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Archive for the tag “credit cards”


My wonderful friend Connie E sent me this message that brought back some real memories. I was born in 1930 and I have adjusted some of the measurements to reflect actual comparisons to my life experiences. I have no idea who compiled this but they had to have been near my age. Thanks Connie. C Brewer  

‘Someone 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 them. 

‘All the food was slow.’

‘C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?’

‘It was a place called ‘at home,” I explained!

‘Mom cooked every day and when Dad 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.’ I was reminded that children in China were starving so be happy to eat your greens and liver.

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:

My Dad never owned a home in his 83 years. He never wore a pair of blue jeans, never went fishing, never played golf and a Mexican border town was his only venture in another country. My mother got her first pair on Levis at 85 when she moved to east Texas.

Folks back them did not have credit cards. You had Sears Roebuck, other large retailers and gasoline credit cards that were only good at that specific business. I was nearly 30 before I ever got a “credit card”.

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). When I was 12 and wanted a new bike my dad co-signed a note at the bicycle shop for $52 that I paid $1 a week for a year.

My family never had a television and I was married, a father and 19 before I bought a 12” TV on credit.  

It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and weather, featuring local people. For the first few months it on only three hours a day and three days a week.

I was 25 and in New York before I tasted my first pizza, it was called ‘pizza pie.’ It was not in Texas yet.

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. When I bought our house here in east Texas in 1983 we got the first push button phone in Sabine County. We still have very limited cell service and had none until some 12 years ago.

When I was a boy the only thing delivered to the house was ice and milk and in urban areas only mail was delivered. Mail delivery is not available to our house even today. We drive 7.5 miles to our P.O. Box.

When I was a boy all newspapers were delivered by boys and because my Dad was the dealer my brother and I delivered newspapers. When I was nine I wanted to have a paper route and I arose at 5am to make deliveries seven days a week. My mother stopped this, but at 12 it was mandatory and until I was 15 it was morning and afternoon and you collected on Saturday. My pay was $3 a week.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

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.

Someone recently 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, do you know what this was? 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. Today most homes don’t even have ironing boards Man, I am old.

How many of the following do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.

Ignition switches on the dashboard.

Heaters mounted on the inside of the car 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.

Rubber guns.

No Robo calls 20 times a day

Try This 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 glass bottles
  5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside jukeboxes
  6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
  7. Party lines on the telephone
  8. 8 Newsreels before the movie
  9. P.F. Flyers
  10. Butch wax
  11. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (There were only 3 channels… [If you were fortunate])
  12. Peashooters
  13. Howdy Dowdy
  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. Packard’s
  21. Roller skate keys
  22. Telephone operators
  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!

I might be older than dirt but “memories” are some of the best parts of my life and one of the few things that are tax free. I doubt that my kids, grandkids or great grandkids would agree or even believe these some of these things actually happened to me or in my lifetime. I doubt that more than 2 or 3 of the 44 of them will actually read this because it did not automatically appear on their i phones/pads.

Don’t forget to pass this along! Especially to all of you’re really OLD friends. 

C Brewer


I received an E mail from my old friends, Mike & Emma Cobb that aroused me to post this article. All of the facts quoted were from the message and I have paraphrased and added some commentary to better describe the speed and impacts of these major changes we face “NOW”. I am not prepared for this, are you?

I have watched the invention of so many new changes in my 84+ years it makes my mind swirl to even think of what is upon us today. I have seen the telephone revolution from crank phones and live operators to ones today with more options than the first IBM computer. My first “bag phone weighed over 5 pounds. I communicated with customers in the early 1990’s by cable grams. In Asia at that time I could not even reach my wife by telephone except in large cities like Singapore and Tokyo. Get ready folks we have some real adjustments headed our way at warp speed.

Get ready to imagine a world without a Post Office. They are in financial trouble that even Congress will have no way to sustain its operation much longer. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the revenue required to just keep the post office alive. Most of your mail today is catalogs you don’t use, charities begging for donations usual junk mail and bills.

