Olivia sent me a cute note about the way things were back when they were the way they were supposed to be. It got me thinking, so I added a few more that I remember from growing up in small town America.
It took three minutes for the TV to warm up? Funny, I don’t remember that at all. I do remember that we only received one station and it was only on the air about half day. It would shut down about 10:30 p.m.with the National Anthem – your clue to say your prayers and go to bed.
Nobody owned a purebred dog? I don’t think I knew dogs had a breed. They sure didn’t get annual check-ups, shots or heart worm pills. In fact, Doc. Hazard, the local veterinarian, made his living off treating cattle – rarely pets.
You’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny? Back then you could still buy something with a penny – like a piece of Double Bubble Chewing Gum. Now, we sweep them up rather than have to bend over to retrieve them!
*You got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time?
* a 57 Chevy was everyone’s dream car…to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch submarine races, and people went steady?
*No one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked?
*Lying on your back in the grass with your friends? I remember one night about 10 of us spent the entire night sleeping in the drive way, talking about whatever it is 14-year olds talk about. We weren’t distracted by text messages and the notion of a mobile phone was reserved for the Jetsons.
*Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger? And we didn’t have all this plastic packaging that requires wire clippers to break the seal! I HATE that.
*being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate
that awaited you when you got home.
*Double Dog Dares and One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato Four, to determine who was IT when we played hide and seek at dusk. Then you darted off across the neighbors back yard and practically decapitated yourself on the clothes line!
*Catching fireflies and putting them in a Ball jar with holes in the top.
*Having a weapon at school meant you got caught with a slingshot peashooter.
Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. In my neighborhood we feared the boogie man, the abominable snowman and the guy with the hook arm found dangling from the door handle of a friend who had been parked in lover’s lane. Remember that story? It was always told as if it had happened to someone down the street. I couldn’t sleep for days.
Thanks for the memories Olivia. It’s hard to believe how different the world is today than those golden days when we were growing up in West Point where we knew the house plan of every home on our street – and where they kept their cookies!