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Telling Stories of My Childhood to Todays Youth

Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Over the past few months we have brought several students into our studios to intern and learn about the field of broadcasting.

I have had the opportunity of meeting several bright and highly motivated young people, and in doing so, I have been given a young person prospective on how they view the world of today, what they do for fun, and what little they know of the days of my youth.

I remember my grandparents talking about trolley cars rolling down the streets of Binghamton, horse and buggies on the streets, a guy they called the rag man who went around collecting old rags, they also rationed things like rubber and paper for the war efforts.

My parents told stories of going on dates at malt shops, and riding in those really old cars you see on the history channel.

In talking with the interns at our station, I found myself telling them stories of my youth, just like my grandparents and parents did to me.

I told them about the days when we only had a few TV channels, and you couldn’t tape or DVR anything, before call waiting, voice mail and caller ID.

When we had 2 newspapers here in Binghamton, I was a paperboy for the Sun-Bulletin and I delivered the Evening Press for a while too.

I mentioned that we had movie theaters all over the triple cities, from Endicott to Binghamton and that I had a job cleaning them at one time.

We had two high schools in Binghamton, (North and Central)

There were mom and pop stores all over the place and most grocery stores were closed on Sundays (like R&S on Robinson & Bigelow, and there was Al’s on Bigelow & East Fredrick), in fact most businesses in general did not work on Sunday.

My dad and brother worked for GAF and Anitec which made film, I worked there for a short time out of high school, before I joined the NAVY. They tore all those building down, when Kodak bought the plant and skipped town.

I talked to them about times when segregation was a big part of society and if you were gay you pretty much had to hide it or face extreme humiliation.

I could go on and on but I realized that there was a great satisfaction in talking about those times, and I identified with my grandparents and parents as to how they felt when they talked about their youth.

I would like to think that the period that we grew up in defined our character, as much as the youth of today is being shaped now, and who knows what stories they’ll be telling in 30 years.

I think I’ll go watch some old home movies today.

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