Old-school traditions remain strong

Zach Nebben

Zach Nebben

I always thought that I was born later than I should have been. As I look back to my childhood, I think of the music I listened to, the television programs I watched and the games I played. At 22, I have a newfound perspective on life, and have come to the conclusion that I was indeed born in the wrong decade.

You see, I am the youngest of three children. My two older sisters (whose ages will not be listed, due to the inherent threats involved when one tells others the age of his 28- and 31-year-old siblings … oops) were my caretakers when I was a child. Now, anyone with an older sister knows how demanding she can get. Take that times two, and you have my situation. I watched what they wanted to watch, went where they wanted to go, and Mousercized when they wanted to, well, Mousercise.

At the time, I did not know that there was more to the world than watching Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, discovering the hidden warp zones in Super Mario, and trying to memorize the cheesy musical dancing montages from great film hits such as “Grease” and “Footloose.” While others, without the luxury of significantly older siblings, came into their own Marble Works worlds, I was still hanging with the Lincoln Log generation.

Do not get me wrong. I eventually left the Daisy Duke era and evolved into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle connoisseur. My final collection ended at 127 action figures, the entire collection until they released the stupid wind-up versions. I mean, really. Who wants a wind-up Ninja Turtle with awesome wrist twirling action? But I digress.

You see, I was one of the lucky few born at that magic time between dusk and twilight; too young to remember Macintosh’s revolutionary commercial, “1984”, yet old enough to know how to sing out in exuberance the theme song to “The Facts of Life” before it found eternal destiny via Nick at Nite reruns.

My sisters taught me the way through “old school” traditions, toys and entertainment and for that, I am eternally grateful. I have come to realize that I was not so much born in the wrong decade as I was “held back,” so to speak.

So, the next time some of you young pups walk into a living room and see an original Nintendo sitting on the television and an original copy of “Ghostbusters” on VHS sitting in a rack, do not make the mistake of making us feel old by crying out, “Wow! I didn’t know these even existed anymore!” Instead, smile and ask them how their sisters are doing.

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