I am lucky in that I don’t need to take a freeway to go to and from work. In fact if I had to take LA freeways on a regular basis again I would probably slit my wrists and drive off an overpass.

Not taking the freeway means I do a fair amount of driving through residential areas between 8 and 8:30 AM, and in that time I pass by at least three elementary schools.

I have begun to realize that kids these days don’t wear backpacks. They roll them!

When I first saw an army of kids rolling along the sidewalk it looked like they were all going to catch a flight at school. I chuckled. Then I realized that a big, heavy part of my childhood was gone forever.

In my day we carried seventy pounds of books in a backpack slung over just one shoulder and we LIKED it. It built character! Endurance! A permanent curvature of the spine was a small price to pay for hands-free convenience.

The first pioneering child to switch from a carried backpack to a rolled one was no doubt the recipient of many fists to the face, heels to the groin, and peer emotional torture the likes of which few children have ever tolerated. In time, however, others were brave enough to follow his example.

The end result is a new generation of straight-backed students who are ready for a life of air travel and trade show conventions.

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