Chronicles from the Analog Age Is a “Remember When?” for Boomers
Wow! You mean there was life before digital? Jeff R. Lonto assures us that there was in his latest book, Chronicles from the Analog Age: Random Slices of Life, Culture, and Media from the Old Millennium. Actually, Lonto takes his slices from 1920 through the 1980s, and presents a truly random collection of information, nostalgia, and black and white reproductions of advertisements and photographs. Baby boomers will remember—perhaps reluctantly—much of what the book covers.
Certainly there was a whole lot more technology in those sixty-or-so years than would fit in Lonto’s 96 pages, but the samples he offers are a rare look into what seems an ancient America. Many of the subjects included are long- or near-forgotten (do you remember President Jimmy Carter’s rambunctious brother, Billy, and his famous gas station? How about Billy Beer?). Civil Defense and fallout shelters get full treatment, and the chapter includes copies of ads and pamphlets promising a special citation for families who build fallout shelters, instructions on what to do when the air-raid warning sounds, and how to earn your “Home Preparedness Award.” Need info on exactly how to “Duck and Cover” or where to find an official Fallout Shelter? Jeff Lonto is the man to ask.
Who remembers Turn On, a much ballyhooed one-night stand that debuted on ABC-TV on February 5, 1969, and was promptly cancelled? Although thousands of people complained that it was offensive, I recall that it was a mess. One of those odd pieces of television history, Turn On is one that will never serve as a learning moment, “…as part of the contract settlement…with ABC was the agreement that the program would never be seen again. Not in syndication not on cable TV, not on DVD, not in the form of clips in a documentary.” Really, it wasn’t that bad. On a related note, Lonto lists 50 songs that were banned and censored, and details the reasons why.Continued on the next page