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Going Back to Yesteryear

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My Dad just sent me this:

Hey Dad," a child asked the other day, "What was your
favorite fast food when you were growing up?"
"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I
informed him. "All the food was slow." "C'mon,
seriously. Where did you eat?" "It was a place called
'at home," I explained. "Grandma cooked every day and
when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together
at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what
she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I
did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was
afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage,
so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have
permission to leave the table. But here are some other
things I would have told him about my childhood if I
figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis,
set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country
or had a credit card. In their later years they had
something called a revolving charge card. The card was
good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND
Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore.
Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was
mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a
bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had
one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our
house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one
before that. It was, of course, black and white, but
they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the
screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the
bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third
was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes
of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny
day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the
TV to make the picture look larger.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called
"pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of
my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down,
plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too.
It's still the best pizza I ever had.
We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the
only car in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He
called it a "machine." I never had a telephone in my
room. The only phone in the house was in the living
room and it was on a party line. Before you could
dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you
didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.
All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys
delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six
days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got
to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every
morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents
from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones
who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change.
My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed
to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least,
they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue
with yours was called French kissing and they didn't
do that in movies. I don't know what they did in> French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't
allowed to see them.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast
food, you may want to share some of these memories
with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame
me if they bust a gut laughing. Growing up isn't what
it used to be, is it?

MEMORIES from a friend: My Dad is cleaning out my
grandmother's house and he brought me an old Royal
Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper
with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what
it was, but Kati had no idea. She thought they had
tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it
as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board
to "sprinkle" clothes with because we didn't have
steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?
Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz: Count all the ones that you
remember not the ones you were told about! Ratings at
the bottom.
1. Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed bottles
5. Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix(Olive-6933)
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H Green Stamps
16. Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young.
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older.
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age.
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!
post #2 of 20
Oh dear. 17. Is that older than really young dirt?

This is really cute. I remember seeing the first McDonald's built in our area. It was about 20 miles away, and we would drive there in our VW Beetle.
post #3 of 20
I'm getting older....by my hubby is older than dirt, LOL!

post #4 of 20
Yup, it's official. I am older than dirt! Thanks, hissy! I still have a music box that I went with my mother and grandmother to the S&H Green Stamp store to get. I guess I must have been about 3 years old. I better take care of it, it's an antique!
post #5 of 20
I got 19. Hey, does it count if were raised in an area where life is about 20 years behind everything else? The city where I got married is still in the 80s.

Oh--and our son must still be excused from the table when we eat at a table. We don't have room for a dinner table in our house, but when we eat at friends' houses he has to be excused.
post #6 of 20
I counted 13, but I also grew up in a place, shall we say, behind the times.
post #7 of 20
13 for me, too. I grew up in a little town. I still remember the milk box on our front porch, and the Charlie Chip man who delivered chips and pretzels. I think my first roller skates had a key. Sigh, I'm gettin old.

I am so glad I grew up when I did. I would not want to be a kid in today's world, no way.
post #8 of 20
OOOHHH! Charles Chips! You can still get those at Cracker Barrel.
post #9 of 20
We had a Charles' Chips guy come around here a couple of years ago--every Wednesday.

How about Schwann's?

The funniest thing for me is that I grew up with "Howdy Doody" and the "Mickey Mouse Club" and they were off the air by that time! Those and Sesame Street, the Electric Company, and Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood were the only shows we could watch--later we were allowed to watch MASH and CHiPs. Oh--and let's not forget Lawrence Welk and Hee Haw!

post #10 of 20
I remembered 6 out of 10... Oh how I wish I could go back to the 70's when I was growing up. Those were the best times.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
My dad's on a tear, he just sent me this one: I think he is trying to tell me something!

Congratulations! You've made it!

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who
kids in the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's probably shouldn't have

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored
lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or
cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. Not to
risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or
air bags.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was
always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a
bottle. Horrors!

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop
with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were
playing. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one
and no
one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the

running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as
long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was
reach us all day. No cell phones. Unthinkable!

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no
video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies,
sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet
chat rooms.
We had friends! We went outside and found them.

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would
really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth,
and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were
one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? We had fights and
other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate
worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put
many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked
on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to

Little League and cheerleaders had tryouts and not
everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed
a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors!
not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard
They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and
solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been
an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure,
success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it

And you're one of them! Congratulations.
post #12 of 20
That is so true, Hissy. I grew up in the 70s, and even though I spent a lot of time reading, I also remember spending hours outside playing with my friends. We loved riding in the back of pickup trucks, and we were creative.

