The losses this week of Patrick Mcgoohan (Secret Agent Man, The Prisoner), Ricardo Montalban (Khaaaaaaaaan!), and the painter Andrew Wyeth has put me in a reflective mood. I think of my two children, one is 14 and the other is 12, and I think of all the people and things that made impressions on me when I was growing up that they don’t know. (Stream of consciousness section) Rotary phones, long distance operators, Johnny Carson, Laugh-In, Colombo, Red Skelton, paper routes, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Richards, Apollo moon shots, LPs, typewriters, vacation slide shows, super 8 home movies, huge Sunday comic pages, and so much more.

I have successfully passed on some values. They like Python and my son likes the Stooges, as all red-blooded American males are duty bound to. (It’s hard to find them these days, however) My daughter loves to play music like my wife, and they both like to draw a lot. I do have to introduce them to the Marx Brothers and Laurel & Hardy still.

I know each generation has cultural touchstones that the next generation ignores or dismisses. I wonder what they will wax nostalgic about when they have kids. Ipods, cellphones, the Daily Show, Harry Potter, Facebook, Pirates of the Caribbean? (I am likely ignorant of most of it myself)

I know someday I’ll be talking to my grand kids “No, we didn’t have the computer interface port when I was a kid. We didn’t even have computers! If you think that’s weird, my grandparents didn’t have electricity when they were kids. Did I tell you about when I was a boy and we landed on the moon?” And my children will understand why people start to talk about the old days after they have kids.