What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

What a Difference 50 Years Makes!

Boy, how things have changed!

The photo below is me - taken during the last hurray before summer vacation ended.  I am 4 1/2 years old and getting ready for kindergarten.  We used to go to Shady Side, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay, every year.  My favorite thing was the boating.  I had my own boat.  I would get up early and go boating before the adults got up.  I remember it vividly.  In this photo the water is probably shallow enough for me to wade in.  But I remember going so far out I would get yelled at, from the shore, 100 yards away.  I thought that was funny.  Sometimes I would jump out and swim to shore.  It got me punished.  Look carefully at the picture!  By the way, that is my 18 month-old brother on the beach.  Things have changed...

If this photo had been taken last September, here is what you would see:

The difference 50 years makes -- today you would see county-employed Nazis on the shore watching to see that all local safety codes are met, not one of them related to the family.  I would have my own brightly colored, fitted life vest, goggles, ear plugs to prevent infection, and beach boots to keep from stepping on rocks or crabs.  At least one adult would be riding with me in a city-inspected and stickered boat (similarly clad with safety gear), with a cell phone to call in case of emergency, and GPS finder to prevent from getting lost.  We both would be wearing UVA and UVB-ray preventing sun glasses, and thoroughly drenched in SPF-50 skin cream.  The  adult would be wearing a digital, chronometer watch with timers to make sure no one is out in the sun too long (cancer you know...).  The adult would be paddling to prevent me from getting tired.  A city-required weekly chemical water analysis report would be tacked on a nearby tree so the local safety Nazis could see that all local safety codes are met.  And the city would demand that at least two local safety-code Nazis, disguised as vacationers, were assigned to watch us, for later court testimony if need be.   Three different 55 gallon drums would be on the shore, each color-coded and labeled "paper," "plastic," and "glass" for recycling purposes.   All activities would be documented on digital cameras and video tape, transcribed to Cd's to be sent around to the rest of the family and on Christmas cards entitled, "Our Summer Vacation."  I am only 4 1/2 years old, so I cannot swim.  After wards, I would come inside, out of the sun, have an anti-bacterial bath, and eat a fat-free, chemical-free, low-carb or sugar-free lunch along with a healthy drink prepared in a juicer.   Then, after lunch, it is off to nap and then video games or TV so I wouldn't have to use my imagination at play.  Had the above picture been taken, all adults present would be in prison for child neglect and abuse.  And it would be in color.

If a home inspection was conducted in 1957, all of the following would be counted as normal or OK:

  • Asbestos roofing, siding, flooring, insulation, furnace wrapping, and pipe wrapping.
  • Lead in the paint, window glazing, plumbing, plumbing solder and water.
  • Radiator water mixed with the house drinking water.
  • Formaldehyde carpeting.
  • Radon - unknown - OK.
  • Normally moldy, damp basement.
  • Extremely inefficient appliances.
  • Attic insulation 2" deep.
  • 4' high aluminum above-ground pool with no fence.
  • Completely enclosed, small furnace room.
  • Smoke or carbon monoxide detectors?  Not!
  • Extension cords with 18 things plugged into them.
  • 60-amp fuse box.
  • Many fuses with pennies behind them (the inspector would never have found them...).
  • Kitchen fan exhausting into the attic.
  • No bath vent fan.
  • Ungrounded receptacles painted 7 times.
  • Paint over two layers of wall paper.
  • Single-pane windows.
  • One bathroom, 5'x6'.
  • Severe air infiltration through the front door mail slot.
  • 3' wide master bedroom closet.
  • Rickety kitchen door stairs.
  • Rickety basement stairs.
  • No handrail on the basement stairs.
  • 5' clearance over the basement stairs.
  • No light switch until the bottom of the basement stairs.
  • Ungrounded roof antenna.
  • Uncovered well 30' deep.
  • Basement bedroom, no window.
  • Fireplace with no glass doors and maybe no damper.
  • A brick or wood pile beside the house.
  • Doberman running free through the neighborhood.
  • Photos of naked children all over the living room walls.

What a difference 50 years makes!!

                                                                                                                                                  The End...

That's me, getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner, 1953.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 24 commentsJay Markanich • January 01 2009 11:57AM

Comments

happy new year 2009!!!!!

Posted by Brian Kantor (Fip Realty) about 12 years ago

What a great photo to have around even though your active imagination may have to be filtered through the realities of todays living.

Posted by Herb Hamilton, Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) about 12 years ago

Thanks Brian - have a happy, happy!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Hi Jay, How bold of you to post a nude picture of yourself! Just kidding, of course.

Yes, our lives have become more complicated in the past 50 years. 

