The evolution of Electronics in a Rural Newfoundland Home

my kid asked if I had a texting package when I was a kid. A texting package? What the hell is that. He answers ‘its a phone package that allows texts’. “did you have texts when you were a kid?” I answer ‘Yes, but our texts were textbooks and we studied them!” he didn’t ask anything else.

Kids these days just don’t get it. Living in rural Newfoundland, we only got electricity in the early seventies, which isn’t really that long ago.

I was twelve before my family actually got a phone. This was  three years after we got electricity. It was two years after we got running water, and a year after we got an inside toilet. Before those  days, we relied on an outhouse that was located fifty feet from the front door. Think that  was bad? We didn’t have toilet paper. We used catalog paper. I know, you are thinking ‘ouch’ right now, and rightly so. When you went to the bathroom, it wasn’t to read a book, it was because you really had to go.

I remember the first toilet we got. We didn’t know how to sit on it. We mounted the toilet like a motor cycle, with the tank to our chest. It wasn’t until a relative came by that we found out how to sit on the thing.

When the first phone arrived, we didn’t know proper  ‘phone etiquette’. Whenever the phone rang, we would sit and stare at the thing, too shy to actually answer it. When we finally did answer the phone, we would do so by saying “Who is you, This is me!”

Again, it took a relative to explain that all  we had to do was to say ‘hello’. My family was one who could watch the Beverley Hillbillies and not think anything funny at the way that they acted. Of  course, we didn’t have television back then, so how would we know any different?

We eventually did get TV, and years afterwards, we got VCRs. We invested our money in the Beta system, but returned it to Woolco when the instructions were too difficult to understand. The clerk argued that this was the wave of the future. I am glad we didn’t listen to the guy. My uncle always wanted a VCR, so one day he traded his television for a VCR. He bragged about the thing until he realized that he needed a TV to run the thing. Go figure.

Eventually, my dad put a splitter on the phone line, and I actually had a phone in my room. The only thing was that with only one  line, anyone could hear what was being said on the other line. This ruined what little privacy I had as a teen (especially with a younger brother and two sisters who laughed and giggled on the other line whenever I talked  to girls).

Eventually we did manage  to catch up with the rest of the world. I still remember my first computer, a 286 with Windows 3.1. At the time, the thing was amazing. I could calculate anything, keep spread sheets, and it played DOS games. What more could you want?

A few upgrades and now we have a home  theater system in the house, three or four computers, video games for the kids, and cell phones, ipads and ipods for everyone. State of the art…Ya Baby!

Now to get me one of those Texting packages!!

5 thoughts on “The evolution of Electronics in a Rural Newfoundland Home

    1. Hard enough to actually find a metal can. I used to stomp one flat under each foot, and clank down the sidewalk. I told a story like this at work one day, and an Ontario Newfie asked me what part of The Rock I was from. 😕

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