Well, sonny, back in my day, I remember when…

A friend just sent my this email for old folks. Not very many of you are. Most of you will be glad that you were born later. <wink>

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 him.
‘All the food was slow.’
‘C’mon, seriously.. Where did you eat?’
‘It was a place called ‘home,” I explained. !
‘Mum 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.’ (and.. “they” took the dog away!)

By this time, the lad 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’d figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore jeans, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card.

My parents never drove me to school… I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed (slow). (I had 2 feet and walked… slow)

We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 10. (I think I was maybe 9..
It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at 10 PM, after playing the national anthem and epilogue; it came back on the air at about 6 am. And there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people…

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, seven days a week. He had to get up at 6 every morning.

Film stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the films. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or almost 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 recently) and he brought me an old lemonade bottle.
In the bottle top 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 a salt shaker or something. 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. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?

Headlight dip-switches on the floor of the car.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Trouser leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heated on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn indicators.

Using a Mangle to iron.

My mother making me dresses to wear to school.

Cartoons shown before the news at the movies.

Older Than Dirt Quiz:
Count all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about. Ratings at the bottom.

1. Sweet cigarettes
2. Coffee shops with juke boxes
3.. Home milk delivery in glass bottles
4. Party lines on the telephone
5. Newsreels before the movie
6. 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 2 channels [if you were fortunate])
7. Peashooters
8. 33 rpm records
9. 45 RPM records
10. Hi-fi’s
11. Metal ice trays with levers
12. Blue flashbulb
13. Cork popguns
14. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age
If you remembered 11-14 = You’re positively ancient!

I must be ‘positively ancient’ but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

Don’t forget to pass this along!
Especially to all your really OLD friends….I just did!


I remember all of that, except that my mom never made me any dresses. Although she did by me a, “car coat.” We lived in Olympia Washington, which was relatively a hick town at the time. The late 1950s and early 1960s. And my mom bought the coat in Seattle, which was more advanced fashion wise. The tragedy was that car coats were a new thing. The latest fashion. Sadly, in Olympia, only girls were wearing them. So, naturally I went through a year of hell, being teased for wearing a girls coat.

Also, naturally none of the poop heads apologized the next year or the year after, when any boy that was cool, was wearing a car coat. It’s painful being a year ahead of your time.

Also, I don’t remember ever living anywhere that they had coffee houses, until I was much older. I guess the Pacific Northwest was too much of a backwater. Although we did have four TV channels. We had diners, restaurants, taverns, and cocktail lounges. I remember the first McDonald’s coming to the Northwest. I think the first sign said over 200,000 sold. It might’ve even been a smaller number at first.

And $.19 hamburgers. God they were awful! But they were cheap. Just a really crummy bun and a thin layer of ‘mystery meat.’ That’s all. No mayonnaise. No mustard. No plant products.

It was in Tacoma Washington, and near a really good hamburger joint, that had been run very successfully for years by a family. They had various superb hamburgers, ranging from about $.40 to a dollar. And the dollar was a significant amount of money in those days. I was making a dollar an hour as a janitor. Minimum wage. After high school I went to work at Boeing as an aero-mechanic and a riveter. For $1.87 1/2 /hr. I don’t know the best way to write that. I’m trying to say one dollar and 87 1/2 cents per hour. That was the union wage for entry-level. People were raising families on that wage.

Their hamburgers were really excellent, but they said they could not compete. Everybody had gone for the cheap, crappy, McDonald’s burger. The family was going to have to go out of business and find a new way to make a living. They had been running that diner for many years.

The hamburger joint in Olympia Washington when I was in high school, made a deluxe cheeseburger for a dollar. It was really good! Almost as good as the best I’ve ever had. And very consistently so. Back in those days I still ate animals.

The school cafeteria was using predominantly government surplus food. It came in large tin cans, and no one had any idea how to cook anything. They would take, I’m guessing here, a bunch of cans of meat related products, and dump them all in a big pot, with a lot of bread, and a lot of grease, probably lard or something, but I’m sure it was cheap grease. They would mix all this up and make like a meatloaf, that was about a half an inch thick. They baked it, and then they cut it into squares that were the size of a hamburger bun. Man was it greasy! Once I graduated from high school, I promise myself to never eat a square hamburger again in my life.

My grandmother and my mother made excellent meatloaf, and it was always one of my favorites back when I ate animals. But this stuff was vile and disgusting. Somehow I don’t remember any lettuce or tomato or onion and certainly no cheese, but yet they sold these cafeteria hamburgers that they made from government subsidy food, for a dollar. The same price as a delicious one down the street.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed off-campus during the school day, and the good hamburger joint was about 2 miles away. So if some sort of catastrophe happened, and you didn’t have your own lunch from home, and you had to buy one of their swamp burgers, or maybe sewer burgers would be a better name. Swamps actually serve a purpose. Anyway, God help you!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> also about old times

When I worked at Boeing, in the 1960s, I worked with a black man my age, who grew up in a very poor part of the black neighborhood in Seattle. The Central District. When he was about 12 or 14, everybody said he looked like he was 18 or 21, whatever the legal drinking age was. And they dared him to go into the cocktail lounge in his neighborhood and get a drink. Cocktail lounges were dark and mysterious. They were not allowed to have windows that people could see in from the street. But, a Tavern MUST have several large windows so that you could see in from the street. Go figure.

