TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW
By Edgar A. Guest
Twenty years from now they’ll say:
Twenty years ago
People used to act that way;
My, but they were slow!
Curious were the customs then,
Parties used to start at ten.
“Motor cars were all the style,
Aeroplanes rather new;
Mothers fretted all the while
If their children flew
In that very distant age
Talking pictures were the rage!
“I remember as a child Father’s radio.
Static used to drive him wild
Twenty years ago.
Television wasn’t known;
All they GOT back then was tone.”
Twenty years from now
We’ll be Old and out of date,
Little that we proudly see
Will be counted great
Youngsters then will want to know
What amused us years ago.
20 years or so ago……
1. Toy Story, the first entirely computer-animated film, hit theaters.
Yup — Buzz, Woody, and the gang are turning 20 this November. Unreal.
2. The final “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip was printed.
Leaving kids confused as to what to read over their morning bowl of Trix.
3. Beanie Babies stole the hearts of kids everywhere.
And simultaneously drove their parents insane.
4. Starbucks started selling frappuccinos.
Thus starting the coffee addictions of Americans everywhere.
5. The hit rock band Grateful Dead broke up.
… which was sparked by the death of Jerry Garcia, the band’s lead guitarist and main songwriter.
6. A little dating website known as Match.com was launched.
Aka: Tinder’s great-grandmother.
7. Pogs covered the playroom floors of kids everywhere.
If anyone can remember the actual point of this game, leave us a comment.
8. Sony released PlayStation.
… which sold for $299 — a steal compared to the Sega Saturn.
9. The final episode of Full House aired.
And families struggled to adjust to life without Uncle Jesse on their TV screens.
- Guest wrote a poem a day seven days a week for thirty years.
- He lived in a mansion “staffed with servants, fine automobiles, the so-handy golf club [and] the big summer place at the Pointe.”
- He had radio, motion picture, and television contracts.
- At one point, when his verse was syndicated to 250 newspapers, it was estimated that his poems had a circulation of about 10,000,000.
- At one point, probably after World War II, Guest reported an annual income of $128,000—the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $1.6 million.
- Guest’s first two books (Home Rhymes and Just Glad Things) were self-published and printed by Guest’s brother Harry in editions of 800 and 1,500 respectively, and on the basis of those books and his newspaper verse, Guest started getting wooed by the agents of Harper, Scribner, and William Randolph Hearst. Eventually, his publisher Reilly & Britton would print his books in editions of 100,000.
- Guest couldn’t go out on the streets of Detroit without getting hailed down by enthusiastic readers.
- Guest was good friends with Henry Ford, who regularly gave the poet cars, beginning with a Model T and, many years later, a Lincoln.
- Guest was pegged as a possible replacement for Will Rogers and even set up in Hollywood for $3,500 per week while studios tried to figure out how to use him.
- A copy of Guest’s poem “America” once sold for $50,000 as part of a war-bond fundraising event in 1942.