The Popcorn Stand: From Pong to Pokemon |

The Popcorn Stand: From Pong to Pokemon

P.T. Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute. And I'm a sucker. I'm a Baby Buster (the generation between Baby Boomers and Generation X, remember Generation X?, no they're not Millennials) who grew up in the 1970s and early 1980s.

I firmly believe the way I grew up — in a lower middle class background in the United States of America during that time — was the greatest way to grow up in the history of the world.

As a kid we had just enough technology to make life easy — but not too easy. As an old fuddy duddy I really feel sorry for today's kids with all their gizmos. But I remember watching an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" from the early 1960s in which Barney Fife said the exact same thing when he saw Opie listening to a transistor radio.

I did just enough manual labor to teach me work ethic but also to teach me I didn't want to do it for the rest of my life.

And as a child of the media (kids from the 1960s and 1970s), I'm a sucker for anything that reminds me of that era.

From time to time I watch entire college football games from the 1970s on YouTube. A while back, I watched the 1973 USC-UCLA football game commercials in all. What struck me was during the entire telecast of a game played the Saturday after Thanksgiving there was one commercial that even mentioned anything about Christmas shopping.

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Whenever one of those Progressive commercials with Flo instructing Jamie like an Afterschool Special (remember those?) come on complete with the 70s style music, graphics — and even filming with the blips and everything, I stop whatever I'm doing to watch the commercial. Not that it drives me to buy Progressive Insurance. I'm not that much of a sucker.

Every generation believes their generation was the best as I found out when I watched Archie and Edith Bunker sing the opening song to "All in the Family," as a kid during a time I wouldn't trade for the world.

Yes, 2016 has been a tough year, but hopefully I'm still alive 30 years from now when I can hear Millennials talk about "these kids today with all their fancy gizmos don't know what the pure joy of playing Pokemon Go is like."

Just like what I tell Millennial about Pong. Remember Pong?

— Charles Whisnand