I worrly about the kids of today. They just don't seem to have the kind of creativity we had. I gave my students an assignment to draw a picture of a house they would like to have. They all started tracing the picture in their books! All the TV and video games are taking away from their own ability to create and think for themselves. It makes me sad.
post #13 of 20
When we were in the house my Mom was always after us to go outside. We played outside winter, spring, summer and fall. The only time we were encouraged to stay inside is if it was raining or below 30 degrees. We built snowman, went sledding and skated on the lake that our house was on. In summer we rode our bikes and went to the playground at the end of our street. We did not just go in the house and turn on the TV. TV was regulated by my parents - we were only allowed to watch certain shows. As a family we ate supper together and played board games and I remember going to the library once a week to pick out books. We knew how to make conversation and enjoy other people. Vistors would stop by unexpected and my Mom was always prepared. I would go back to being a kid in a heartbeat.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
We were only allowed to watch certain tv shows. Laurence Welk being one of those, and the Ed Sullivan Show. Also Bozo the Clown, Hobo Kelly and Sherriff John..."put another candle on my birthday cake.." LOL We played with all the neighborhood kids, kick the can, dodge-ball we had a tether ball in our driveway and badminton on our front lawn. The street lights came on, we had to get home immediately. We ate at the table, did not put our elbows on the table, did not reach over other people for items on the table, had to ask to be excused. We had to help mother clean the kitchen to a spit shine every night before we could go to bed. I remember ironing my dad's handkerchiefs and undershirts with an old flat iron and a coke bottle with water and a cork with holes in it. My parents were 4-H leaders, my father took commercial photographs for all the community functions and did our yearbooks when we were in school. I couldn't wear makeup or nylons until I was 16 and couldn't date or go steady until then either. We had manners, we were pretty well-behaved, and if we weren't we caught hell!
post #15 of 20
We always loved getting a ride in the back of Grandpa's pickup truck (we called it the picket) and he'd go out into the hills outside of town and tear around with us holding on for dear life and laughing ourselves silly.

We had to wear our seatbelts, but what about riding in the back of the station wagon? Loved that too! With the back window down!

No helmets or pads when we rollerskated or biked (and I remember some pretty crazy biking accidents).

We'd go down and play in the ditch, hunting snakes. No body drowned or ever got bit. We also would climb the tabletop mountain next to our neighborhood (one day a group of us did it in our church clothes). No body sent out the police or helicopters, they waited for us to get back home and then we got whipped and never did it again. And we got punished more for going in our church clothes than for anything else.

We encourage our son to turn off the TV and the PC and create stuff. He tends to use stuff to trace, but the last weekend we had him he actually drew a dinosaur family on his own, with no pictures or tracing tools. It's on our refridgerator now.
post #16 of 20

I had to laugh at your post. I remember playing with the neighborhood kids all those games. We had so much fun. We also made our own ice cream and root beer. We had neighborhood picnics. When we went to pick up a friend, we would yell their name outside their door. I think children, even though we had a lot of rules, were much freer when we were growing up. We would walk to school with each other and when we were in the fifth grade, we got to be a patrol guard. It was the highest honor.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hall monitors- or we really got lucky and got library duty! We had this big slip-n-slide and my dad put it in the front yard and all the kids would come over and run and slip all over it. We played statue maker, and at night, we would sit out in our front yard with lawn chairs and listen to the music from the Los Alamitos Naval Base a couple towns away! At night sometimes, we would climb on our roof with our parents and be able to see Disneyland's fireworks. On rainy days mother would give us those electric scissors? "Snippy?" and the Sears and Roebuck catalog and we would cut out figures and items and have a paper doll kind of play time......I am glad I grew up when I did, Life was so much safer back then.
post #18 of 20
Originally posted by hissy

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as
long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was
able to reach us all day. No cell phones. Unthinkable!

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no
video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies,
surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.
We had friends! We went outside and found them.

That was me! When school was let out for summer break, my parents would pick me up and head straight for the cottage. Then, I spent the next 2 months there with no telephone, mail, and our tv reception was so bad I only could get one channel. I went swimming, bug collecting, boating and went on many long nature walks. I collected berries and made fresh jam and preserves. We even had to do our laundry with the old wringer type washer. It was a simple life and I loved it.

I'm going to stop now because I'm starting to sound like Laura from Little House On The Prairie!

Whaaaaa........I'm old!!!!

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
LOL Kass- only if you wore sunbonnets and corsets!
post #20 of 20
You reminded me that we used to go to the band shelter at night on the 4th of July to listen to patriotic songs played by the town band and to watch the fire works. Everybody brought their blankets and picnic baskets. It was beautiful.
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