The history test thread made me think about a question I get from my kids all the time. Here are some of the answers I give them:
Soft drinks came in bottles (or cans with a top you had to pull off). We used to get them, and drive a hole in the bottle cap, then either drink out of the hole, or better yet, shake them and watch the foam shoot out.
We had no central airconditioning.
Cars had no cruise control. Nobody wore seatbelts. I used to ride in the flatbed of a pickup, on the highway. There was leaded gasoline, and it cost about .50 cents a gallon.
We had 6 total TV channels (NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, then two on the UV - to this day, I can remember what those were in Houston, 2, 11, 13, 8 and 26 and 39). At 11 p.m. they all shut off after playing the National Anthem (watch Poltergeist to remind yourself what it looked like). We had no remote control (in fact, I was my dad's remote control - "Son, go change the channel).
We used to play outside all of the time. My mom would send me and my brother out on a weekend day, and we would ride our bikes around until it was dark. During the summer there was no summer camp. We spent all day at the public pool, or riding bikes.
The movies cost about $1.00, and they only had one huge screen with no stadium seating.
We listened to records and played cassette tapes on our walkmans.
There we no cell phones, no laptops, no computers, no Ipods, no Internet, and most importantly, no Sportscenter.
Boy, the way Glenn Miller played.
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us, we had it made
Those were the days!
And you knew who you were then
Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again!
Didn't need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the day -y- -y -y - s!
Getting my kids to go outside is like pulling teeth. I spent most of my days outside with the other neighborhood kids like you did. Nowadays they all huddle around a damn computer screen. grrrrrrrrrr
( I do kick them out, but they still come back)
When Atari came out, we were not allowed to have one. Our summer days were spent mostly at the pool and at tee-ball/baseball/softball practice. We rode our bikes ALL DAY LONG, coming home briefly for lunch and just in time for dinner. Weekend days that couldn't be spent outdoors, I would usually be in my room vegging out with a book. Or playing games with my brother.
I hate myself nowadays when I find myself on a weekend sacked out with the television on. Life's too short. When I read about today's kids' problems with obesity and attention disorders, I can't help but think my parents had the right idea way back when.
Everyone hated Carolina and liked Duke.
You must spread some comments around before flaming the Moderators again.
Playing outside...what a concept. In summer I would disappear on my bike in the morning and might show back up for dinner.
The universal symbol to get your butt home...the street lights came on.
You wrote letters with paper and pen.
Home movies had no sound (yikes I'm old!)
Windsor (aka Loni)
a wasted youth is better by far than a wise and productive old age
I'm actually really down with the whole seat belt issue. Nowadays, my friends won't even let their kids out of their car seats on long trips because "you never know when you might have an accident." I mean, I understand the principle, but can you imagine the torture for small children??
I recall, after dinner, going upstairs to my parent’s room with my dad and listening to the radio to several 15 minute shows. We heard Amos ‘n Andy, The Shadow, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and others. There was no TV.
My mother had a washing machine with a mechanical wringer you fed the cloths through (now the process is handled by the spin cycle on your washing machine.) She hung the wet wash on a cloths drying tree that she set up into a pipe in the ground in the back yard.
After the War my mother had a Crosley automobile followed by a ’50 Ford sedan. I rode a 20” Huffy bike all day long. We would ride about 5 miles to Red Bridge and catch garter snakes; carry our fishing rods, dig for worms and fish at the Pond; and ride down 27th Street to my Uncles and help him harvest his apples. My sister and I would ride a mile or so to Stix’s Store in the evening to have ice cream.
I remember swimming in a community pool at the site of an old amusement park. On weekends we went there for dances with live bands providing the music. Saturday Double Feature (+ Serial) Movies were 25¢, popcorn was 10¢ and a Coke (not allowed inside the seating area of the theater) was 5¢.
I rode a trolley streetcar from the suburbs to downtown to meet my dad at his office. I would walk from the bus stop at 8th Street to Lipmann The Tailor’s shop a couple doors down and stop in and visit with the Lipmann’s (a deaf-mute couple) who would always have a smile, a hug and cookies for me. Then I would continue another block to my Dad’s office, which was also where my grandparents lived. If I was lucky I would get to walk with my grandmother to the Farmer’s Market on 9th Street. There she would purchase from her regular butcher, green grocer and others to get the food for the next several days. Market was held on Tuesday and Saturday and she usually went each day.
There was no TV until into the 50’s. Radio was all we had. No computers or Walkman’s. We had one phone in the house - in the front hall. We had a record player in the basement and a collection of big band sounds on ‘78’s. I wish I had those today. We would get together with the other kids in the neighborhood and play baseball or football. No one I knew played Basketball at that time. I recall there was a vacant lot nearby and we (the kids) all got rakes and shovels and created our own baseball field. That lasted for about two years – until the owner built a house there and we were all quite angry.
I walked 9 blocks to my grade school. It was uphill going and downhill home. Behind the school was a little candy shop in the back room of a house. We would go there after school and buy penny candy when we had a penny! I remember the wax coke bottles of sugar water. Also we had little boxes with pin holes in them and photographic paper inside and we would make a picture of the sun. I remember building a box to indirectly view an eclipse of the sun while in 2nd grade.
Ernie Stump ran Stump’s grocery story – where my mother shopped and Clair Hartman ran Clover Farm’s Dairy – where we got the milk. Every summer the Rag Man came by and purchased/sold rags, the scissor sharpener came by and took care of knives and scissors and periodically the Fuller Brush Man made a call. Soft Drinks came in return bottles (out of machines they cost 5¢), milk came in return bottles and pay phones cost 5¢.
All in all, life was much simpler.
Oh man - on rainy days we would play Risk, Clue, Battleship, and yes...Dungeons and Dragons. Actually rainy days were bad for TV, because my step dad was in construction, so he was home those days too and from noon until 3 p.m. it was reruns of The Rifleman, Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie. It wasn't until 3 that The Brady Bunch and then Gilligan Island repeats came on.
At night, the only TV I remember really watchin was The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island (though it often gave me nightmares). I'm sure there was some TV on during weeknights, but I don't remember it really at all.
When I was 10 we got Intellivision - and definitely played it a great deal...but there were limits (usually an hour a day, unless the weather was awful). I also had that hand held electronic football game where you moved the ball carrier up and down until you had an opening, and then moved it forward (couldn't go back), and then up and down again. After three downs you punted or went for it, and it made a little noise to turn it over to the other person. What was that game called????
My brother and I would have a long-standing game of Monopoly going throughout the summer. Or Life. Or we'd keep a huge jigsaw puzzle on a card table in the living room.
When you wanted vegetables in the winter, you opened a can.
No rich people were harmed in the making of this recession.
I would do jigzaw puzzles with such intensity, that I would literally wake up in the middle of the night and go "THAT'S where that piece goes" and walk downstairs and put it in. My first true obsession.
The Everclear song has it just about right.