USA Then and Now — Anyone remember when three channels was pretty darn good reception on your teevee? What about that brand new Cadillac that cost $6,000? Remember when Betamax came out and only wealthy people had such an amazing movie-showing system in their homes? Those people had an outrageous number of home movies back then, perhaps 12. Man, those were luxurious times.

Look at the Twin Towers below. The Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world at their opening in 1973 and oh did America shine. As for movies, The Godfather had just come out in 1972, fetching Best Picture that year. And the Camaros, Firebirds and Corvettes were looking sharp, new, updated and sleek.

Image and original art credit: Dino Londis



Now beam yourself to modern times. What’s happening in America? Are we better off now than then?¬†What about the World Trade Center? What has become of that.

The buildings destroyed on September 11, 2001 are currently being replaced by taller, stronger, brand new buildings. Five new skyscrapers are being built on the original site along with a memorial. The tallest of these buildings is One World Trade Center and is currently the tallest building in New York City. It will reach more than 100 stories at it’s completion.

What about movies? I saw a movie so exciting the other day that I was on the edge of my seat. The sound in the theater was so loud, clear and deep that I had ringing in my ears for an hour afterwards. The popcorn was delicious, the tub it came in was huge, I got free refills if I so cared. The action on the screen was … dynamic. Wow. It was a chase film, car-on-car total action. What was the name of that flick … Ha! Let me Google it … Let’s type in Mustang, new release and movie and … voila! It was Getaway with Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez.

Speaking of cars, I saw a Cadillac Eldorado last week, a V-8, clean, it had dual exhaust, leather interior. I asked the guy what he paid for it. He said $4 grand. It had just over 100K miles on it. This car was beautiful. I stopped in a gas station later that same day, saw a Land Rover Discovery at the pumps, asked the female driver how much she paid for her vehicle. She said $3 thousand and it ran great, but it was sucking her purse dry at $3.35 a gallon for gas and only getting 11 m.p.g. ¬†Today I saw a guy pull up next to me at a stop light in a black, brand new Camaro. Has anybody seen these vehicles? Man oh man oh man. That car is SUPERBAD. What a ride. This car is perhaps the most-beautiful vehicle I’ve ever seen. And that’s a mighty bold statement, ’cause there’s some good-looking cars out there these days!

I went into a Salvation Army thrift store this afternoon, picked up a $150 tennis racquet for $6. There was a Sony VCR, with the original remote control, for $5. I grabbed several DVDs for $2 a piece, thinking back on those rich kids that had 12 movies of their very own in their living room when I was a kid. I bet I own 400 movies right now.

You know what? I should say something. I’m not rich. I am not in great health. A lot of people in America do better than I do, and a lot of people do worse. But these are good times. America is doing great. People that want to exceed and excel do so. People that just want to get by do so. And look at this standard of living. Whew.

That said, surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. And all of us on this planet shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

For, I’m Kevin Marcus.