Things you remember as a child
-Real Stream shovels- powered by steam
-Metal dashboards in cars
-Glass thermos bottles (remember the horrid sound of the tinkle, tinkle when you rattled it, dang, pop is going to be pissed I broke anothe one )
-Police cars with one single light in the middle of the roof (bubble gum machine as we called them)
-The TV control was a dial that gave a distinctive “click” at every turn (no remote)
-No AC in cars, or the house for that matter!
-Ice and selzer men
-Milk men (every morning open the metal box and find milk eggs and butter waiting for you)
elevator men (what floor? big handle on a round dial to go up or down )
What are your fond memories
CWN age 51
Things you remember as a child
Mrs. FtG brought home a little gift from a cow-orker who had gone on vacation. It was just a little wooden disk with a string looped through two holes in the middle of it. She had no idea what it was. I was stumped too. The wooden disk sort of looked like a large button. Button-string, button-string. (At this point, even Homer would have figured it out. Took me another day.)
It’s one of those spinning things I played with as a kid!
You hold the loop by the ends in each hand, “wind up” the button by twirling a bit, and then do this pull-relax thing to get it to spin faster and faster.
Ancient childhood memories dredged up.
Believe it or not young’ns. This was what we played with back when. No GameBoys, no TickleMe Elmo. A button and a string was hours of fun.
A milkshake made on a huge Hamilton Beach mixer at the lunch counter at Kresge’s, with all the art deco and chrome design still unchanged from the 1940s.
The jukebox remote station at every booth in the restaurant, either the chrome and rounded glass models from the '40s or the “space-age” looking square cabinet from the late '50s. Pages of 45s listed. 10 cents for one play, 3 for a quarter.
Seven-ounce bottles of Coke for a nickel. Take it back empty and get two cents. A handful of candies - five for a penny.
TV Time home popcorn in a kit: squeeze out the yellow stuff from one side of the package, melt it in a pot, add the kernels from the other side, and shake the pot back and forth over the burner.
The back window of the car being big enough to sleep in.
Building go-karts out of spare lumber and mismatched baby carriage wheels.
A girder and panel erector set, with which you could make skyscrapers.
The heavy, black, bakelite dial telephone. You only had to dial five numbers to call. If you needed to call long distance (strictly a no-no), you dialed 112 and the number, and the operator came on and said, “Number, please,” and then she connected you by plugging a jack into a socket.
Waking up at 5:50 to watch the TV station come on the air, showing the test pattern with the Indian head, and the national anthem set to 20-year-old film sequences, and the station’s title card, over which the announcer told you about the frequencies and power of the audio and video signals, how tall the tower was, and where. The Farm Report. Then Sunrise Semester, then Popeye and Baby Huey and Casper cartoons. Then Captain Kangaroo at came on at 8 AM. The TV Guide cost a dime. There were nine channels listed.
We had milk (in glass bottles) and butter delivery, too. And bread.
DOS. 5-inch diskettes. Rotary dial telephones. Plastic glitter sandals. Unusable catalogue terminals at libraries. Televisions with knobs. Dot matrix printers and computer paper with tear-off sides. Plastic grilles on rear-view windows.
Also: black and white.
TVs with tubes, and a total of three channels, two of which were snowy.
Refrigerators with a 10"X10" "freezer inside the main compartment, usually with so much white ice on it the little door wouldn’t close.
Poodle skirts, white bucks & saddle shoes with bobbie socks.
Sock hops in at lunch time in the gym.
The black rotary dial telephones with cloth covered cords, leased from AT&T, the “only” phone company.
Party lines, you could listen in on your neighbors’ calls, because it rang in every house on the line, our ring was two long and one short.
Dialing T I M E and hearing a recording tell the time, second by second.
“Word” phone prefixes. ours was ULrick The first two letters were the ones you dialed.
Cars with no seatbelts at all.
True Romance© Magazines.
Saturday matinee serials at the movies, they cost a dime to get in. Popcorn was a nickel and most candy was a nickel.
Ice Cream Dolls.
The Clash, The Boomtown Rats, Split Enz - on “Fridays”
Smurfs, My Little Pony, Cabbage Patch Kids, Monchichis, Rainbow Brite, Glo Worm, Popples, Poochie, Fairy Tails, Sea Wees
Penny candy cost… a penny.
