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Old 09-12-07, 09:58 AM   #1
Digital Gee
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Another memory lane thread...

Got this from my father, who posts regularly in the 80+ forum for Florida retirees. Thought most of us would get a kick out of this:

OLDER THAN DIRT

"Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?"

"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him. "All the food was slow."

"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"

"It was a place called 'at home,'" I explained. "Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called "pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a "machine."

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at

4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?


MEMORIES from a friend:



My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to "sprinkle" clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?
Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz:

Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about. Ratings at the bottom.

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933)
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H green stamps
16 Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19 Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!
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Old 09-12-07, 10:29 AM   #2
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24 out of 25. Never heard of Blackjack chewing gum. Our first car was a 1949 Studebaker. Ice trays w/levers came WAY past my youth. It was so rural around here, we didn't have to have word prefixes on the phone numbers. The operator said, "Number, please." Our phone number was 478. My aunts was 723. Now, we have email and internet all because of Al Gore.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:29 AM   #3
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OMG, I remembered all of them. I would add seeing Bonanza in color when it was first available, Gunsmoke - Marshall Matt Dillon and Kitty, party telephone lines and operators, box cameras and the Polaroid Land camera to name some others. This has been a great time in history to watch unfold *he says from his computer to millions of others on the Internet*.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:37 AM   #4
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At only 50, I recall every one except Packard, which I know to have existed, but don't specifically recall experiencing. Seems to me that the writers of these little "how old are you" quizzes are either getting younger or are afflicted with failing memories. Or, maybe I grew up in a small town and we we some years behind the times.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:42 AM   #5
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Crap, I knew them all. How about those soda coolers that were full of freezing cold water, just reach in and grab your Orange Crush
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Old 09-12-07, 11:00 AM   #6
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24 out of 25. Never heard of Blackjack chewing gum. Our first car was a 1949 Studebaker. Ice trays w/levers came WAY past my youth. It was so rural around here, we didn't have to have word prefixes on the phone numbers. The operator said, "Number, please." Our phone number was 478. My aunts was 723. Now, we have email and internet all because of Al Gore.
25 of 25....guess I'm older than dirt

I never liked Blackjack gum (licorice) but my favorite was Teaberry.

I can't remember my phone number but I'll never forget BR-549.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:05 AM   #7
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25 of 25. Not only remember them, did them.

Many of you kids are younger than whiffle balls.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:24 AM   #8
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Remember all. Not only do I remember Howdy Doody, I was on the show once.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:31 AM   #9
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Well, I'm older than dirt. But...

Its funny how locality affects things as well. I grew up in Florida, my ex grew up in Oklahoma. She is 3 months older than I am.

I first went to McDonalds at age 3, she first went at age 16. She was into poodle skirts as a girl and could do "The Stroll". I wore iron-on "Big Daddy Roth-like monster" T shirts and did "The Twist". The prevailing architecture in her area was clapboard farm houses, the prevailing architecture in my area was "Googie" and '60s modern. Her parents friends included country music stars, my parents friends included shark researchers and rocket scientists. Culturally, she was at least 10 years older than I was.

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Old 09-12-07, 11:44 AM   #10
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I am just barely old enough to be qualified for this forum, but...

YES, (but it is still available occasionally, along with my favorite, Clove) 1. Blackjack chewing gum
YES 2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
YES 3. Candy cigarettes
YES 4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
YES 5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes
YES 6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
YES 7. Party lines
NO 8. Newsreels before the movie
YES 9. P.F. Flyers
NO 10. Butch wax
YES Ours was WAverly 11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933)
YES 12. Peashooters
NO 13. Howdy Doody
YES 14. 45 RPM records
YES 15. S&H green stamps
YES 16 Hi-fi's
YES 17. Metal ice trays with lever
YES 18. Mimeograph paper
YES 19 Blue flashbulb
NO 20. Packards
YES 21. Roller skate keys
YES 22. Cork popguns
YES 23. Drive-ins
YES 24. Studebakers
YES 25. Wash tub wringers

