Do You Remember

Do You Remember ?

…when girls would pack a shoe box with a great lunch,

decorate the box and then auction it off?
The boy that bought it got to eat lunch with her.
Just like in the movie ‘Oklahoma’.

If you are old enough…take a stroll with me…
close your eyes and go back…before the Internet…
before semi-automatics and crack,
before Pong or SEGA or
Super Nintendo… …

The Good Humor man,
Red light, green light.

The corner store.

I’m talkin’ bout hide and go seek at dusk.
Sittin’ on the porch, Simon Says, Kick the Can,
Lunch boxes with a thermos…
chocolate milk, going home for lunch,
penny candy from the store, jump rope,
hopscotch, doubledutch, butterscotch,
skates with keys, kickball, dodgeball,
Jacks, Red Rover, Mother May I?

Hula Hoops and sunflower seeds, Whist and Old Maid,and Crazy Eights, wax lips and mustaches, Mary Janes, saddle shoes, and Coke bottles with the names of cities on the bottom, running through the sprinkler, circle pins, bobby pins. Spraying everyone with the hose. The smell of the sun and licking salty lips…. When, around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere. Bedtime, climbing trees, making forts…backyard shows, lemonade stands, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sittin’ on the curb, staring at clouds, your first bicycle, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, getting company, slumber parties, ribbon candy, Halloween, singing the rhymes while jumping rope, angel hair on the Christmas tree, white gloves and little hats, walking to church, walking to the movie Theater, the local public swimming pool, (come on! admit you peed in the pool!) …being tickled to death, and running till you were out of breath, and laughing so hard that your stomach hurt… how about being tired from playin’?
Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.

Remember that?

Wait!…… Watching Saturday Morning cartoons… short commercials, Fat Albert, Road Runner, He-Man, Tarzan, The Three Stooges, and Bugs…. Or staying up for Gunsmoke.

Or back further, listening to Superman on the radio. A million mosquito bites. Sticky fingers. Howdy Doody, Zorro. Homemade ice cream. Building igloos out of snow banks, Walking to school, no matter what the weather. Or paying 7 cents to ride the school bus.

Candy cigarettes, Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside, Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles, Coffee shops with juke boxes at the tables; Blackjack, Clove and Teaberry chewing gum, home milk delivery in glass bottles, with cardboard stoppers.

Getting the neighborhood kids together for a great game of baseball in your back yard.
Camp Fire Girls, Bluebirds, Cub Scouts. Playing with the water sprinkler in the front yard on
hot days. White gloves and white hats to Sunday school. (a lady never went anywhere without her white gloves!)

The first color tv in your house. It was really awful, but then we thought it was so neat!
The threat of Russia, Communism, and nuclear bombs. Fallout shelters. (We never had one.)

I never experienced fear or meanness on Halloween. There was no need for adult supervision.
Grandma’s house and fried chicken and gravy on Sunday. All your cousins showed up too.
Ice tea with loads of sugar! Koolade right out of the little pack into your mouth. Mmmmmm.

The Saturday excursion to the movie theatre. We were gone all day, because there were 2 movies, 2 or 3 serials, cartoons, newsreels, and door prizes. I remember ‘Gunfight at the OK Coral’. I pretended I was Jeanne Crain.

How about this one….the smell of fresh sheets and clothes on the line outside!!! Yes and watching mom get up early and string the clothes line around the yard and then help her take them down (after we washed our hands) and fold them. I can still remember the smell. Ahhhhhh!!!!

Valentine’s Day was important, passing around cards in class, and the tiny candy hearts with sayings on them.
Do you know that now they have taken out the ones that say “God Bless You”?

Not steppin’ on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back… paper chains at Christmas, silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington…the smell of paste in school, and Evening in Paris. What about the girl that had the big bubbly handwriting, who dotted her “i’s” with hearts?? School talent shows? Spanish class?
The Stroll, popcorn balls, & sock hops…American Bandstand. I was on tv on Fridays on Channel 5 (WBAP) in Fort Worth, Texas, on ‘Teenage Downbeat’ with Tom Malarky. Dancing in front of the cameras with my school friends. My brother won a pair of white buck shoes! Top Ten Dance Party in Dallas. I danced with Tony Martin on tv!

Beanie and Cecil, roller skate keys, cork pop guns, Drive-ins, Edsels!, Studebakers, wash tub wringers, the Fuller Brush man, reel-to-reel tape recorders, Tinker toys, the Erector Set, the Fort Apache Play set; Lincoln Logs, 15 cent McDonald hamburgers (before they even thought about counting how many they had sold, and 5 cent packs of baseball cards…with that awful pink slab of bubblegum, Penny candy; 18 cent-a-gallon gasoline.

Coloring books and crayolas, playing jacks, and how about playing Chopsticks on the piano? Everyone could do that! The first time my daddy heard me use the term ‘cool !’ Roller skate keys, and going on vacation in the family car. In the school gym, they would line you up and check your teeth? and the Polio shots!!!

Really beautiful Christmas music on the radio. Christmas took forever to arrive. My greatgrandmother had those awful clear plastic covers on her couch and chairs.

The Creature From The Black Lagoon….

when there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyer), and the only time you wore them at school was for “gym”. And the girls had those ugly white uniforms. And sweaty-smelling locker rooms. At my school, everyone would gang up on one person, and shove them in a cold shower – fully dressed! Then they had to go straight to class dripping wet!

