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.
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.
- Blackjack chewing gum
- Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
- Candy cigarettes
- Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
- Coffee shops or diners with tableside jukeboxes
- Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
- Party lines on the telephone
- 8 Newsreels before the movie
- P.F. Flyers
- Butch wax
- 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])
- Howdy Dowdy
- 45 RPM records
- S&H green stamps
- Metal ice trays with lever
- Mimeograph paper
- Blue flashbulb
- Roller skate keys
- Telephone operators
- 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.