Remember When …


The good readers and commenters over at the Rott, started waxing nostalgic today. I was no exception, contributing as much as my five active brain cells would allow. Sitting here in the snow covered bunker, at Snugg Harbor central, the memories were reluctant to fade away in to the cobwebbed recesses of my mind (such as it is). And so let’s return to those days of yesteryear … when men were men an women were all the happier for it!! (And kids were told to “shuddup and eat, before your dinner gets cold, then you can talk.”).
Remember when:
Paychecks were a LOT smaller, but they seemed to go alot further.
Yes, they have gone up, ostensively due to inflation, but have they realistically kept pace to the increased cost of “basics”, such as gas (auto), utilities, basic food items – meats, dairy, produce, bread? The cost of a new home, car, appliances (not even speaking about *top of the line*, just good quality for the dollar spent items)?
The price you paid for a night out did not require you to get a second (or third) mortgage on your house.
A *nice* dinner for two might set you back 10-20 bucks (including tips and a before dinner drink). A movie (with a popcorn and sodas) between 5-10 dollars more. And that was back in the 70’s, go back a tad bit further, to the 60’s, and a ten spot could get you through the whole night. As for kids, well a Saturday matinee was all of a dollar. That included two movies, a couple of cartoons, a newsreel, coming attractions, the national anthem, and of course, a soda and popcorn. Plus, if you were sneaky, you could get into the *other* show after yours was over, and see that too.
There were no “Soccer Moms”.
Our (summer time) days were, for the most part, our own. Yes, there were swimming lessons at the park district, and for a couple of years “day camp” (again, via the park district). But, we were expected to get to and from them on our own. It was only a mile or so to the public pool, and or pick up point for the day camp. We were around 10 years of age, so off we went. As a rule, there were no mom taxi services. Dad had the only car. It wasn’t the responsibility of the parents to jam pack your day with activities, you were left to your own devices. If you elected to get into trouble, and happened to get caught, you paid the penalty(s) for same. Which ranged from parents assuming the role of drill instructor, and burning your ears off. Or you faced “The Wrath of Dad” ™ , You did NOT want to face the wrath of dad because your bottom was the prime focus of his wrath, and this was long before ANY parent needed to worry about things like Child Protective Services. Needless to say, we found plenty enough forms of “satisfactory” entertainment to keep us busy during the summer months.
Bagging the Grass
Meant you had to go and retrieve all the lawn trimmings after cutting the grass, and place same into paper or plastic trash bags … and not dividing up a pile of “natures own” in to sandwich baggies?
Going to the “Five & Dime Store”
Where you could still get stuff (in my case, penny candy that still cost a penny) for five or ten cents? Comic books were 10 and then 12 cents each for the longest time. The special annuals were a quarter and maybe came out once or twice a year. Soda was in cans, but the way to get it out of the machine was by bottle. If you were smart you went around with your wagon, and collected as many as you could to turn in to the grocery store to collect the deposit. Then took that money to the five and dime. Ahhhhh capitalism in action!!!
Having a paper route.
Be it a daily or weekly paper, you were given a stack by the route manager, and expected to fold/roll em up, rubber band em, and deliver each to the subscribers on your route. You were also expected to get the subscription money when it came due. This was done rain or shine. There was no car. There was maybe a bike if you were lucky. That was how you made money before getting a “real job”.
The floor is now open. Anyone else care to wonder down memory lane?? Come on down, it’s nice down here!

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2 Comments

Filed under Harbor Life, Random Thoughts, Scribbles

2 responses to “Remember When …

  1. Nostalgia, OK, here goes: Friday evenings, I put on my shooting coat and got on the Wisconsin Ave trolley, and rode out to the city limits, where I met Mr. Walton, my math teacher and shooting coach.
    I would climb into his 56 Ford Country Squire wagon, the back seat full of cased guns, and with the rest of the rifle team already in there, we would proceed to Bethesda High School, where we would practice, shoot Postal matches, and/or participate in inter-school competition.
    Yes, we carried guns onto school property. Some carried theirs in (at High Port, action open) UNCASED.
    All the instructors were US Veterans of WW2, most Army or Marines, and they KNEW their marksmanship, and could coach it well. Yes, when we weren’t shooting, we would sneak outside the range for a smoke (the instructors could smoke indoors).

  2. A lot of my memories are the same, except that we lived so far out of Rockford that we HAD to have rides from Mom for swimming lessons. So all the farm moms car pooled everyones’ kids. One mom might drive every other week.
    Candy was a penny, hershy bars .20 or .25, pop .15 to usually .25
    And BBs for the BB gun .25 for one tube.

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