Back-to-school 1970 vs 2017

Back-to-school
Back-to-school 1970 vs 2017 comparisons

1970’s – Shopping meant a trip to Sears for back-to-school clothes the last week of August, Mervyns if you wanted to splurge. We’d each get a new pair of cords and striped t-shirts. Girls would probably get culottes too, boys some jeans. Mom would promise to knit a matching poncho. Just before the first day of classes, we’d pile in the station wagon and head to Eckerds or K-Mart to pick out a lunchbox, a composition book and a pack of pencils. That’s it. Of course we couldn’t forget to bring to school paper grocery bags – we’d be covering our text books with them the first week, yes, during class time. Lunch was typically Wonder Bread, yellow mustard, baloney and American cheese slices wrapped together in tin foil or wax paper. Mom would add some Planter’s Cheese Balls in a baggie with a twist tie and toss in a Twinkie along with an apple we’d never eat and would always smash the sandwich. Our thermoses would be filled with Kool-Aid. We all got the same, period.

2017 – Shopping means planning 2 weeks prior – mid July in some cases – when that dreaded school supply list arrives. It’s three-and-a-half pages and includes a 10-pound bag of flour, cleaning supplies and toiler paper! The frantic search starts online for backpacks with solar rechargeable slots for cell phones, made of course from all natural materials yet still cool to be monogrammed so they are not stolen. And then you tackle the list: paper, pens, folders, notebooks, calligraphy set, 15 new apps for their tablets, calculator, electron microscope and a centrifuge. Mom can’t forget the bento boxes for lunches. She will fill them from Whole Foods with organic only ingredients customized to each child’s dietary restrictions.

What were your memories and how do they differ from your kids today?

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