21 of 25... Not bad for a "youngster". Of course, I can hardly remember what I did yesterday, so some of these could be false memories.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:44 AM   #11
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Remember them all. Blackjack was one of my favorites, but stop the chew gum as I kept biting inside of my cheek. Wax Coke-shaped bottles, Candy cigarettes, those candy dots on a paper strip, string licorice, ate it all. Earliest bottle machine I remember was a lift a lid, slide 6oz. Coke to master gate, deposit a nickel to release gate and slide out bottle. If you wanted Coke to go, the store attendant wanted 2 cents bottle deposit. Coffee shops or diners with table side juke boxes, think we still have one in area. Home milk delivery and bread delivery. The trash man actually walked into the basement and removed trash, then returned cans to basement. Party lines, Newsreels before the movie, P.F. Flyers, yes. Used Butch wax on my flat top. Telephone number was Orchard8-9453. Peashooters, I used pieces of TV antennae. Aluminum tube was right size, sturdy enough to bang on a tree to clear a jam. Bought peas by the pound box, filled mouth and really sprayed my opponent. Howdy Doody and Willy the Worm. Still have some 45 RPM records, 33s and the Hi-Fi equipment. S&H stamps, Metal ice trays with lever, yes. Have a case of Mimeograph paper in basement, actual printing machine in storage. Also a AG-1 Blue flashbulb somewhere in desk. Neighbor in my youth had a Packard. I think the family stopped skating because we lost the key. Cork popgun I remember; but never had one. Bought the neighbors BB gun, and father took that after a few months. Told me I can get a gun when I go into the service...which I did. Had quite a few trips to Drive-ins. Current neighbor has a Studebaker Golden Hawk in his garage. Mom used the Wash tub with wringer and hung wash outside to dry; or in basement during winter months. Some remote aunt died and left family about $200. She got new whirlpool washer and gas dryer. I got spanked again for something.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:47 AM   #12
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I'm so old that I don't know if I'll be able to ride 12 miles on a flat surface with you this weekend!
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Old 09-12-07, 12:07 PM   #13
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I'm so old that I don't know if I'll be able to ride 12 miles on a flat surface with you this weekend!
How was your 200 mile weekend?
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Old 09-12-07, 12:13 PM   #14
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How was your 200 mile weekend?

Saturday 142.06 miles in 11:03:54 hours
Sunday 65.11 miles in 5:24:13 hours

Total 207.17 miles in 16:28:07 hours!

I think I'm ready to ride with you
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Old 09-12-07, 12:17 PM   #15
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Saturday 142.06 miles in 11:03:54 hours
Sunday 65.11 miles in 5:24:13 hours

Total 207.17 miles in 16:28:07 hours!

I think I'm ready to ride with you
You're not going to ride with me. You're going to tow me. I've already purchased some rope.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:35 PM   #16
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Remember all. Not only do I remember Howdy Doody, I was on the show once.
Yup. Me too. I was in the Peanut Gallery.
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Old 09-12-07, 01:07 PM   #17
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Yup. Me too. I was in the Peanut Gallery.
Well, I never made it to the big time I had to settle for a local knock-off with Uncle Orrie, Duffy the dog and Charlie Goodtime
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Old 09-12-07, 01:13 PM   #18
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I disagree on the rankings because

1. I qualify for older than dirt
2. If you were really old, you USED TO remember them all.

Disagree?
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Old 09-12-07, 01:18 PM   #19
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I saw a few episodes of Howdy Doody before we moved to Florida. But I did get to be on the "Uncle Bruce Show"



Best of all, I lived a few houses from Emmett Kelly the clown.
He was the only person in the neighborhood with a Cadillac
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Old 09-12-07, 01:34 PM   #20
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Everyone of them. Living in rural Ontario Canada some of those items are pretty recent. We had "party lines" until about 10 -15 years ago, the local hardware still had a cold water cooler with glass pop bottles, my oldest kids grew up getting a pop on Saturday morning if they were "good", and did their chores. We still have a "drive in", in our area.
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Old 09-12-07, 01:41 PM   #21
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I can remember all those as well, the scary part is how fast the time flew by.
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Old 09-12-07, 02:48 PM   #22
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Anybody actually remember the name for those Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water? In New York they were called Nicklenips and came in a small cardboard box.
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Old 09-12-07, 03:36 PM   #23
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The OP is so long, by the time anyone finishes it, they'll be old enough to remember all of those things!
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Old 09-12-07, 03:53 PM   #24
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Damn. I scored a perfect 100% too.

I used the Butch Wax regularly, but never did figure out the purpose of that goofy lid with the head scratcher thing.
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Old 09-12-07, 05:17 PM   #25
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I never actually saw a Packard before last year, but I guess that still qualifies me for Older Than Dirt status. The wax coke bottles were OK, but the wax lips were the best. I used to ride my Schwinn Typhoon to the dime store and load up on penny candy... none of those around anymore
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