When nearly everyone’s Mom was at home when the kids got home from school.

When we had what I still feel now was the greatest music ever born!

When nobody owned a pure-bred dog. When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter, a huge bonus. When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then.
Spin the bottle. Crushes. Gossip.
When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.
When all of your male teachers wore neckties, and female teachers had their hair done at a salon once a week, and they wore high heels.

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
War was a card game. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon. Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle. When milk went up one cent and everyone talked about it for weeks? When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time. And, you didn’t pay for air. Gas was 12 cents a gallon. And you got trading stamps to boot! When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.

I’m not finished yet…

When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up, if you even had one.
It was magic when dad would “remove” his thumb.

Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like “That cloud looks like a…” and playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game. Back then, baseball was not a group learning experience-it was a game. Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals, ’cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger. Comic books, the first Mad Magazine.

….And…with all our progress…
don’t you just wish…
just once…
you could slip back in time and savor the innocence, the respect, the slower pace…
and share it with the children of the 80’s and 90’s …?

Are you someone who can still remember Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk…
Hopalong Cassidy. Dibs! on something, and cookies and milk after school.
Saving your lunch money all week, so you could meet all your date-less friends at the Roller Rink on Saturday night? And you HAD to be home by 9 or 10:00 pm on the weekends..

And the sound of a reel mower on Saturday morning, and summers filled with bike rides, playing in cowboy land, baseball games, and visits to the pool…eating Kool-aid powder with sugar, and you were lucky if you could have a 6 oz Coke once in a great while.

Telephone party lines, 3-D movies, newsreels before the movie, P. F. Flyers, Butch wax, Telephone numbers with a word prefix … (Drexel-5505), I still remember my grandmother’s phone number to this day.) Pea shooters, slingshots, Howdy Doody.

45 RPM Records, 78 rpm’s, Green Stamps, Hi-fi’s (high technology, man), metal ice cube trays-with levers; mimeograph paper, blue Flash Bulbs, the first Polaroid camera;

Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.”
Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!”
“Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in “Monopoly.”
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn’t an Olympic event. Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot or a pea shooter.

Nobody was prettier than Mom.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
Ice cream was considered a basic food group.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

Abilities were discovered because of a “double-dog-dare.”
Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.
Open House at school, and short summers, and Christmas took so long to come around.

How Mom made homemade cookies and brought them to your classroom for everyone to enjoy? Cub Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, french fries and tons of ketchup. How about the ice cream ‘man’ and his ice cream truck coming down your street with that funny music? And you were scared to death every single day that he wouldn’t come to your street.

Wait!! Don’t leave yet!


When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents?

When any parent could discipline anyone’s else’s kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed…and did!
When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum. And do you remember cheat sheets, and writing dates of history on your hand before a test? (serious trouble if you got caught), and spelling bees?In school, girls could only wear dresses, bussed field trips, and the sock hops and dances were in the gym, and all the girls wore pastel gowns with netting, and the boys wore suits for the first time, with Dad’s tie.
poodle skirt and neck scarf. Look at that petticoat! 50’s, 1950 Memorabilia, 1950’s, Rock n roll, rock and roll, Elvis, 57 chevy, remember, memories, childhood, Jeanne Submarine races, and people went steady, and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped dental floss or yarn coated with pastel frost nailpolish so it would fit her finger.
What about your very first kiss? What was their name?
Do you remember when it was so important to respect your elders? And a gentleman always opened doors for ladies? And stand when a lady entered the room? And head scarves and cat’s eye sunglasses, white frosted lipstick and nail polish, leather jackets, and chains hanging
from the hood’s wallets?

And do you remember?

double-dates to the downtown theater?
Did your town have a Rialto? or the Palace? ‘The OK Coral”. Audy Murphy. The best movies were about WWII , cowboys and Indians, and Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ (if you were old enough to get in). Remember they wouldn’t let you in the theater after the first 15 minutes? The Creature From The Black Lagoon. How about the movie ‘Peyton Place’ (scandelous!). The book ‘Peyton Place’ and ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ were banned in Boston! And too decadent and mature for anyone under 18.


And no one ever asked where the car keys were ’cause they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked. And you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key.

My brother had a green 51 Chevy 2-door. One door wouldn’t open, the other one wouldn’t close. We had to tie it shut with a rope. Didn’t bother us any. It wouldn’t go over 35 mph, but that was fast enough to get away when we were throwing eggs at parked cars for fun. (That was the very meanest thing I ever did. Shame on me!)

How could anyone forget Look-Out Point, or bowling alleys and leagues?
And roller-coaster road doing 40 mph??
Cheerleaders, football players, Chorus, P.E., study hall.
Rock Around the Clock! 50’s, 1950 Memorabilia, 1950’s, Rock n roll, rock and roll, Elvis, 57 chevy, remember, memories, childhood, Jeanne The State Fair, and a duck’s tail, and mood rings? Boys’ white t-shirts with a pack of cigarettes rolled in the sleeve? If the sleeves were there.
Year book photos, and the scary Dean of boys, or girls. Fooling around in the halls, being late for class, writing your own absense excuses, and the first time you experienced ‘air conditioning’ in school instead of those hugh fans they used?

Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!

And some of us are still afraid of them!!!

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