer of 1972. In between then and now, I had a late brunch (two fried eggs, four slices of toasted bread, and three mugs of coffee) that the Caregiver prepared for me while I wrote my blog post. I also puttered about on social media, mostly to share my post, but also to watch a few YouTube videos and play a football-themed game on Facebook.
So far, we have not seen or heard any signs of thunderstorms in the forecast for this part of Hillsborough County. It’s cloudier now than it was when I posted on WordPress, and we are seeing some lines of rain showers moving in from the east – the land side for us on the “left coast” of Florida, and I assume some of those squalls include thunderstorms. And since Windows’ weather app is location-based and thus receives weather data from reporting stations near me, I see a “Rain Coming” advisory on my Windows 11 taskbar.
I suppose that my nine-year-old self would be amazed at all the gadgets that I own in August of 2022, the 50th anniversary of our “move-in” date into 1001 SW 102nd Avenue, the single-family house that my mother bought in the summer of 1972 for $31,000. Located in the same development (but a newer phase) where my family (Dad, Mom, my older half-sister, and I) had lived when I was a baby, 1001 was still relatively new – it was approximately nine years old when Mom bought it, the same age as Yours Truly – and although it had several inconvenient flaws (Mom hated that we only had one and a half bathrooms, plus it lacked a central air conditioning/heating unit), it was, and still is, my favorite of the two Miami area houses that I lived in between August of 1972 and April of 2016.
Putting aside personal computers – something that would have seemed to my nine-year-old incarnation something out of a science-fiction movie – for the moment, let’s go over some of the other cool things that I have now that I did not have in 1972.
My 4K UHD TV Set
I didn’t have my own TV set when we moved into 1001; I had a Zenith black-and-white set in my room in Bogota when we lived there, but since Mom could only afford to have some of our living room furniture shipped to Miami when we moved back to the States in the spring of 1972, I had to part with it. And, of course, until Mom got a job in the nutrition department at Palmetto General Hospital in the fall of 1972, her priority was to buy the house, furniture for three bedrooms, and new school clothes for when I started attending Coral Park Elementary School.
I eventually got a black-and-white TV (this one was made by General Electric) for my tenth birthday, but till then, if I wanted to watch television – my favorite show of 1972 was the Jack Webb-produced Emergency! – I had to either watch my Mom’s color TV in her room or, if I was out and about, either at the Blascos’ house at 915 SW 102nd Avenue or the Blanchards’ at 925. Most of the time, though, it was in Mom’s room that I watched my shows until my bedtime – 10:30 PM during summer vacation, and 10 PM when school was in session. (Initially, my bedtime during the nine months of school was 9:30 PM, but the 8 PM Movie on Channel Six ended at 10 PM, so Mom allowed me to extend my TV time by a half hour so I could watch movies till they ended.)
I can’t say for sure, but I believe that 1972 Alex would be surprised not just by the advances in TV technology since the 1970s, but that my Samsung – 32″ Class Q50R Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV boasts features such as Internet connectivity (for streaming purposes, but I can also access the web if I have a wireless keyboard linked to the TV. I am used to Smart TV technology; my Samsung high-definition sets have all been “smart TVs,” but when I lived in Miami I rarely used that feature; my house did not have a wireless router inside until 2010 or so, and I only used that so I could use my first laptop downstairs when I was taking care of my mom.
2022 Alex might be a bit jaded about 21st Century tech, but my younger counterpart would have been wide-eyed with the same wonder he felt when he watched the Apollo 11 astronauts walking on the Moon in July of 1969.
My Movie Collection
Even though videotape was a mature technology in 1972 and had been used by the television industry since the 1950s, it would still be a few years until Sony and JVC rolled out their competing videocassette formats (Betamax was Sony’s; VHS was JVC’s) and introduced to consumers outside Japan. I didn’t know VCRs existed until the late 1970s, and by then Mom had sold 1001 and we were already living in our new (and last) Miami-area house in Fountainbleau Park.
By the time I was nine, I already had a deep love for movies, even though I could count on the fingers of one hand the times I went to see feature films in theaters in Bogota. TV was my main source of Hollywood’s magic, and most of the titles that I saw then were from the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. After 1972, networks such as ABC, CBS, and NBC broadcast edited versions of movies that had come out later – usually two or three years after their theatrical runs – but when Mom, Vicky, and I settled in at 1001, older movies were far more common than movies such as Summer of ’42 or The Godfather.
So, if my younger self were to somehow leap forward in time as a nine-year-old kid, he would not only be surprised that I have a personal video library in four formats (DVD, HD Blu-ray, 4K UHD Blu-ray, and digital), but that home media releases are a “thing” now.
And don’t get me started on how 1972 Me would have reacted to my Star Wars collection….