But, to an underage teenager, a cocktail lounge was obviously a den of iniquity! I don’t know what they’re doing in there, but it must be something evil, forbidden, and fun.

He took the challenge. He walked in and sat down, and the waitress came over and said, “What’ll you have?” As far as he could tell, she was going to serve him.

He had no idea of what ANY drinks were called. Absolutely none. He had not planned that far ahead.

But, he was in a cocktail lounge, so he asked for the only thing he could think of, “I’ll have a fruit cocktail please.”

(And he came from such a poor family, that he had never had a can of fruit cocktail either. So, he had no idea what it actually was. And in case only Americans use the term, it’s a can of a variety of cheap fruit, chopped into little cubes, less than a centimeter. It’s sweet and cheap. It always had a few maraschino cherries, and probably not one vitamin in the whole can.)

At which point she said, “I’ll need to see some ID.” And tossed him out when he didn’t have any.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> also about old times

As we were traveling around America, we would go to museums. Janet and I are big museum lovers. Naturally, and the southeastern United States, a lot of the museums are very caught up on Civil War stuff. One of them had a wooden orange squeezer, that is similar to the ones that you sometimes see now made out of plastic, and use for lemons. However, since it was made out of wood, it was clunkier, and it was made for oranges so everything about it was twice as big. My grandmother had the EXACT same model, all of the time I was growing up, and we used it frequently.

They said it was from the Civil War era, and was a potato ricer. I found someone, who found someone, who got me somebody in management and explained to them what it really was, and that I knew for certain because I grew up with one. I don’t know if they changed the display but I did all I could.

In another museum, I saw what was surely a very expensive lemon squeezer. It was clearly old, but in absolutely perfect condition. The framework was cast-iron, but the cup with the perforations, and the dome that squeezes and turns the lime or lemon inside out, were made out of white ceramic. Probably porcelain. Which is the reason that it survived so long. Or perhaps it was unused.

In Mexico, until the late 1980s, they always made them out of aluminum. And the lime juice would eat away the aluminum, and after a while some of the metal would fall out where the holes were. Who knows how much aluminum citrate, or whatever it was that was made by the effect of the citric acid against the aluminum, that we ate.

Well, in this museum, they had this antique, deluxe lemon squeezer with the porcelain working parts, labeled as a garlic press. So, again I tried to tell someone what it really was.

I appreciate that some young whippersnapper is just trying to do the best they can. But that’s what old geezers are for. To set them straight.

Speaking of which, I just saw an interesting story. Who knows if it’s true. But I like the sound of it.


Back in the 1980s when my daughter was three. We were watching MTV. The Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian” came on and my daughter just stood there staring at it. When the video was done she turned to me and said, “We didn’t sing or dress like that back then.”

Slightly amused I laughed and asked her to sing for me the way education saying back then. She proceeded to sing a strange tune in a haunting melody that sent chills down her spine.

Later she drew a picture of, “her dress” and I started crying. It was too ancient and intricate to be bullshit. Especially from a three-year-old.


FYI, not that you or anyone else needs to agree with me, but in the early 1970s, I used to work with a scientist that had recently done (at the time) a lot of research on reincarnation, using hypnosis to regress people back and help them to remember past lives. He was a very bright man, and sincere in his work. He was not a BS artist at all. He was only trying to find out if there was anything to all the hubbub. He was excruciatingly careful to never suggest anything to the people. He only asked, “What do you see now? What are you doing now?”

He told me gobs of stories, and very quickly I was totally convinced about the validity of reincarnation. And then he said, “But, we have many accounts that we cannot reconcile. For example in the thousands of people that we studied, many of them were Napoleon or Joan of Arc or some famous person in a past life. They often give us incredible detail, that no one but a scientists, historians, etc, would know. Stuff that we verified as being true and accurate, but that you could not possibly have made up. None of our test subjects, had the right sort of background to have known any esoteric accurate details. So, they are tapping into something. Some sort of database of things that happened in the past. That we can be certain of. The thing that were not sure of is whether that was actually their life or not. And if it was, then why do we get multiple famous people? We checked on their genealogy, and in this lifetime, they show no ancestors that could possibly have been descendants of the famous person. But, I am just researching it to try to learn more about it. It really makes no difference to me one way or the other. If we have one life or many, why would we want to live our present life, anything less than the best we can possibly do? So, it makes no difference to me which is the true answer. But I am looking for it.”

Of course, the whole woo woo field is just a vast money machine for charlatans and conmen. So it gets hard to strain the truth from the fantasy.

But, I know several people who were, “killed” in accidents, but chose to come back. They tell amazingly similar first-hand accounts. So, it is far easier for me to believe that when we die, is not just that ‘the lights go out’ and that is the end of the program. Play the national anthem and go to Test pattern.

No. Something keeps going.

Similarly, I believe in ghosts. But not that they are evil or scary. Just dead. And very much like the American TV program, “Ghost Whisperer” (if you leave out the scary parts) they are just people that are confused and don’t understand that they’re supposed to pass on to another dimension. Or have some important reason why they are hanging around.

But that’s just me. And it is not contagious. So don’t worry.


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