I read that Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars each year to process checks. Credit and debit cards coupled with online transactions will be the only way to pay your bills unless you go in person. We already pay some bills by having the seller debit your bank account. I still get my SS check by mail but the same government that supports the Post Office is demanding I accept a direct deposit in my bank. If we can’t get bills or pay bills by check the Post Office can’t survive with Valentine, birthday and Christmas cards to even pay its retired employees. Walmart could make a profit running the postal service and they have the stores in place.

Next is the Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. I get a request to subscribe to the internet versions of the Austin newspaper today by E mail. Printed newspapers will disappear like the iceman, milkman and laundryman that were in business when I was a boy. I read that the newspapers are meeting Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone  companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

Some will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. Some people can’t handle any change. Now you can download books, movies, live TV and music at a fraction of the cost of a book, DVD or an album. Times have changed the market and reduced the costs. As an example you can now download music from iTunes and just by the one song you really wanted instead of the entire album.

Land line telephones are already an unnecessary expense unless you have a large family, make a lot of local calls or have a Fax machine. Most people, like me, just keep it simply because I have always had one. If you still have a land line you are paying double charges for that extra service. All of the cell phone companies will let you call other customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.*

Television revenues are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. They also play games, visit Facebook, Twitter, etc,cable get the news from blogs and lots of other activities that consume the time that they used spend watching TV. Cable and satellite rates are increasing and we now have to endure an increased volume of commercials about every 4 minutes.

Another thing that older Americans were made to learn was cursive handwriting. Many schools no longer even teach “joined handwriting” because nearly everything is done now on computers or keyboards of some type.

Privacy was a right all American enjoyed that is now a thing of the past. It’s gone. In fact it’s been gone for a long time. Now we have cameras on the street, in most of the buildings and even built into your computer and cell phone. The government, and God only know how many others know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates and the Google Street View.

If you buy something, your buying habits are known by anyone who desires to buy them. Living in a rural area like I do makes buying from the internet a necessity rather than an option. I can purchase or just shop on the web for a pair of shoes and when I go to the Weather Channel five minutes later I will see an ad for the exact shoes I just bought or looked for.

Saving the best item to close with from the article I received was one thing that Obama, Congress, the Supreme Court or anybody else on earth can’t change is our “Memories”

Along with myself, many have already lost or can’t remember some already!

I wish I could give credit to the person that wrote the article I received but the message and even my commentary should be a warning that our biggest enemy is our own government. You can be assured they will find ways to make it worse, more difficult and tax it to maintain our welfare systems. Keep the poor, poorer to get re-elected.

C Brewer



Congress passes a federal budget every year. I doubt that one in ten people have a clue on what the real problem has been for way too many years. Folks we listen to the media, Congress and Obama talk like everyone knows how to comprehend the impact when they talk about in trillions of dollars. For the 90% who can’t comprehend or could care less take a look at the following comparisons. First look at the breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. The 2011 federal budget figures are:*

US income: $2,170,000,000,000
* Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

Take a look at numbers, even those in poverty, can relate to by removing eight zeros from the numbers.

Now observe what a fictitious family budget and spending at the same ratio would look like:

* Total annual income for the family: $21,700
* Money the family would spend: $38,200
* New debt added to their credit card: $16,500
* Balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Amount cut from the budget: $385

Last month Congress, or in this example the family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget. What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending? It is a start, but will it solve the problem?After many years of this, the family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt).

You would think the family would recognize and address this situation, but it does not. Neither does Congress.

The US debt problem is a result of the voters sending people to Congress to spend money, not live within their means. They are elected to bring home the bacon to their own home state.

To force the government to live within its means we have to have laws that prohibit spending even a dime, if it was not budgeted. How, we need to change all Congress job descriptions and demand conformance. Term limits would be a great starting point. Citing a message I received recently, limit Congress to two terms. The first term in office, the second in prison if they refuse to follow the laws of the land.

We must reverse this senseless practice of expecting future generations to pay for previous mismanagement of the economy. Will it be easy, no, but it has to be done now. In reality Congress has reverse mortgaged our country. Voters and Congress have become addicted to the money and continue to deny we have a problem. Neither desire to admit themselves into rehab. Everyone must live within a balanced budget if they expect to survive. Let me welcome everyone to “Common Sense 101”. Thanks to Mr. David Thomas for these figures and his ideas.




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Clyde Brewer

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