Friday, August 14, 2015



People tend to get tired these days of reading about a lot of our "good ole days". But since I'm one of the old timers I'd like to say that there were a lot of "good ole days".

For one, we didn't have to lock our doors in rural communities. Not that no one stole, but that it just wasn't that frequent and in a small town everyone knows everyone else so it wasn't necessary.

I was raised in the fifties mostly and I gotta say compared to today, it was a very comfortable kind of life in most respects. About the biggest threat was "the bomb". Fall out shelters were a thing people worried about back then. But here in Texas, tornadoes outweighed the threat of nuclear war. And Teachers were trained how to instruct the children to get under the desk and cover your head, or better yet, go out in the hall, crouch down and cover your head.

Most kids had bikes and roller skates, played hop-scotch, and tag and I Spy. The backyard was a feast of entertainment for kids. They could be Jungle Jim, Tarzan, the Queen of Sheba.

Discipline was not child abuse back then and most of us that have grown up now have to admit, we needed a few lickings to keep us on the straight and narrow. Parents didn't normally beat their kids, drown them in the tub, or stick them in a closet. Most of us were taught right from wrong, and if we didn't know it by the time we went to school the teachers and principals were happy to inform us of it.
You break a window, you pay for it.

We truly didn't have most of the gadgets that kids have today. No Iphones, Ipads, a black and white TV with rabbit ears and lots of snow was what we couldn't wait to watch. And we were glad we had it. Dial up phones and oh yes, party lines were a favorite, such gossip!

Church was a regular Sunday thing for a lot of people. And Sunday dinner was a thing to look forward to.

Holidays were treats for kids, Fourth of July meant playing with sparklers and firecrackers in the backyard.

Guns were something some children were taught to use for hunting. I remember my Uncle used to hunt regular and they ate squirrel, rabbit, and deer, and all manner of things regular.

Boys loved getting BB guns for Christmas. Girls wanted the newest dolls so they could have tea parties with their friends.

Birthday parties were a time when all the family came and loaded you with presents. You spent time with the family.

At dinner everyone was at the table, not in front of the TV. We talked about our day at school, and you listened to your parents talk about their day. You took a real interest in your folks, you cared about them.

"Yes sir, yes ma'am, thank you, and please" were called manners and kids used them or else. Most of the time we never knew what the "or else" was, it was a threat that kept us in line.

Girls learned to cook early and sew. Sex was not a subject to be explored with your parents, I have to say. Sex! It was an awkward subject and because a lot of parents didn't know how to approach the subject, a lot of girls got in trouble before leaving school. These things were never discussed and if a girl disappeared one year, it was understood why. Not to say this is right, it was just how it was.

Smoking cigarettes was a big thing back then. Most boys and girls that did it, started because they thought they were cool. Most earlier movies portrayed the hero and sometimes the heroine as heavy smokers. So smoking was an in thing for kids to get into.

Girls flipped and curled their hair. Boys greased theirs.

Rock n Roll was born and dancing became a fad for teens.

Music was at it's best. Some of the best came from this era. Elvis, the Big Bopper, Frankie Lane, Fats Domino. There were so many and all good.

Beer was the biggest vice for many years, before drugs were introduced. Drugs were a thing that parents took, not kids.

Hot cars, racing, and dare-devils were born on the road. James Dean became an idol for some. In big cities gangs were a big thing.

Bootlegging was also a big thing back then. If a town was dry, a person might drive for miles to get a bottle or a case of beer.

Kids (me included) did walk to school and it was over a mile too.

We walked a lot of places.

Cars were beautiful back then too.

Movies were a treat.

Drive-ins became popular and teenagers often hung out there.

Homework was something you were supposed to do before you did what you wanted. LOL

Teachers were respected and were actually allowed to show emotions with their kids without being accused of harassment or abuse.

Firemen and policemen were heroes.

The newspaper actually told the truth and reported happenings.

Men were the breadwinners, women the homemakers.

Mom told you what to wear, what you were having for dinner, and signed your homework. Dad usually handled the discipline.

And that's how it was back in the fifties. This is the truth.


Redameter said...

The thing is every era that you grow up in is special and you'll have your memories. My guess is that ipad and iphones will be obsolete some day and this generation can look back and see that there have been many changes, some good, some bad. But even though I had a pretty strict bringing up, I enjoyed it too. I remember the good more than the bad and I'm grateful for it. I hope we can all say that. This is one of the reasons I think teaching history to children is a good thing. Because we learn from the past so much. Without history how can we truly appreciate the present? Love to all

Tina Donahue said...

I agree, Rita, that everyone has fond memories of their own generation. I think the saddest thing about today (as compared with the past) is that people are getting fired from their jobs w/o warning so the jobs can be shipped overseas. There's no loyalty from employers any longer. No hope of full time work for everyone or financial security as there was in the past.

jean hart stewart said...

Nostalgia is important and different for all of us. Our past shapes us all.

Redameter said...

So right Jean. And unfortunately so is Tina. Our entire country needs change and it needs it now. But I fear until election time we won't get the change for the better. Our country has gone down in so many things lately. Jobs, the value of our dollar, religion, the future doesn't look as promising as it once did. But, we can all learn and where there is a will, there is a way. Just like book sales. one minute it is devine the next it is depression. I know for a fact in this industry you just have to keep writing. It's a hard life, but I have to admit I love it. Someone asked me if I was going to retire, well, no, a writer doesn't retire really. Not any more. Books go online and they are everywhere and unless you want to just slowly fade into the sunset, retiring is a thing of the past. People have to work forever now to pay their bills and make ends meet. I'll just keep on doing this until I can't do it any longer. LOL
God bless