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Friday, March 5, 2010

Growing Up

When I was growing up in St. Paul in the 1950's:
A little house with three bedrooms, one bathroom and one car on the street. A mower that you had to push to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen we only had one phone,And no need for recording things, someone was always home.

We only had a living room where we would congregate, Unless it was at mealtime in the kitchen where we ate. We had no need for family rooms or extra rooms to dine, When meeting as a family those two rooms would work out fine.

We were the last kids in our neighborhood to have a TV. We only had one set, and channels maybe two or three, But always there was one of them with something worth the view. My dad thought he got a bargain from "Mad Man" Muntz you see. It was a giant 17 inches and black and white indeed.

For snacks we had potato chips that tasted like a chip, And if you wanted flavor there was Lipton's onion dip. Store-bought snacks were rare because my mother liked to cook, And nothing can compare to snacks in Betty Crocker's book.

Weekends were for family trips or staying home to play, We all did things together -- even go to church to pray.
We all loved to go camping then, here my mom is helping pack the stuff and to this very day, Mrs. T and I like still like the woods as long as we can stay. Sometimes we would separate to do things on our own, But we knew where the others were without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies with your favorite movie star, And nothing can compare to watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics at the peak of summer season, Pack a lunch and find some trees and never need a reason. Get a baseball game together with all the friends you know, Have real action playing ball -- and no game video. Now they speak of the Boyz In The Hood. Well, here we all were then. Boys and girls together playing Robin Hood. That's me, lower right hand corner, getting ready to shoot. The game never tired for us as it always was a hoot.

Remember going to the store and shopping casually, And when you went to pay for it you used your own money? Nothing that you had to swipe or punch in some amount, Remember when the cashier person had to really count? The milkman used to go from door to door, And it was just a few cents more than going to the store. There was a time when mailed letters came right to your door, Without a lot of junk mail ads sent out by every store. The mailman knew each house by name and knew where it was sent; There were not loads of mail addressed to "present occupant." There was a time when just one glance was all that it would take, And you would know the kind of car, the model and the make. One time the music that you played whenever you would jive, Was from a vinyl, big-holed record called a forty-five. The record player had a post to keep them all in line, And then the records would drop down and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then, just like we do today, And always we were striving, trying for a better way. Oh, the simple life we lived still seems like so much fun, How can you explain a game, just kick the can and run?

This life seemed so much easier and slower in some ways, I love the new technology but I sure miss those days. So time moves on and so do we, and nothing stays the same, But I sure love to reminisce and walk down memory lane.


NCmountainwoman said...

Except for the camping, I think we lived parallel lives. We had plenty of picnics, but my mother drew the line at sleeping outdoors. I have a photograph of my class on steps exactly like the one in your picture. It was a great time to be a kid.

Cedar ... said...

Oh, if I could only go home for supper one more time!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi TB, we didn't know how good we had it. I remember all those things. And we knew our neighbors and we never locked a door. My, my how progress had enriched our lives...not.

Unknown said...

Two thumbs up, my good man! I love seeing this new side of you. I am not much of an outdoorsy person, so was not much interested in your blog about that styff, but this, now, is exactly my cup of tea. I have always been fascinated by peoples' lives and curious about why some folks turned out the way they did. And my recollections of growing up in the 50s and 60s are probably more clear in my head than a lot stuff that's happened much more recently. Imagine me stopping my feet, whistling loudly through my two front teeth, and cheering, "More! More!" Sign me up as an enthusiastic follower of this blog and don't be offended when I excuse myself from your sportsy one. We need more men willing to share their feelings like you. Have I piled enough praise on you for now? Good. I'm almost done. So: Think, remember, write, share, and know that by doing so, you're helping somebody else who's also sorting through their past, namely, me.

Unknown said...

PS: Make that "Stuff," not "Styff," and "Stomping my feet" instead of "stopping my feet," and take back all my enthusiastic praise for what I thought was a new effort, since I just relized you've been doing this one for quite some time. Oh well, here I am,as usual, bumbling around in the blogosphere, the new kid on the block who gets easily confused, and makes idiotic comments as just exhibited above. You'll always be my main man, tho, for being the first-ever person to leave a comment on my blog who was not a family member of mine. Someday I'd like to hear how you found me. I'm curious.

LoieJ said...

I went through the same things, except not family camping, had no record player at all, just one on top of the gas fridge that would give a jolt if you touched the fridge at the same time as the radio. We had the same garage as you. Seasoning on food was salt and pepper at best. Houses had steps, not "curb appeal."

Montanagirl said...

Ah, there's nothing like a walk down memory lane. Such a nice post.

Clementine Moonflower said...

Ah, this is a gem. Even though you are much older than me :-), my childhood in the 70's was much like this. We still had drive-ins and played "ghost in the graveyard." We searched for toads in the backyard. But we didn't have a milk man!

Wildflower Gal said...

I remember growing up with the 45 record player as you loaded them to the top and sing and dance away. In the winter we heated our house with a fuel oil stove and would lay our mittens on the top when you came in from playing in the snow to dry. We had boxes of 45's and this one night, in the 50's, we had a babysitter and the record player just so happened to be by the fuel oil stove and she put a couple of the boxes on the stove while she sorted through the records and guess what?? Of course the whole box was ruined and we all felt bad as they would be some of our favorites. Thanks for memories.

betsy said...

Remember Sky King? The Lone Ranger? Sid Caesar? Annie Oakley? Why aren't they on Nick At Night? How about 77 Sunset Strip?

Rae said...

Those are great memories. I enjoyed this trip down memory lane!

Jayne said...

There was just something about using your imagination then, and being able to entertain yourself with the abundance of what the outdoors had to offer. A much safer, simpler time for sure...

Shady Gardener said...

I understand completely. There are still ways to teach your children ways to use their imagination, but there are so many distractions.

YOU had a rotary phone? (Actually we did too, until we moved to a different community when I was at the end of 6th grade. They still had the crank phones and operators... not a bad thing.)

donna said...

Luved everything about this post. I'm still a fan of Lipton's onion dip and I have sweet memories of the family going to the outdoor theater. We still have a couple in our area. Kick the can, playing starlight/moonlight outside in the dark...all so much fun.

Guess we have to remember that eventually today will be the good old days.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

What a beautiful, simple and wonderful life we had as children then. The world was ours and we could live each day to the fullest. The milkman we had was an ex big game hunter and the stories he would tell us were fascinating. Places seems so far off then. The cream on top of the milk was so thick and it would be skimmed off and we would walk around all day shaking it in a bottle to turn it to butter.

What lovely memories.