It’s time to get ready to watch the personal odometer roll over again with another birthday anniversary looming.
In one’s thirties and forties, physical change seems to occur gradually, almost imperceptibly, which allows plenty of time to adapt to the resulting realization. In one’s mid-fifties, a good birthday present would be a portable, frontal airbag to help mitigate the unanticipated experience of rapid deceleration.
Let’s be honest. What’s left of my hair looks like something you’d see on a Muppet character. My complexion is as bumpy as seven miles of Saddle Road, Kona side. Some of my former, easily performed feats of physical daring are now precluded by interference from my waistline, especially those involving forward axial rotation.
These things I can accept. They are natural consequences of ageing. But what I find really perturbing about getting along in years is that, technologically, we still haven’t entered the era of the flying car.
The promise of personal ownership of flying cars by the time of the new millennium was all but guaranteed by our teachers to us as elementary school pupils back in the early to mid-1960’s, a time of optimistically-viewed technological progress, with the America of we young baby boomers still in ascendancy. The vivid images my teachers described of a coming age where each of us would be hot-rodding around in the air created a vision of a brighter future and a better tomorrow, a future that science failed to deliver.
At school, on days when the teachers must not have prepared adequate lesson plans, or perhaps when we were just in an uncontrollable condition, they would leave the classroom to go to the A/V closet and return wheeling in a reel-to-reel movie projector. Most of the films we watched would promote the supposedly imminent technological, economic and recreational gains, which, we were given to understand, would vastly contribute to a more comfortable, enriching life with lots more goofing off time.
Here’s an example of the type of films we watched. The narrative sounds remarkably true to the times back in the day, although the images appear to be of a more recent archive.
Enjoy the jaunt back in time to my idyllic childhood, or thereabouts…