In the course of writing The Shipwrecks of Time, TOF has had occasion to look back and realize how much things have changed since those halcyon days of the 60s in which the narrative is so far set. An example:
- In 1965, no more than 20 percent of Americans had EVER flown in an airplane. By 2000, 50 percent of the country took at least one round-trip flight PER YEAR. The average was two round-trip tickets.
- In 1965, flying was a serious business, and people normally "dressed up" for the occasion, at least to the extent of wearing sports coasts or business suits.
- For you ynglings, people back then could walk down the concourse to the gates -- anyone, passenger or not. No identification need be shown, and no security screening was employed. Friends and family would often see the passenger off in this fashion.
- Family members greeted returning passengers at the arrival gate itself by standing directly in the flow of disembarking passengers, as close to the gateway as possible. Business travelers would sometimes use their briefcases to club their way through the press.
- People routinely placed tightly-rolled tubes of tobacco in their mouths and lit them on fire while on board aeroplanes. A special section in the rear of the plane accommodated this practice. There was some debate as to whether sucking burning leaves into your lungs might not be an entirely healthy thing to do.
- In 1965, no airline passenger was dragged, screaming, by his limbs down the aisle of the plane.