We Are Survivors

(For those born before 1940…)


We were born before television, before penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, videos and pill. We were before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams, 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 over sized raincoat and “crumpet” we had for tea. We existed before house-husbands, computer dating and “sheltered accommodation” was where you waited for a bus


We were before day care centers, group homes and disposable nappies. We never heard of the FM radio, tape decks, artificial hearts, word processors, or young men wearing ear rings. 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 bus to the terminus. In our day, cigarette smoking was “fashionable”, “grass” was mown, “coke” was kept in the coalhouse, a “joint” was a piece of meat you ate on Sundays and “pot” was something you cooked in. “Rock music” was a fond mother’s lullaby, “Eldorado” was an ice cream, a “gay person” was the life and soul of the party, 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 way in which the world has changed and the adjustments we have had to make.

No wonder there is a generation gap today…BUT


By the grace of God… we have survived

written by Ikem Nwakaudu


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