Recently, a young man asked me, “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. 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.”
By this time, the youth 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 only good atSears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears & Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.
My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we had never heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed; slow.
We didn't have a television set in our house until I was 19. 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., when there was usually a locally-produced news and farm show, featuring local people.
I was 21 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.
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 - my brother delivered a newspaper six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which he got to keep 2 cents. He had to get up at 6:00 every morning. On Saturday, he had to collect 42 cents from each of his customers. His favorite customers were the ones who gave him 50 cents and told him to keep the change. His 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. 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. 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 (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottletop was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it into a saltshaker or something similar. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board with which to sprinkle clothes because we didn't have steam irons. Man, am I old.
How many do you remember?
- Headlights 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 are at the end.
- Blackjack chewing gum & Teaberry, too.
- Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water.
- Candy cigarettes.
- Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles.
- Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes.
- Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers.
- Party lines on the telephone.
- 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).
- Howdy Doody.
- 45 RPM records.
- S&H green stamps.
- Metal ice trays with lever.
- Mimeograph paper.
- Blue flashbulb.
- Roller skate keys.
- Cork popguns.
- Drive-in movies.
- 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!