Archive for the ‘fifties’ Tag

11-29-2013 A Look Back!   1 comment

According to Socrates “an unexamined life is not worth living”.  I agree with that to a point because there are times when looking back has truly restorative value.  It clears the mind by allowing us to revisit simpler and sometimes happier times.   The post that follows is me looking back and remembering how different things were not so long ago.  I’m not saying they were always better but in some cases they definitely were.  Read on and enjoy a short but detailed visit to my early childhood.

Way back…

I’m talking about hide and seek at dusk, sitting on the porch. Hot bread and butter, eating’ a super-dooper sandwich (Dagwood), Red light, Green light, 1 2 3.

Chocolate milk, lunch tickets, penny candy in a brown paper bag. Hopscotch, butterscotch, Double-Dutch, jacks, kickball, and dodge ball. Mother, May I? Hula Hoops, Sunflower Seeds, jawbreakers, blow pops, Mary Janes, and running through the sprinklers. The smell of the sun and licking salty lips.

Wait……

Watching lightening bugs in a jar, playing slingshot and Red Rover. When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere.

Bedtime, Climbing trees. A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sitting on the curb, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, and pillow fights.

Being tickled to death, running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Being tired from playing …. Remember that?

I’m not finished just yet…

What about the girl that had the big bubbly hand writing? Licking the beaters when your mother made a cake. When there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds & PF Flyers), and the only time you wore them at school, was for “gym.”

When nobody owned a purebred dog. When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter a huge bonus. When you’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then. When your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, for free. And you didn’t pay for air, and, you got trading stamps to boot! When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

Not done yet . . .

When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done, everyday. When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed…and did! When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot. When nearly everyone’s mom was at home when the kids got there.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.  Disapproval of our parents and grandparents was a much bigger threat!

Decisions were made by going “eeny-meeny-miney-mo.” Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, “do over!” “Race issue” meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in “Monopoly.”

Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening. It wasn’t odd to have two or three “best” friends. Being old, referred to anyone over 20. The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn’t matter. It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn’t an Olympic event.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties. It was magic when dad would “remove” his thumb. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.

Nobody was prettier than Mom.

IT’S NICE TO OCCASIONALLY LOOK BACK

Advertisements

04-21-2013   2 comments

This is the day to celebrate.  My remodeled room is for all intents and purposes completed.  I’ll be adding all the pretty little bells and whistles over the next few weeks like a new fan, outlet covers, a closet organizer, and a new heater cover but the tough stuff is done.  It’s been a long winter working on this room but I succeeded in getting it done on time and within budget.  All of you will also be glad to know that I won’t be boring you with any further bitching and complaining about it,  a Win/Win for us all.

In order to celebrate this accomplishment my better-half came up with a perfect solution. She felt it was necessary to make the rounds of area antique shops to look for a few things to put in the new room.  Since this room was remodeled primarily for her use she desperately needed one large piece of furniture and a number of smaller decorative items. Who was I to argue?

We didn’t go very far from home for our first stop and while I’m not a big shopping fan I entered the building with the best of intentions.  It was filled to the brim with just about everything you could think of making it a long drawn out effort to see everything in one short visit.  I may not be a career shopper like my better-half but I can still spot a good item from a distance.  I saw a small desk that must have been close to eighty years old being used to display many other smaller items.  Since we both decided we would be decorating the room a little more eclectically, I thought it would make an excellent vanity for all her lotions, jewelry, and the ton of other female accessories she owns.  Normally when I make these kinds of suggestions, she will just smile, pat me on the head, and tell me it’s just not her style.

She stood there for five minutes checking it out.  Without saying a word she walked around it, touched it, smelled it, and then told me to measure it.  She walked away to another area of the store to look at something and said nothing further.   I measured the desk, she nodded, but continued her shopping. I figured that was an unspoken "No thank you".

Then I was dragged nearby to look at a 1955 era dinette set.  It had an oval table, four chairs and a leaf to extend the length of the table.  I love Retro but I didn’t think she’d be all that interested in that sort of thing.  This dinette set was in almost new condition and would fit perfectly in our kitchen’s breakfast nook.  She had me measure the table size and when I was finished we walked to the main checkout area to talk with the store’s owner.  In five minutes she talked the owner into dropping the price of the dinette set fifty bucks and then told the women we were going home to do a few room measurements but would return shortly.

We drove to our house, took the required measurements, and immediately returned to the store.  We bought both items without any further discussion and after a couple of trips later had everything back at our home.  To say I was stunned is a huge understatement.  I’ve known her for more years than I like to admit but this was the very first time she made this kind of decision in such short order.  Her usual decision making process is to not make a decision.  Over the years on a number of occasions we missed out on really good buys because she wanted to wait and think about it for a while.  We’d return the next day and find the items purchased and gone.

In my opinion any progress made in these matters is a good thing.  It was a huge shock to see her so taken with something that she could deny her urge to wait. It’s nice to know that no matter how well or how long you know someone, they can still surprise you.

It was a great day, we made two excellent purchases, and we’ll be enjoying them for years to come.  Good for us.