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Let me tell you how old I am
2008-12-10 00:01
by Bob Timmermann

Since I'm 43 now and not 40, I'm not allowed to have any existential crises over my age. You can visit Dodger Thoughts for that in late November.

But if you want to go back to what the world was like at the time I was born:

  • Vietnam was two countries.
  • Germany was two countries.
  • Yugoslavia was one country. (It is now seven separate countries)
  • The Soviet Union was made up of what is now fifteen separate countries.
  • As far as the U.S. was concerned, China was a large unnamed land mass off the coast of Taiwan.
  • Branch Rickey had been dead for one day.
  • There had never been a heart transplant in humans.
  • Babe Ruth was the career home run leader with 714, but the all time NL leader was Mel Ott with 511.
  • My mother had no idea what the sex of her baby was going to be and the doctors had no sure way of finding out either until I was born.
  • Barack Obama was four years old.
  • "Hogan's Heroes" had been on the air for just four months (and an episode was on while I was being born). "Gilligan's Island" was in its second season. "The Brady Bunch" would not go on the air for four more years.
  • There had been only four James Bond films.
  • The following people had not yet been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Casey Stengel, and Roy Campanella.
  • The NFL had just 12 teams. The AFL had 8 teams. The NHL had 6 teams. The NBA had 9 teams. The AL and NL had 10 teams each.
  • Warren Spahn, Satchel Paige, and Yogi Berra were still active in the 1965 season.
  • Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates were all 10.
  • The phone company gave you your phone. And you liked it.
  • You pretty much just could watch what the three big networks and the small syndicated stations showed you. And you better be home when the show you wanted to watch was on. And there were lots of commercials for cigarettes.
  • Japanese cars were considered to be of inferior quality to American ones.


And as the comments say, this was the #1 song when I was born:

2008-12-10 00:28:12
1.   Tripon
Technically, Vietnam was always one country. The Geneva convention of 1954 stated that Vietnam was supposed to hold a nationwide election to pick which government it wanted in power, the communists in the North or the Western backed leader in the South.

But it was still technically one country.

2008-12-10 00:32:19
2.   Bob Timmermann
Vietnam was two countries.
2008-12-10 05:22:29
3.   Josh Wilker
Happy birthday, obvious reincarnation of Branch Rickey!
2008-12-10 06:18:00
4.   Sam DC
Happy Birthday!

The Barack Obama thing makes you seem young!

I had mine a bit ago, and I found myself thinking how, when I was born, WWII was just 22 years in the past. Yet it's been almost twice that time since. Put another way, my first birthday was as close to WWII as my current birthday is to the Challenger explosion and Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's safe. Kind of convoluted, but it manged to make me feel really old.

2008-12-10 06:30:50
5.   Jon Weisman
Happy birthday, my friend.

When you were born, the time in which the final episode of "Happy Days" was set was in the very recent past.

2008-12-10 07:55:48
6.   Woden325
The phone company gave you your phone. And you liked it.
Well, they leased you your phone. I remember when you could finally buy phones, and you had to call the phone company and tell them you were adding new equipment to the line.

Happy Birthday, Bob.

2008-12-10 09:11:09
7.   Sam DC
I guess it falls to me to point out that it is also Rod Blagoasdfauebatfa3a43q5q0yevich's birthday today.
2008-12-10 11:26:20
8.   ABreck
Happy BBirrtthdday BBobb!
Since my 43 comes in a couple months I guess this mostly applies to me also (other than Mr Rickey getting to do a Franco impression)
2008-12-10 11:30:16
9.   Linkmeister
Happy Birthday!

SamDC, when I was born WW 2 was five years in the past, Korea had not yet begun, and the Whiz Kids had just been swept by the Yankees in the World Series.

2008-12-10 12:02:30
10.   Eric Stephen
Happy Birthday, Bob! Some might say it's a downgrade from Jackie Robinson to Raul Mondesi, but I say embrace the change! It's an honor to be El Cañon for a year.
2008-12-10 13:24:15
11.   Dane Bramage
Happy Birthday!

You forgot to mention that the #1 hit single in the USA according to Billboard was The Byrds' "Turn, Turn, Turn"...

2008-12-10 14:04:58
12.   Daniel Zappala
Happy birthday Bob! May you have a great 43rd year.
2008-12-10 14:14:46
13.   Bob Hendley
Happy B-day Bob! Tis my daughter's birthday as well; and just returned from the Japanese Embassy where we were invited to toast the birthday of the Emperor of Japan (note: there could be some dateline issues here).
2008-12-10 14:22:43
14.   Bob Timmermann
The Emperor of Japan's birthday is December 23.
2008-12-10 14:40:33
15.   Bob Hendley
Boy, that's some dateline! I just checked with my colleague and apparently the invitation said that we were supposed to toast along with the Emperor, so I guess it was some other date important to them.
2008-12-10 15:16:07
16.   fanerman
Happy B-Day.
2008-12-10 17:17:00
17.   dzzrtRatt
I was in Boston last weekend with my son to check out his school. We went over the Cambridge so he could visit a high school friend who is attending Harvard. While I waited on that cold December night, I reflected on the freshman class at Harvard, the folks who are probably going to have as much to say about what kind of retirement I have as anyone other than me.

Assuming they're 18, when they were born:

George HW Bush was president. Margaret Thatcher had just resigned. Gorbachev was still running the USSR, which was still fighting in Afghanistan.

Richard Nixon's election was as far in the past for them as FDR's first term was for me.

The Berlin Wall had fallen in the previous year.

The Rodney King beating had not yet happened, therefore when people referred to the LA Riots, they still meant Watts in 1965.

The Dodgers still had a lot of the players with whom they won the WS, two years earlier, plus Daryl Strawberry.

Among the still alive but soon to die: Danny Thomas, George Gobel, Pete Axthelm, Martha Graham, Margot Fonteyn, Graham Greene, David Ruffin, Bert Convy, Michael Landon, Paul Brown, Gene Roddenberry, Miles Davis and Redd Foxx.

What do those kids know of life?

2008-12-10 19:16:20
18.   Andrew Shimmin
When Bob was born, the sitting governor of Illinois had some prison time in his future.
2008-12-10 21:48:20
19.   El Lay Dave
Happy birthday Bob. You remain 5 years and 8 days younger than me. Congratulations.

My two brothers birthday's are yesterday and today, four years apart. My parents have never explained why late-February / early-March is so, uh, interesting for them. (No, their anniversary is in January.)

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