Back In The Saddle Again

I sometimes think I am living in the past , given a lot of the stuff I write about. Memories, old stories, and recollections. However, I don’t think I live there actually, but I do visit a lot. I guess to some degree it has to do with what I read. Every day, sprinkled throughout my emails there is always at least one joke, cartoon, or story that is “age appropriate”. By that I mean they are about old people. It seems I have been type cast by several of my friends (and a couple of relatives) to whom my name immediately comes to mind.
I received one such missive this morning. The subject line read “When Life Was Still Fun”. I scrolled down through it and read with amusement some of the “fun” things listed, some of which I had forgotten, which only served to conjure up another set of memories. I also thought to myself how much life has changed. Most or at least many of the items mentioned, or things that we did, would be unfamiliar to a great deal of today’s population. So I thought I would list some of them and see how many you admit to remembering.
It started by speaking of a time when most peoples dogs were not purebreds, and they probably ate table scraps. A quarter was still a pretty good allowance and you would still stop to pick up a penny. Ladies nylons still came in two pieces. Rinso and Lux were popular laundry detergents and frequently contained a towel or dish as a freebie When you pulled into a gas station, an attendant pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield, checked your oil, and probably gave you some green stamps. And you could drive quite a way on $2.00 worth of regular.
If you failed in school, you were told you would be held back, and you were. Being sent to the principals office was merely a prelude to the fate that awaited you when you got home. This was a time before drugs, gangs, and drive-by shootings, when the thing you feared the most were your parents.
Games we played were often made up as we went along without adults helping us make up the rules. And yes, someone always won, and someone else always lost. That’s just the way it was. We amused ourselves with hula hoops and marbles and a bike was indispensable. At the corner store you could buy candy cigarettes and wax coke shaped bottles filled with sugar water. Real coke came in glass bottles from the machines. We chewed Blackjack and Beemans Pepsin and Teaberry gum. Milk came in glass bottles and was usually delivered to your door.
If you had a TV, you didn’t miss many issues of Howdy Doody and the peanut gallery, or The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows, or Roy Rogers and Dale. And cartoons were not thirty minute long commercials. If you had a phone, you probably had a party line with several others sharing it. You knew when the call was for you by the number of rings, but that didn’t keep one of the other parties from picking up and listening. I think that was the forerunner of the NSA.
Most young boys had pea shooters and no one lost an eye. Bringing a weapon to school meant being caught with a slingshot. Medicine bottles were not childproof since we hadn’t started to poison each other yet. Music was played on something called a phonograph by a spinning 45 or 33 rpm record. There were no computers and copies were made using two sheets of paper in a typewriter between which was a sheet of carbon paper. Multiple copies were made on a mimeograph machine on special foul smelling paper.
Back then we talked to each other, knew our neighbors, shared the fruits of our gardens, and provided a helping hand when one was needed. We went to church on Sunday, respected our elders, and it was permissible to have more then one “best friend”. There was no such thing as a “like”.
So, how’d you do? Did anything jump out at you? Did you find yourself saying “I remember that”, or being reminded of some other thing from “back in the day”. If you did, we are closer in age then you would like to admit. If you didn’t, you are probably too young or too senile. I’ll let you decide which one. Just sayin:)

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Aging, Friendship, Generations, History, Kids, Life, Memories, Reflection, Relationships, Youth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Back In The Saddle Again

  1. quiall says:

    I remember …. I may not live in my memories but they are a comforting place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everything sounds familiar except the gums, so I’m thinking that trend hadn’t gone south into Connecticut yet.


  3. George says:

    I remember it all…..and happy to relive it..:)


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