Anachronisms of time travel and other Thanksgiving thoughts

Just finished Stephen King's massive 11/22/63.  Still in a fog.

Finding anachronisms in movies and books always makes me happy.  The wrong color of Tupperware or a premature bundt cake can make my day. Two anachronisms jarred me enough in 11/22/63 that I jotted a note to myself.  They 're not spoilers.
  • "Assisted living" is not a term that would have been used in 1963.  The concept arose in the late-Seventies, and became commonplace in the Nineties.  See abstract below.
  • I am really suspicious about a dirt-poor little girl living on Mercedes Street in 1961 Fort Worth knowing rules and techniques of soccer.  Soccer caught on earlier in Dallas than in Nebraska where we played something called "kick soccer" that was really a rolled big ball variant of baseball in 1965. This scene seems really wrong.  So I checked with one of North Texas' earliest soccer moms:  
We moved here in 1972.  No one new much about the sport.  It didn’t cost much; shoes, a ball, a team shirt.   I think soccer was popular in Dallas before it caught on in Ft. Worth.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like 10 years earlier in ’61…and for a girl…and in Ft. Worth,  But I certainly don’t know for sure.

I enjoyed the novel immensely, and read it in under two weeks, the library limit on my check-out.  If I were a reviewer, that would certainly qualify the book as "compelling" and "a page-turner", but I'm too pokey of a reader to ever be a reviewer.  This is also my first ever King book.


Still with Stephen King here, our vocabulary word is obdurate, as in "the past is obdurate".  My big red dictionary definitions include inflexible, intractable, stubbornly impenitent, unyielding, and hardened. The good old Online Etymology Dictionary has:

obdurate Look up obdurate at Dictionary.com

mid-15c., from L. obduratus "hardened," pp. of obdurare "harden," from ob "against" (see ob-) + durare "harden, render hard," from durus "hard" (see endure). Related: Obdurately.

Veering off from King, but still with "assisted living", Dad was found on the mat beside his bed this morning.  The nurse said he kept saying he wanted to "go home."  We all do in some way for Thanksgiving.  My sons could not "come home" in a geographical way, but we were all in touch today.  I took a long hike on Planet Earth today and felt very relaxed and centered "at home".  After my hike, I sat reading while Dad slept the day away, and so was able to finish the novel.


I chose to read 11/22/63 partly because many years ago I picked up Don DeLillo's novel, Libra, from a discount cart at a used bookstore.  DeLillo's portrayal of Lee Harvey Oswald's mother/son relationship stayed with me.  In an odd circuit, I will pick up my reserved Angel Esmeralda and Other StoriesDeLillo's new book, at the library tomorrow when I return King's.


Technology stuck its big foot out to trip me this week, and spilled coffee on the rug was only part of my problems.  In a panic to email a newsletter article containing a properly underlined book title, I hit Ctrl and underline repeatedly.  Down the rabbit hole went my readable text until it was nothing but a squiggle of unreadable DNA code.

There was no Go Back Go Back GO BACK I MEAN IT RIGHT NOW key.  D'that ever happen to you?

After blindly trying all sorts of key combinations and Google searches, I did what any mom would do.  I called the Woolly Mammoth, my youngest son, all the while feeling like a major geezerette.  Thank heaven he didn't immediately know the magic formula for reversing the mistake, so I could salvage a little self respect!  Here I was in my own rabbit hole of time travel trying to reverse a fatal error and change history for the better.  Here's the secret fix:

Unshifted underline = Ctrl minus, therefore the reverse = Ctrl plus which is really Ctrl Shift =.  And yes, I was late to work.


Gerontologist. 2007;47 Spec No 3:8-22.

Historical evolution of assisted living in the United States, 1979 to the present.


Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, 15900 SE 82nd Drive, Clackamas, OR 97015, USA. kwilson@jfrfoundation.org



This article provides a historical overview of the emergence of assisted living in the United States over a 25-year period to identify goals and key concepts that underpinned the emerging form of care.


The method is historical analysis based on records and my own personal experiences in conceptualizing and implementing assisted living in Oregon and nationwide.


I identified four time periods: (a) 1979 to 1985, when a paradigm shift occurred on both the East and West coasts, motivated by distaste for nursing facilities and idealistic values regarding residential environments, service capacity, and consumer-centered care philosophy; (b) 1986 to 1993, when providers, consumers, and state governments became interested and four identifiable types of assisted living (hybrid, hospitality, housing, and health care) appeared, each of which informed the evolution of assisted living; (c) 1994 to 2000, a period of expansion, Wall Street money, dilution of the ideals, and emerging quality concerns; a crisis of confidence and a crossroads for assisted living; (d) 2000 to the present, a time of regrouping, slow-down in growth, and reexamination of earlier efforts to define and set standards for assisted living.


© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder


Christine Thresh said...

You caught them. And you did some research about them. That was interesting.
Is the book gory? Most King books are, but this sounds interesting.

Collagemama said...

Christine, this was mostly historical fiction, and King captured the Sixties well. It is not a horror book, which is what I'd always thought King wrote. The premise of going back in time to prevent the JFK assassination was intriguing.


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