On My Soapbox

This was our senior shirt from the class of 1999. Yes, I can still fit it. I just cut the sleeves and where it around the house.

This weekend was homecoming in Taylor, and for me and my classmates, it was our 20-year class reunion.

Yes, it has been 20 years since we graduated high school.

The last 20 years have been . . . interesting. So much has happened since we walked the halls of Taylor ISD – the one on Main Street across the street from the Taylor Plaza.

There have been four presidents since my classmates and I have been able to vote. Those include the first African-American president and the first reality TV star president.

The world has changed a lot since we walked the stage. Google was not a thing yet. If Google was around when we were in high school, everyone would have been straight-A students because the information would have been right at our fingertips.

We took photos all the time but had to pay to get them processed and returned, which could take anywhere from one to three days if we were lucky. Imagine if social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, heck even MySpace – were around back then. Our basketball team was pretty close, so I’m sure we would have had plenty of photos if we had cell phones and social media back then.

Since 1999, so much has happened in the world. There have been multiple mass shootings, national tragedies (Sept. 11, Boston Marathon Bombing and more) and the recession.

I often find myself telling my kids, “back in my day . . .” That’s usually when they lose interest.

I’ve even gone as far as trying to relive some of my youth by introducing them to the original Nintendo – the one we opened on Christmas in 1988; the one that is actually older than my wife. Unfortunately, I can’t do that anymore because the electric bill went up about $100 that month.

We had the Super Nintendo when I was in high school and we were amazed with the 32-64-bit graphics back then. Now kids can put their own faces in the game and if you’re not careful you will watch a video game montage and think it is a movie.

All of this in just 20 years. It’s crazy to realize how much the world has evolved and become technologically advanced.

In other words, everything can be done on your phone. Children today probably have no idea what a pay phone or a collect call is. Some don’t even know what a phone cord looks like because of cell phones.

Twenty years ago, I’m sure none of us thought the world would be this way. While we couldn’t predict it, I think we have all adapted well.

Happy 20-year reunion class of 1999.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and explain how times have changed with my children before I hit the reunion.

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

- Nelson Mandela

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