"I Love You Grandpa," She Giggled In His Lap, "But Why Aren't You Cool?"

Maybe this isn’t important to you, especially if you’re still in your twenties or thirties. But it sure is to me. I mean, aren’t there any simple old traditions left anymore….?

The old peppermint barber poles have been disappearing for years. Now the iconic brass poles in the firehouse too. As kids we used to visit the firemen and get to watch them swoop down those poles from their living quarters right into their fire trucks. In my time, that was considered pretty thrilling stuff. I realize most of you operate in a whole different culture — I mean, it’s your world, I just live here — but it’s nice to think there was once a time in America when simple things could still thrill a kid. Check your Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys or the occasional circus. These days, thrills come much bigger and badder.

You will permit an old guy some regrets, but I regret you’ll never know a world when simple wasn’t considered silly. Daily life today has whooshed into warp speed so that the public’s appetites demand more and more highs. Extreme sports…extreme makeover…extreme love…extreme extremes. Once an addiction sets in, it keeps taking more to feed its fury.

There are two words that may sum up this generational transition. “Cool” and “Corny.” What’s considered cool today makes what my peers and I did look pretty corny. Frankly, no different than any other generational transition. It’s one of life’s natural laws. The passing of the guard. Only I’m hoping the new legionnaires pause just long enough to notice who and why we once were.

After all, that’s where you came from, Abby……

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