What was it like in the 1940s when I was your age? Very different. Milk was delivered daily in bottles: a milk-wagon, drawn by a tired, plodding old horse, appeared on East 9th Street three times a week before we sat down to breakfast. There were also daily visits from a horse-drawn vegetable truck. An itinerant knife-sharpener came once every couple of months. And also a very old man with a large sack thrown over his back, singing out in the loudest voice I've ever heard, 'I cash clothes." There were squarish automobiles (Packards, DeSotos, Studebakers), but far fewer than today -- so few that kids would play punchball and stickball right in the middle of the street, just stepping to the side to let that occasional car pass by. Kids also skated in the street, using clunky metal skates that attached to the shoe by turning a "skate key." There was no television, but everyone listened to the radio. "Portable" radios were as big as bread boxes. Some people had refrigerators (much smaller than modern ones), but most had "iceboxes." Every week, an ice delivery man would haul a block of ice (about a foot-and-a-half square if I remember correctly) with large tongs and set it in the icebox. Coal was delivered in barrels: men with heavy gloves would roll the barrels from the truck to the ground-level coal chute. All telephones were attached to the wall with wires. Long distance phone calls were expensive and only for emergencies. People did not communicate by e-mail or by texting, but by means of postcards and letters. A "letter" was a piece of paper on which whole paragraphs were written; it was inserted into an "envelope" and put in a "mail box" for delivery. Hard to believe, I know. There were no word processors. I learned to using a "straight pen." There were no dvd's or cd's or streaming. Instead, we had "records," vinyl discs 12-inches in diameter which were placed on a rotating "turntable" on which rested a hand with a stylus, at first steel and then later diamond. It was primitive, I know, but it worked rather well. There were no credit cards. Some people had checking accounts, but 99% of commercial transactions were completed with "money." When I started at P. S. 217, in 1944, I wore "knickers" (pants that went to just below the knee and were held in place with elastic) and long socks. You can sometimes see knickers in old illustrated books or in clothes museums. Men always wore hats: fedoras or derbies or panamas or bowlers or pork-pies, usually made of felt. Women wore hats too, some with veils, most of them godawful ugly. Young folks "courted." In those days, before people became intimate, they would go through a period in which they would "date" and talk and get to know each other. This period could last for weeks or even months. Astonishing, I know, but trust me, it happened that way in the old days. "The past is another country; they do things differently there."