Fast Talk
by Ron Swift
Nov 29, 2008 | 293 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

When some of us get into the upper age bracket — the POM, or Persons of Maturity level — we have to watch our language.

More to the point, we have to omit certain words when talking with our children and grandchildren. That’s because they simply don’t understand what we are talking about.

Here’s an example. Mention to them that we used to play records. They’ll respond with something like, “What kind of game was that?”

Then we realize we should have said “phonograph records,” something our grandkids have never seen nor heard. They wouldn’t know a 45 from a 33, let alone a 78.

Another is the fountain pen. Try to explain that one to a 10-year-old, telling about the rubber bladder and the bottles of ink and — never mind, forget it.

And then there were those jars of white paste in every classroom desk. They don’t understand that either. (I can still remember the taste.)

Mentioning the Edsel to a young person always draws a blank look. As for auto accessories such as the sun visor, fender skirt and steering knob, our young people will consider you a dinosaur.

Most won’t know what you are talking about if you bring up the subject of Hula-hoops, although the hoop did go through a revival a couple decades ago. And if you ask for a yardstick, be prepared to go without.

Also a relic of the past is the balsa wood model airplane that cost about 19 cents when I was a kid. Haven’t seen one in years.

And if you have reason to mention the hinder-binder on the back of men’s trousers in the late 1950s, prepare to give an explanation.

If, of course, you can remember that short-lived style.


Regular readers know my feelings about cell phones. Thus I was amused at this story in the daily press:

A guy in Arkansas inadvertently left his cell in a McDonald’s restaurant. On it, he had images of his wife in the nude, and the photos ended up online for all to see. He’s now filed a $3 million lawsuit against the restaurant.

It wouldn’t happen to me, because I don’t use a cell phone. Oh yes, there is another reason.


This week’s Height of Optimism (HOO) award goes to an unnamed Oakland Raider.

After Oakland’s win in Denver last Sunday, in which the 3-8 Raiders finally scored some touchdowns on offense, he pointed out that his team is only three games behind the Broncos (6-5) in the AFC West.

He figures the Raiders are ready to make a run at the playoffs, if his team can only get by New England (7-4) and Tampa Bay (8-3), among others.

Don’t bet any money on it.


Arriving back home after a spell out of the country, I realized that two things about Patterson never change: We have some truly wonderful people living in our community, and the fall leaves are always gorgeous.

  • Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. His column appears weekly in this space.
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