Astro Pops had the stick on the other end (not the way they do now)
Pound Puppies (and Purries)
Music videos, MTV
B-52’s “Rock Lobster”; later, “Bouncing Off the Satellites” delayed release because of death of Ricky Wilson
Crystal Pepsi tasted like pork
A VCR that had large buttons that were pressed on like a tape recorder
Tape recorders, large and clunky
My Dad’s Chevelle had an 8 track
He-Man, She-Ra, Inspector Gadget, Astro Boy, Jem
Ghostbusters action figures (with eye-popping, jaw-dropping action, sometimes)
Black and white video cameras
Super Mario and Zelda cereal (“two cereals in one!”)
Hello Kitty bath sponge that changed colour in different water temperatures
I’m sure a few things on this list pre-date me, but they are things from my childhood I remember.
Anastasaeon, age 27
Color Monitors and Crushed Kittens
LCII’s and Dead Ducklings
Doom and Church Choir
Robocop and The Neverending Story
-Card catalogs at libraries (alphabetized index cards)
-Saturday morning cartoons
-the Cold War
-the Berlin Wall, the USSR
-plastic jelly shoes that had a sort of “grid” pattern on the bottom, and how little pebbles always seemed to get wedged inside the heels.
-black and green screen computers. We had one with a “color” monitor-the lines where in a mixture of pink and blue rather than green.
-radiators (we lived in an older home at one point. Damn, it was nice to sit on those in the winter time, provided you put a pillow down first)
-JELLO pudding pops
-Michael Jackson was black. And normal. And cool.
-jelly bracelets for 25 cents from a gumball machine
Roy Rogers cap guns
Caps in rolls purchased at the corner store
The smell of the spent caps
Feeling gypped when a cap was a dud
Soaps and comedies on the radio, including Our Miss Brooks
White Rose gas stations
B/A gas stations
The whistle in the '51 Chevy’s gas-tank neck changing pitch so the pump jockey would know when to stop pumping
The slow r-r-r-r-r of a car’s six-volt starter
Vacuum windshield wipers
Separate ignition switch and starter button
Round, yellow stop signs
Drivers using their arms to signal turns
Drivers opening their doors to signal left turns (summer only :))
Glass milk bottles
Frozen milk at the back door, expanding up the bottle neck and pushing the cap out
Standing on my best friend’s front lawn with half the neighbourhood looking at Sputnik speeding across the sky
The thrump-a-thrump-thrump of coal being dumped into the bin
The skr-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-kkkkkkkkkk of the bus’s trolleys coming off the wires and swinging madly in circles
The lights going out in the bus and the sudden silence of the motor
The grinding of the spring-wind pulleys as the bus driver pulled on the ropes to haul the trolleys down and set them back on the wires
The bus lights coming back on, along with the air compressor and the hum of the motor
Wringer washing machines
Black Cat cork-tipped cigarettes
Brine-filled soft-drink coolers with towels attached to the hinged-lid handles
Orange Crush in ribbed, brown bottles
The first king-size Cokes
I’m 2,000 years old.
-G-I Joe, Transfrormers, Inspector Gadget, Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles, Garfield, and Mario cartoons. As well as various others on saturday mornings.
-Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, black & white Gameboys.
-Going to the puplic library to use a computer (and play some kind of educational game) being considered “a treat.”
-(Later) Using MS DOS to open “Battle Chess” and Warcraft 2.
-All phones (some of which were rotary) having cords.
-My dad’s big, bulky, semi-color video camera.
-Cars from the 80’s
-Not having an answering machine.
-TVs without remotes.
And toy guns that looked (somewhat) like small real guns.
And I’m 19.
This happened in front of me at a stop light last night. The only difference was, the bus was articulated.
Black Cat and DoubleBubble gum
Four channels on our B&W TV.
Rotary Bakelite phone
Candy two or three pieces for a penny
Fifteen cent comics
Seventy-five cent movies
Laying across the backseat while my dad drove
Baby Pattaburp and Chatty Cathy dolls
Bikes with V handle bars, banana seats and sissy bars. Mine had an “Oh Fuddle Duddle!” bumper sticker.
Swimming at the Kiwanas pool
Hunting garter snakes in the bush next to the school
Walking to school alone or with my friends
Play forts made of boards and old bedspreads
“Bugs” - homemade go-karts made of boards, 2X4’s and rollerskate wheels
The final Canada-Russia hockey game - we all watched in the school gym
The first ten-speed “racing bike” in the neighbourhood
Loose, friendly dogs and unfenced yards
Overnighters at friends and the Friday night horror movies
Birthday parties with all the cousins
Milk to the door
Wood stove and the sawdust room
Coal furnace and the coal bin
Checking the hot water tank before running a bath
I could be here all night!
