Skip to main content

'Back in the day ...'

In Other Words
Lead Summary
Jason Berghorst

While I try not to use words that cliché, I know that’s what it sounds like to others when I say things like “When we were in school …” or “Back in the ’90s”…
As I get older, I find myself saying things like that more often.
Sometimes these statements are just for fun. An attempt to entertain.
Other times they are simply sharing a memory that makes me feel good.
Often, though, it’s the history teacher in me coming out.
My unsolicited trips down memory lane are usually intended to educate.
My niece and nephew, my students, really any younger people, or even people “new to Luverne” (which means less than 25 years or so) are often recipients of these mini history lessons.
I might tell them how we used to do things at Luverne High School when I was a student at the school I teach at now.
Or maybe I tell fellow church members how I remember a particular tradition happening the exact same way when I was a kid.
Often my reminiscences may be intended to inform others about how things were better in the past. Nostalgia is a big part of “back in my day” stories after all.
Maybe more often, though, I’ve recently found my “When I was your age …” comments shining a more positive light on today.
“When I was your age, we had to listen to K101 and wait for the DJ to read the school closings. Sometimes we had to listen to 15 minutes or more of classic country music before we heard!
“When I was in school, we had to eat lunch down in the basement and only had two choices to pick from.
“In the ’90s, we had to go to the library and look in a card catalog and check out all these books to do research. And if another kid had the book checked out, we were out of luck.
“Years ago, you had to actually go to the game, the concert, the church service, etc. to be able to watch it and you only saw it or heard it once.”
Now, of course, we get text messages for school closings. Students have multiple choices for lunch in a large commons with two-story windows. 
There is unlimited free research information on the internet, and we can watch most games and concerts and even church from the comfort of our homes.
Maybe “back in my day” wasn’t always the best. Maybe there’s a lot of good now if we just notice it.
Of course, the other most common topic for the “When I was your age ...” stories is massive snow amounts when we were young.
“We don’t have winters like that anymore,” people are known to say. 
After these last few weeks, I’m not sure the old days won in that category either.

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.