Sunday, June 1, 2008

WHO is older than DIRT? by Babcock

One of my boys asked me a while back what my favorite fast food was when I was growing up. I told him, “WE didn’t have fast food ‘back then’, it was all ‘slow’ food.”

“Awe come on Dad, seriously , where did you all eat?”

“Well, son,” I told him, “It was a place called HOME. Your Grandmother cooked everyday. And when your Granddaddy was home, we all sat down together and ate. If she cooked something we didn’t like, we sat there ‘til we DID like it.”

He was laughing pretty hard by this time, so I didn’t tell him about us having to get permission to LEAVE the table. But I decided to tell him a few other things.

Lots of parents never owned their own homes, they just rented. They never set foot on a golf course, never owned a boat, never traveled very far from home, never had a credit card, but if they did, it said Sears and Roebuck on it. They didn’t know what the word “designer” even meant. They never drove to soccer practice, mainly because no one had ever heard of soccer.

I had a bicycle that weighed fifty pounds and it only had one speed -- SLOW. We didn’t have a TV, only had one phone in the house, and had to remember a person’s number to tell the operator when she said “number please”.

I was 33 before I ate my first pizza. My Daddy didn’t have a car ‘til I was 12 years old. Before that, if we went, we borrowed my uncle’s old Chevy truck, and we boys rode in the back on some benches Daddy made for us. If it rained, we got wet. Or else, we had to go on the train. Because Daddy was a railroader, it was free for us to ride. We were just limited as to where we could go.

Milk was delivered to the back door and the newspaper was delivered to the front door. Ice came in blocks and was delivered whenever we put our card up in the window to show what size block we wanted. The newspaper was a nickel and ice was a penny a pound, delivered.

We went to the movie, maybe once a week, and generally on Saturday. If it was mushy, it meant that the cowboy kissed a girl, with their mouths SHUT! No French kissing. That was considered “dirty!”

There was no such thing as perma-press. All clothes had to be sprinkled and ironed. Wash was only done on Monday because that’s the day the trains didn’t run and cause coal dust to get on them. Clothes were hung on the line outside as we didn’t have a clothes dryer. Dimmer switches were on the floorboard of a car, you stuck your arm out the window to signal which you were going to turn or stop.

Yep, I was really getting going when I noticed he was sound asleep.. Guess he didn’t believe me or was just plain bored.

As I was thinking about the things I was going to tell him, I remembered things like—candy cigarettes, party lines, butch wax, 78 RPM records, rollerskate keys, S&H green stamps Hi-Fi’s, blue flash bulbs, metal ice trays with lever to break the ice loose, pea shooters, P F Flyers, wax coke bottles filled with colored sugar water, Studebaker cars, Edsel cars, wringer washer machines, those old push mowers that you REALLY had to push, those blister-causing shears we had to trim with, curfews which we had better not violate. And there was 25¢ per gallon gasoline, nickel pop and candy bars.

Yep, all just memories. Wonder what kind of memories he will have when he gets to be seventy. And, will they be the kind he will want to share with his kids. I sure hope so.

Bill <<>>wb


At June 3, 2008 at 7:18 AM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

I'm almost as old as lyou (class of '59 vs '56) and would like to add a few items to your list.

Going to Poteau on Saturday night for the late show.

Having "dates" that involved going to Wister Lake to "watch the submarine races".

Walking to town on Saturday afternoons to watch the double features and the serials.

Being thrilled by having Chill Wills visit the Liberty one day.

Walking to the "frog pond" south of town to fish.

Thanks for the memories.



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