I was born when my father was 40 years old. Later in my life he liked to tell me, “When you were born, I was 40 years older than you. When you were 40, I was twice as old as you.” At ninety I have caught up with him.

My father, Clifton L. Walling, was born in Connorsville, Ind. in 1886. He died in Crestwood, N.Y. in 1976, a little over two months before he turned 90. His lifetime spanned great leaps forward in the fields of transportation, communication, entertainment and world events.

Things I took for granted when I was young — the phonograph, radio and film cameras — were all developed during the first five years of his life. In the lives of my grandchildren, they are all but obsolete, having been replaced by DVDs, CDs, iPods, digital and video cameras.

In 1886 few homes had electricity and the light bulb was still a novelty. There were no cars, no airplanes, no movies or radios. In 1891, when my father was five years old, Nikola Tesla began wireless research, which later led to the invention of the radio. Five years later, when he was 10, the first patent for an electric stove was issued. He never could have imagined a microwave oven.

My father was nine years old when the first automobile was made for sale in 1895, and his father’s leather harness business began to go downhill as horses were gradually replaced by Model T Fords beginning in 1908, when he was 22, and no doubt eager to own one. Meanwhile, he was only 17 when the Wright brothers lifted their first airplane off the ground in 1903, but was 50 before he first flew in an airplane.

These must have been exciting times for a young boy. My husband, his son-in-law, was flying jets in the Navy Reserve when my father died in 1976. Robert Goddard patented a liquid fuel rocket in 1914 when he was 28, and in 1969 he watched, on his television set, Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. He was eighty-three.

At my dad’s birth, in 1886, Little Lord Fauntleroy was a best selling book, and the Impressionist Movement in France was gaining in popularity. John Philip Sousa wrote “Stars and Stripes Forever” when my father was 11 years old, and Birth of a Nation made a hit in the early movie theatres in 1915. He was, by then, a grown man of 29. It would be eight more years before the first movie with sound was produced.

My father’s lifetime spanned 16 presidents, from Grover Cleveland to Gerald Ford. He was 15 when President McKinley was assassinated, and 77 when John Kennedy was shot and killed. Between my father’s birth, in 1886, and my 90th year, in 2016, we have experienced about half of the presidents of this country. In 1887, when my father was a year old the United States established a naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. He was 55 when the Japanese bombed it. He remembered the Maine and the Lusitania and the Titanic, all ships that sank, with great loss of life.

My father lived through the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, the wars in Korea and Vietnam. The closest he got to a war was being an air raid warden in World War II when he was in his 50s.

I was with him when he died, in his own bed, on January 7, 1976, and I still miss him.