I love both photos.  Happy childhood days. 

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) about 12 years ago

Herb - a lot is filtered these days!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Shirley - I was reviewing childhood photos this morning (my kids asked for some...) and had a quiet, contemplative, teary-eyed moment.  Thanks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay, very cool list----you forgot one thing that also would not have existed----the home inspector:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 12 years ago

Actually, in those days, if you had a relative who was an engineer or an architect, and they could come with you to look at the house, you were out o' luck...  so much then was Caveat Emptor!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay- Great post! This stuff is pretty interesting to think about.

Posted by Ilyce Glink, Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host. (Think Glink Media) about 12 years ago

Ilyce - thank you!  I had a lot of fun writing it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay - You know some of the things they actually change to (in your list) were as bad if not worse than what they got away from.  In the late 60's I worked tearing out asbestos pipe insulation, no mask, gloves, hat, no plastic suit.  I guess I didn't breathe deeply enough (I hope).  

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) about 12 years ago

Jack---come on now---you aren't trying to tell us you "didn't inhale" are you?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 12 years ago

WOW! Perspective is everything, huh? You are so right. Things have changed...some good/some not so good. Imagine what life will be like 50 years from now. Okay...I'm NOT ready for that. :-) 

I was just thinking the other day about my daughters' great-grandmother...who just turned 100. Can you even imagine how it would feel to live through 100 years of change? I cannot. I can handle one day at a time.

Well...we have another year of change ahead of us now. I'm gonna embrace it and do everything in my power to make it the best one of my life. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! ~GBU~ 

Posted by Elizabeth Nieves, Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team (The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group) about 12 years ago

Jack - I think you are right!  For example, when they took lead out of paint they had to replace it, and did, with mercury!  Which is worse?  I have never sampled, but wonder if an element by any other name tastes just as sweet...  Sorry, couldn't resist.  Personally I thought fuses worked pretty well, and when one fritzed you didn't need an electrician to replace it (for $200)!!  And you could pick up a pack along with the bread and milk.  I did an inspection for a local lung surgeon.  He told me that people who don't smoke are much, much less affected by asbestos, if at all.

Charles - I am certain he didn't...

Elizabeth - change can be interesting!  When I was a Boy Scout, I loved spam!  Now it's a bad, four-letter  word...  My grand mother died in 1987, just days shy of 100.  I have often thought about the change she experienced.

Was my "The End" too racy...?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay, that was priceless.  And what a difference 50 years does make!

I just watched a Time Life infomercial hawking 1950s music Cds hosted by Bowzer of Sha-Na-Na.  What a hoot.

Here's another example of a bygone era:

(me, sitting in the back seat of a station wagon) Mom...this seat belt keeps poking me in the back.

(Mom) Well, push it down between the seat cushions.  And roll up that window.....you're letting all the smoke out.

Posted by Terry Edwards (Russell & Jeffcoat Real Estate Corp.) about 12 years ago

Terry - I have seen the beginning of that commercial!  It doesn't get me to want to buy the Cd, but it is fun!  I remember those spring-loaded seat belts - we all hated them.  And they would break or at least severely injure your back in the event of an accident.  Better I guess then smashing into the metal dash board, but that is debatable.  And I remember the smoke...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay Leno was talking about a terrible head on collision on Route 66 one night.  The wrecker hauled the '56 Chevy to the shop and all they had to do was hose the blood off the dashboard and put a For Sale sign on it.

Posted by Terry Edwards (Russell & Jeffcoat Real Estate Corp.) about 12 years ago

Gee, Terry, that gets a wow and a yikes!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay, You scare me. I think a lot like you do. Things have changed and for sure mostly for the better, but these days it seems we take things too far. I believe that is partly due to the "information age" we live in. As they say too much information can be a bad thing.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 12 years ago

James - there is a bit too much information.  By the way ---   BOO!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Jay,

I do not even like to think about the difference 50 years has made. Wow.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

One day, Steve, my boy, one day...

Actually my kids were asking me for old photos and family memorabilia and such.  I got the idea for the post from some of the photos thinking and how much things have changed.  It was fun.  Frankly I don't like thinking about 50 years either, but it beats the alternative!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Wow, what a difference it does make.  I come across the asbestos flooring all the time.  Had no idea about formaldehyde carpeting, though.  I guess that's too old to survive.  Cute picts, BTW.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 10 years ago

It's amazing Debbie.  The things that were "appropriate" then!  And people left other people to themselves!

I could swim so well they never put a preserver on me.  I took the boat out 100 yards and swam back in.  Made my uncle mad - he had to go retrieve the boat...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments