Friday, July 7, 2017

Remember When?

A question on Facebook got me thinking about this: the things I remember that would leave people under 30 clueless if I mentioned them in conversation.

For example, duck and cover. How many of you remember the days of the cold war, when instead of fire drill we had air raid drills at school, and were supposed to duck under our desks, or go out into the hallways, and cover our heads? In case of a nuclear attack, you know. My friend Janet Smart has a new children's fiction book out on this subject, called, appropriately, Duck and Cover.

And bomb shelters. People actually built these bunker-type things in their yards. Not many people did it, but still. I have always wondered what good it would do to survive if the world's been nuked.

Tube TV--remember when the picture would shrink to a little dot and finally disappear? And stations went off the air sometime between midnight and 2am, and had a signoff, usually the national anthem? Then those stripes appeared.

Metal strap-on roller skates, with a key to adjust them provided hours of entertainment at our house. If the leather straps broke, we improvised. We also used parts from various skates to keep one good pair going. I loved to skate, twirling in circles, going so fast down a hill that I could coast for long distances, skating on only one foot...fun times.

TV dinners on aluminum trays. Those were all the rage in the 60's even though they tasted terrible. We didn't often get them as it was too expensive to buy them for our big family. But when we did have them, the Salisbury steak one was my favorite.

Teeter totters, the homemade kind. Dad made ours with a 30-gallon drum and a long 2x8 bolted to the top. A handle on each end, and we were set. We also liked to roll on barrels--stand up on one and "walk" to get it rolling. The thing is that if it was on a slope, the barrel would get going faster than we could run on top, and off we'd fly.
Image result for o for operator

Dialing "O" and getting a live person on the other end. Those were the days, for sure!

Having to wear a dress to school because girls were not allowed to wear pants. And in our school boys couldn't wear jeans either. I remember when pantdresses came into style--basically a dress with a divided skirt. I made one with some pretty dark gray fabric and wore it to school. It was technically a dress, right? The assistant principal made me kneel down to see if the hem touched the floor. It missed by about an inch and he told me not to wear it again. Apparently he did this to many girls in that mini-skirt era and important parents complained, so after a few months I could wear my pantdress again.

Cold-War-Ads-The-Red-Menace
Red China movies. At school, we'd be shown these movies all about the horrors of Communism and the threat of Red China.


Carrying a hanky. I had quite a few pretty flowered ones, and wish I still had them today as they are collectible now! Some were nylon with flocked flowers on them, absolutely so delicate and pretty. Useless of course, but who cared? I found some like that recently, and it sure brought back memories of standing at the counter at the Rohr's Five & Dime, wanting to buy a new one so badly but lacking the 39 cents needed.

Trixie Belden, Bobbsey Twins, and Five Little Peppers. I think I read them all. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys too, old copies that had belonged to my father when he was young. Under 30's might know about Nancy and the Hardy Boys, but probably not Sue Barton, Student Nurse. I wanted to be a nurse back then and Sue Barton was my hero. I followed her through nursing school, various different nursing jobs, love and marriage, and even loved the name of her daughter, Tabitha.

This list could go on and on. What things do you remember that young people today might not know about?

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

6 comments:

Mac n' Janet said...

I share many of your memories. We had a party line on our phone and often had to wait for the neighbors to finish their call before we could call.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Loved this! I remember everything on your list. Also:

wearing white gloves and a hat for Easter, party lines on our telephones, 10 cent phone booths, the rag man and the knife sharpening man, milk and juice home delivery, Doctor making house calls.

My mom didn't drive when I was a kid in the 60's, so when I pulled my shoulder out of socket when I was 4 she had to drag me and my baby sister in a wagon to the doctors office that was over a mile away.

Jenny said...

8 track tapes & party lines. We had a party line up until 1998. Which was only four years before we got our first internet service.

We were visiting with my husband's cousins recently & one of her granddaughter's was listening to us all sit around & talk. Someone mentioned a party line & she was totally confused by what that meant! As we explained she was amazed that our phone calls could be listened to by our neighbors! So funny.

Bbj said...

Of course remember these
Mother used to tell Me To go out and play and get fresh air
I took a book and sat under a tree
I did roller skate down the street and of course the key around my neck! Later was
An avid skater at the rink-sports not so much!!!
Would love to get a person on the phone!!!

Love this column!!!!

Quinn said...

Sue Barton got married??? Wow, we really fell out of touch! ;)
I think you and I may be exactly the same age.

janet smart said...

Hi Susanna. Thanks for the shout out about my book! We live in a very different time now than when we were growing up. I remember the party lines, outhouses, black and white TV shows, TV going off the air at midnight or just a little later, no air conditioning and lots more.

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