Sometimes you don’t realize how good the good old days were until they’re gone.
Yesterday I mentioned that I had grown up, like everyone else my age, without air-conditioning and other things we nowcall necessities. Looking back now life seemed simpler than, not necessarily better just simpler.
Life expectancy was shorter, more folks were hungry and racial prejudice poisoned the lives of whole communities. But the world many of us lived in was much smaller and more manageable. Our friends were our neighbors, most of us did not have cars, there was no television and movies were a luxury. Our toys were made out of tin and cardboard. Those of us lucky enough to have bicycles delivered newspapers. We walked to school, played outside our homes and grew with our buddies.
I miss the simplicity that life once had but appreciate the benefits we have today.
Here is a piece a friend sent me many years ago. My friend passed on some time ago but he lives even today in my memory. So take a few moments and remember with my old friend Jack life as it once was.
OLDER THAN DIRT
“Hey ” one of my grandkids 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 ‘at home,'” I explained. “Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa 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.”
By this time, the kid 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 figured his system could have handled it:
Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.
My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone’s lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.
I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called “pizza pie.” When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It’s still the best pizza I ever had.
We didn’t have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather’s Ford. He called it a “machine.” I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn’t know weren’t already using the line.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was. All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.
Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else’s tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn’t do that in movies. I don’t know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren’t allowed to see them.
Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?
Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.
A very cheap man was looking for a gift for a friend. Everything was too expensive, except for a broken glass vase which he could purchase for almost nothing. He asked the store to send it, hoping his friend would think it had been broken in transit.
In due time, the man received an acknowledgement from his friend. “Thanks for the vase,” it read. “It was so thoughtful of you to wrap each piece separately.”
“We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them.”
A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday School presentation. His mother, sitting in the front row to prompt him, gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it didn’t help. Her son’s memory was blank.
Finally she leaned forward and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.”
The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud, clear voice said, “My mother is the light of the world.”
“If I’m not back in five minutes, wait longer.”
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective
“Sally, can you spell “water” for me?” The teacher asked.
H I J K L M N 0 answered Sally promptly.
Her teacher look puzzled. “That doesn’t spell “water.'”
“Sure it does,” said Sally. “It’s all the letters from H to O.”
Senility has been a smooth transition for me.
Maria: I fell off a sixty-foot ladder today.
Sue: It’s a miracle you weren’t killed.
Maria: Oh, I only fell off the first rung.
How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Speed Trap A Police officer had been told by his sergeant that he was to bring up his quota of speeding fines, he decided to park and use his radar gun flashing the cars as they drove by on a busy street. Well one hour went by then two and no one was speeding. After about six hours a lone car came speeding by at well over the limit, the officer turned on his lights and siren and pulled the car over. As the officer approached the drivers window he remarked “I’ve been waiting for you all day” and the driver replied, “Well I got here as fast as I could”
It is painful to watch children trying to show off for parents who are engrossed in their cell phones. Children are nostalgic for the ‘good old days’ when parents used to read to them without the cell phone by their side or watch football games or Disney movies without having the BlackBerry handy.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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