Our phone was a party line, you could pick it up and hear someone else talking and they would tell you to hang up.
Our phone number was 931W.
You could go to a shoe store and see your feet through an X-ray machine to see if the shoes fit.
Watching Wizard Of Oz on television was a big deal as there was no such thing as video/DVD’s.
My father wore a tie and a suit to go visit friends at parties. Mom wore a formal dress, earrings and had her hair done.
Pregnant women smoked and drank cocktails.
President Kennedy was assassinated and we got out of school and parents were crying and businesses closed. I saw Lee Harvey Oswald get murdered on television and told my parents who ran to the television to hear about it…there was no instant replay back then.
Cans of beer and coke could only be opened with can openers that were known as church keys.
Guys had crew cuts and needed to buy butch wax to keep their hair up. Greasers had duck tails.
Men went to get a good shave at a barber shop every morning.
Tansister radios were all the rage and I listened to all the new Beatles songs with it secretly hidden under my pillow at night.
Record stores sold 45’s and you got a list every week of the top 40 hits.
“Missing” a TV show or movie. There were no VCRs and no cable TV – so if you missed an episode of a show, you just missed it. You’d have to wait until it came up on reruns, if ever, and hope you didn’t miss it again. And if you didn’t make it to see a movie, then you missed that too – you’d have to wait a couple of years until it came, in a seriously edited version, to network TV.
Coming home late in the car and falling asleep, knowing that my dad would carry me inside when we got home and I’d wake up in the morning in my own bed.
Until I was 7 or 8 we had no electricity or water in the house and, of course, no phone We used oil lamps and a coal stove for heating. My mother cooked on a 2 burner kerosene stove. Water was from a hand pump outside. In winter we had to wrap the pump in rags and canvas to prevent it from freezing. There was a wooden ice box on the porch and we had to get a block of ice once or twice a week. The outhouse was 40-50 feet from the house and we used chamber pots for late night or very bad weather. We bathed in a large round washtub w/ water heated on the coal stove. This was about once a week and in between we would take a “sponge bath” from a small “washpan”. My Mom had the “convenience” of a gasoline powered “wringer” washing machine, it had a “kick starter”, not unlike a motorcycle. When an airplane flew over all the kids, and not a few adults, looked up and stared for awhile. Later, if it was a jet, everybody stopped to stare. We finally got electricity and, maybe a year later, a phone. It was a rural area so we we fortunate to have only a 2 party line. That was because there were only a few houses in the area. There were fields of crops all around our house and a wood nearby where we would often play, climbing trees and building tree houses and swings. There was also a small stream where we would wade, catch crawdads, small fish and an occasional salamander or frog. We even labored to build a small rock dam so we could create a swimming hole. It was only mildly successful. It was a great childhood.
When I was 12 we moved into a brand new 7 room house (+bath & a half), in a medium sized city. I was excited by the new home w/ all it’s conveniences, but it turned out to be more of a disappointment, I missed by rural life.
At home in Kilburn (1960’s):
- The Rag & Bone man shouting “RagBone!”
- Almost constant construction work (the area had been heavily bombed by the Germans)
- Children at school (including me) wearing jumpers knitted by their mothers
- Granville Road Baths, incorporating both a swimming pool and public washhouse
- Irishmen with big woolly heads of hair, sideburns and wide-legged trousers
- Benediction in Latin
On holiday in Ireland:
- Almost complete absence of motor vehicles
- No running water in either grandparents’ house
- Always suffering terrible Hives at granny Moore’s
- Everywhere the lovely smell of burning turf
- The smell of uncle John’s rubber boots
Push Up ice cream bars from the ice cream man- horrid orange sherbert things I only bought because under all the ice cream was a little plastic toy.
The ice cream man drove a little round car that sorta looked like a merry go round.
The Monkees on TV on Saturday morning.
Listening to the top 20 countdown religiously every Sunday night on the radio.
Taking a quarter to the neighborhood store and being able to get 25 pieces of penny candy !
Drive ins on Saturday night , making up a pallet in the back seat and falling asleep watching the 2nd or 3rd movie.
Looking forward all week with anticipation to my Saturday morning riding lesson, and how excited I felt when we turned in the drive way for Double H Stables.
Getting our first color TV , and the first show we watched was Johnny Quest !
When the dress code at school was girls wore DRESSES or SKIRTS … no pants, ever. I was in the 5th grade when they allowed girls to wear pants suits , but jeans were not allowed until I was in the 7th grade.
Dark Shadows - my first crush was on Quenton Collins.
My mom’s 1965 Mustang.