January 1, 1968

By Mike Johnson

“Here we are on January 1, 1968.”

This is what I posted online 55 years ago. I’d just read Abraham Lincoln’s advice to never trust the Internets, but jumped in anyway. I remember this moment like I made it up yesterday.

It was 4am, I was sprawled in my beanbag chair, posting under lava lamp light, pressured to depart for the paper route. TV, newspapers, the Internet and people were still black & white in those days. Radio too.

My pet triceratops curled at my feet on the heat register. Luckily I had the clothing app on my iPhone and could select virtual flannel. But we were still so frugal that we put a hot potato in our underpants to stay warm during Minnesota winters. Then we had to eat it for lunch. And mix our own hydrogen and oxygen to make a drink of water.

Paper money still held value in 1968, so I drove my route in a 1962 Corvette. It cost me 12 cents on e-Bay, an entire week’s wages. Gas was a penny a gallon and they gave you a free toaster with a fill-up. With a kit from Popular Mechanics, you could turn the toaster into an 8-track tape player and listen to two tapes at once. Michael Jackson was #1 on the music charts with his hit song, “Still in the Womb.”

I had 128 followers on my website which was pretty good since there were only 250 people on the Internet. When you posted something, everybody was notified. Beaver Cleaver’s posts were so popular he had to change his name to “Elon.”

Those Were The Days my friend, we thought they'd never end.

I can’t believe 55 years has passed so quickly.

Happy New Year.


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