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