Even though I have lived in major metropolitan areas since I was 23, I grew up in a town of 10,000 people.

Morro Bay, California is known as the Gibraltar of the Pacific as it has an almost 600 foot rock in the harbor. This picturesque beach is often used in commercials and tv shows.

My grandparents lived three blocks away and the schlep up the hill to see them seemed impossible when I was in grade school.

It was the type of town where dogs slept in the street, no one locked their doors and we had traffic once a year- after leaving the fireworks on the 4th of July.

Bikes or skateboards were used as transportation by my friends until we were able to drive.

These were the days when of video stores, busy signals on phones and reruns on the tv.

I can still remember when Madonna’s “Like a Prayer “ Pepsi video came out (8th grade), seeing Top Gun in the theater (with my friend Rachael Ratto Kozlowski) and where I was when I learned of the Tiananmen Square protests (at the bank with my Mother).

I had my first official on the books job (Foster Freeze), went with my grandmother to try on prom dresses (Gottschalks) and learned how to drive a stick shift (Cuesta Community College parking lot).

So as I sit on this much smaller rock on the opposite side of the country, I was thinking of how my kids childhood will be very different than mine. Not just because of social media, the internet and stranger danger, but at how different our world is.

They don’t just ride their bikes to a friends to see if they are home, everything is planned and prearranged. Shopping is done online and every movie or tv show you could ever want to see is available to stream.

I spent an entire summer day going to all the video stores in our town with a group of guy friends in an attempt to rent Clockwork Orange. Someone’s college age cousin said they should see it. That was enough for us. We eventually found it and a store that would rent it to a bunch of 16 year olds only for me to walk out of the room within 15 minutes of the movie. That would never happen now. I would have gone on Wikipedia and discovered that Singing in the Rain would forever be ruined for me if I continued on this quest.

It’s easy to get caught up with the nostalgia of a cellphone free life: full disclosure I am writing this on a cellphone. My kids do love Netflix on a rainy day and getting a busy signal was super annoying when you called your friends house to make plans only to realize later their phone was accidentally knocked off the hook hours earlier.

What sort of town did you grow up in?

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