I received another of those “Remember When?” e-mails the other day, and, of course, I’m old enough to remember them all.
So I came up with a few more of my own.
- Roller skates had skate keys to clasp the leather soles of your street shoes to your skates.
- We’d make our own skateboards with a pair of skates, a two-by-four and some nails.
- Skate wheels were all-metal. You could hear them coming blocks away, especially as they rolled over sidewalk cracks.
- Soap-box derby racers were actually made out of soap boxes.
- Packing boxes were actually made of wood.
- Wood wasn’t manufactured in pulp mills from sawdust and glue, it actually grew on trees .
- Trees actually grew wild all over the place — before we all had to go out and buy them at Orchard Supply.
- Little girls were made of “sugar and spice” because they were actually nice.
- Little boys were made of “snips and snails” because that rhymes better than “frogs-in-the-pockets.”
- After you washed your jeans, you’d run them through the newfangled electric wringer and hang them on a clothesline to dry.
- “Homework” was something you learned-by-doing after school, and would usually remember 50 years later.
- If you were sick, the family doctor made house calls — often, the same day.
- Families would “save up” to pay for vacations and special holidays.
- Your folks gassed up the family car for 25 cents a gallon.
- That’s about $2.20 a gallon in 2009 dollars.
- I was sent to the store for a load of bread. I couldn’t find the “Crow Eat.” The grocery clerk said I wanted OroWheat (29 cents).
- A cross-country phone call was “long distance”, and the connection was made by the Operator.
- The costs of such calls were almost prohibitive. Families kept clocks or timers by the telephone stand.
- Yes, in 1950 the TV took 3 minutes to warm up, because it was all vacuum tubes and a round 15″ cathode ray tube.
- Today the sets are all LED, Plasma and miniaturized circuits. They are so complex no one can repair them, and they still take 3 minutes to warm up.
- Yes, in 1950, one of the best TV shows in town was Howdy Doody.
- Today, at least we can say the most popular shows are doody.
TV advertising was designed not to annoy or intrude.
- In 1956 we weren’t allowed to stay up and watch Jackie Gleason with the grown-ups. It was their TV, not ours.
- On a clear day you could go for a drive to the mountains, and see them ahead before you arrived.
- Today, we have GPS to tell us what’s coming up on the next block.
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