When I left Alabama in 1977....I had this mental image in my mind over how things 'existed'. Occasionally, I go back, and I will stand there admiring the scenery and eventually come to the concept of 'change'.
The regional airport in Huntsville? At best in 1977, I doubt if there were more than a dozen flights a day that ventured into Huntsville. Today, there's 225,000 folks who leave Huntsville for Atlanta. There's 74,000 folks who venture to Charlotte, NC.
As a kid in my local town of Florence, you basically had around twelve establishments to eat at in 1977. One of them was the pool-hall in town (they made great greasy burgers). There was one single establishment making pizza. There was one single McDonalds and Burger King. Today, there are probably in the range of forty restaurants now. You can actually eat Chinese if you desire. The local pizza guys? They have over 1,200 combinations of pizza that you can order.
The 'dry' factor? There's actually a decent pub/bar existing within a 15-minute drive.
K-Mart in the 1970s probably had a max of twelve types of soaps. You walk into a Wal-Mart today, and there's probably sixty types of soaps laid out.
Locals used to hype up their summer trip in the mid-1970s....they were going off to Gulf Shores, the Smokies, Nashville, a Braves game in Atlanta, and some fishing trip to Lake Guntersville. Today? They talk about Aruba, Las Vegas, NY City, the Grand Canyon, some Alaskan fishing trip, or some Braves game in Atlanta.
In the mid-70s....guys wore $9 work jeans and a $2 T-shirt that they got from K-Mart. Today, the guy is wearing a $60 pair of fancy Docker pants, and a $30 cotton shirt made in Vietnam. The gal has on a pair of $110 fancy shoes that has an Italian label that you can't pronounce, and a pair of unmentionables that runs around $40 from Vicky's 'secret-place'.
In the mid-70s....if you did drink beer....it was usually PBR, Michelob, or Bud. Today, locals drink Samuel Adams (trucked down from New England), or sip on some kinda Germanized custom beer that makes your eyes moisten up because it's so good.
In the mid-1970s....if you were really lucky in a single year, you might have met one single 'foreigner', and it was typically some New York guy. Today? There's a thirty-percent chance on a daily basis in Huntsville that you will bump into a Mexican, and ten-percent chance it'll be a Chinese guy named Wang.
In the mid-1970s....you had four basic channels to watch (CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS). Today, with cable and satellite.....you have potentially four-hundred channels.
In the mid-1970s....if something broke on your farm equipment, it meant looking at some 1960 operators manual with no clear instructions. Now? You get on the tab....find some guy with the same item and problem and ask him how he fixed it. The odd thing is that this guy might be living in Montana, and there's never going to be any face-to-face meeting.
In the 1970s.....you might have a total of seven banking options within driving distance of the farm. Today? With the ATM business, and internet options....you could have your bank in Iowa if you desired.
The thing is.....change has occurred, and most people don't even recognize it.