Friendly Friday Challenge: FLASHBACK

My millennial age daughter recently sent me a clip of a new show on Netflix called “Inside” with Bo Burnham. I’d never heard of him but she said he was internet famous and her favorite comedian growing up. The video has a catchy tune and the lyrics are a satirical (sometimes crude) commentary on internet usage. As I listened to “Welcome to the Internet” I chuckled and laughed and remembered too clearly that “… it wasn’t always like this. Not very long ago … Right before the towers fell, circa ’99 … (the internet) was catalogs, travel blogs, a chatroom or two.” I had a flashback to the early days and how much has changed.

For the next two weeks the Friendly Friday Challenge is FLASHBACK where you post about things that have changed or even disappeared, over the last few decades.


The telephone is one of the great inventions of the modern age. I’m old enough to remember when my grandmother shared a party-line with her neighbors and there was a smattering of background voices during any call we’d make. But it was the mobile phone which was the true marvel of my adult life.

The first mobile phone was invented by Martin Cooper at Motorola in 1973. It was a portable brick, hardly compact, weighing a hefty1.1 kilograms (2.4 lb) and measuring 23 by 13 by 4.5 centimetres (9.1 by 5.1 by 1.8 in). The prototype offered a limited talk time of only 30 minutes after which it took a full 10 hours to re-charge.

Nowadays, most mobiles weigh less than 200g (7oz), fit in your palm and charge in one hour.

FLASHBACK: Payphones

The mobiles of the ’70s, 80’s and 90s were not cheap and before everyone had a phone in their pocket, public pay phones were common. Every bus and train station had payphones. That plus a quarter was my way of calling home for a pick-up. The last time I saw a working pay phone, it was a relic in a Seoul train station. Here in Toronto, there are no relics, only an empty wall with a sign indicating where telephones used to be.


Do you remember when going to the movies was a grand night out? My earliest memories from the ’60s were family nights out at the local drive-in theatre. I’d settle in the back seat, watch the opening cartoons and fall asleep before the main feature started.

Nowadays I stream movies on my phone or big screen TV. I pop my popcorn in the microwave and watch as many shows as I can stand in one sitting. I haven’t been in a movie theatre since … more than two pandemic years ago.

FLASHBACK: Midlife Crisis

When I was younger, people talked about midlife crises and how at certain age (between 35 and 65) they felt compelled to face and re-evaluate their mortality. Middle aged men suddenly felt compelled to get divorced, drive fast cars with the tops down and wear baseball caps to hide their shiny pates. Women suddenly felt compelled to do something different.

When I was a twenty-something, I had a female colleague who was a flower child from the 60’s. She was mousy quiet, wore Birkenstocks and favoured the color brown. One day she came to work in a flaming red dress, strappy high heels and wildly mascaraed eyes. It was a startling change and to my mind, strangely unsettling. At least it was, until someone explained that it was her response to her husband’s mid-life crisis.

It’s summer now in Toronto and I still see baseball capped men, cruising around in their shiny convertibles. I’ve read though, that the range of options has changed. Really wealthy guys now get divorced, buy rocket ships and launch themselves into space. Yikes. I wonder what MacKenzie is up to.


Probably my biggest flashback moments have been with music. Recently I heard “Leave the Door Open” and thought that it was an old song. It had all the smooth tones of R&B soul sung by Al Green in the 70’s. I was surprised that it was a 2021 original created by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak in their new band Silk Sonic.

The duo isn’t the only one embracing the sound. Other artists include Michael Kiwanuka and Tom Misch in their song “Money” In both “Leave the Door Open” and “Money” videos, the artists embrace not only the sound but the fashion of the 70’s. Flashback: Polyester, platforms and extra wide lapels!



Have you had a FLASHBACK recently? Something which caused you to think about how things were THEN compared to NOW. How about telling us and posting it to this Friendly Friday Challenge.

I look forward to seeing your post on FLASHBACK. You have two weeks to publish your response to this challenge, after which Amanda will pose a new one. Remember to include a pingback to this post, so that I can find you. Full instructions on Friendly Friday can be found here.

Toronto, Canada. June 2021


In addition to our regular Friendly Friday Challenge, I invite you to participate in the next Bloggers with a View vlog.

The theme is FLASHBACK and will build on the ideas, photos and videos submitted in this week’s challenge.

Cut-off date to provide content is JUNE 23, 2021

If you’d like to contribute to the video, I will need your permission to use the contents of your post. Either that or arrange for a direct transfer of files via email or Google Drive.

Permission can be indicated with a comment below or you can contact me directly.


    1. Given the heat wave hitting Western Canada & US, this is a refreshing flashback. I hear that today’s suppose to be the worse and it’ll get cooler. I hope you’re keeping cool & hydrated wherever you are!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No I don’t actually paint ceramics at all. I do use other mediums for Rosemaling. There is no reason it couldn’t be painted on ceramics or green ware, and I have seen Rosemaling designs printed on porcelain cups and crockery by Porsgun in Norway.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think of Friendly Friday as jumping points to wherever the topic takes you. The most interesting responses are those which are unexpected.

      Case in point is your post Manja. It’s a part of you story that I hadn’t expected to see. It reminds me that despite our intersects & similarities in this blogging world, we all have pretty diverse histories.

      It’s a pleasure to meet you here.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. For the challenge I never have any expectations and I look forward to being surprised. Your post was very interesting – took me somewhere I hadn’t been or heard about before. Well done!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. very cool post and your “then and now” images were creative and original –
    and you say you wonder what Mckenzie is up and the link you gave showed exactly what – she is donating a lot of her fortune to help less fortunate and those with inequity.
    and side note – did you know I still see payphone at rest areas across the United States east coast –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate your comment! I don’t expect everyone to click through the links, so it’s nice to know that you did. Yes, the discrepency on how people spend their billions is something to think about.

      I did not know that payphones are still around. Thank goodness for that. Do they still accept coins? The last time I tried to use a pay phone (circa 2000) it only accepted calling cards … gosh, I’d forgotten about those. Yet another thing that’s hit the obsolete button.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi – the payphone I saw were all at rest areas
        and curiously some of them had signs right above them that stated the location of that pay phone
        I need to look it up but I think they are there as part of a human trafficking aide –
        if someone can sneak away and use the phone – even briefly – it could save a life.

        I did not notice if they took coins or money still – I took a few photos and Will check it out – but I also know the ones you mentioned that only took cards –


        1. You bring up an interesting point – without pay phones, how does the disenfranchised make emergency calls for help. Not just human traffic victims but homeless, runaways? I seem to recall there once being emergency call boxes for police. I’m not sure if they’re still around. The next time I can go roaming about the city, I will look out for them.

          Liked by 1 person

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