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The Good Old Days

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Another thread sent me off on this tangent and I realized that we might share some memories and give the kids a glimpse of the good old days

Does anyone remember when money was green and you folded it and carried it in a billfold? Sometimes people even wrote notes on it. But that part was kind of unusual. Later money became plastic more or less.

You also had to have a fat wallet because gas stations and stores only took their own credit cards. They sometimes had a coke machine and a few candy bars for sale too. My favorite was those little round cartons of salted peanuts that sometimes has money in them. I once got a whole quarter. But they wouldn't let me spend it on more candy and cokes cause that much would have made me sick. Both were 5 cents each. So I spent it on the movies the next Saturday and got popcorn, a coke, a dill pickle and a charms pop. Cherry Charms were so good with dill pickles from the big glass barrel.

Then there were the telephones. When I was little they came in black and you could get help or find out where your family was by asking the operator. She knew everything! If you had something really personal to say you wrote it in a letter. The mail was delivered in the post office twice a day so you could send a letter in the morning and get an answer in the afternoon. Women usually cleared their guest list and seating arrangements at dinner parties with the operator so they knew who was feuding and who was having a fling with someone's husband. Saved a lot of grief to have someone who listened to every interesting conversation in town

And those phones. They were so heavy that they were frequently used as murder weapons in murder mysteries. Not too much of a problem because a long cord was maybe 3 feet and you had to pay extra. Long distance calls were serious business-if they came before 7 pm when the evening rates started you knew someone had died. The rates were even lower after 10 but it was considered absolutely not done to call anyone past 10 pm because all decent hardworking people went to bed at 10 PM. If the phone rang after that you grabbed a hankie on your way to answer because you KNEW someone was dead or dieing.

I always tried to be around when the milkman made his biweekly stop because it gave me a chance to weedle a carton of ice cream. They had wonderful flavors lik peach on specials too. The vanilla was different then Richer and deeper in flavor so I wasn't too disappointed when it was vanilla most of the time. Besides I could get a marvelous variety from the ice cream truck. I made sure I had my nickle tucked safely in my jeans pocket long before he was due. But the choice-A Nutty Biddy? Or orange Creamsicle? A banana Popsicle? Or a Fudgesicle? Even an ice cream sandwich? That was always mys sister's choice so I seldom got one. They all tasted so good sitting on the curb or up in a tree on a hot Texas afternoon. I felt like the kind of the world with that nickle in my hand and the choice of delights before me, mine to decide.

What memories do you have of things that have changed?


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Good Lord, Johnny!

You have just taken me back to those times of the milkman - not only was milk delivered directly to your door on a rather strict schedule but it also came in glass bottles - now homogenized vitamin D milk is only 3%, it was closer to 5% in those days - and the combination of the glass bottle and the non frost free, non energy efficient, freon filled refrigerator made it so much colder than it is now.

We played outdoors in the Summer with the other kids in the neighborhood and after dinner we could go back out and play some more, after dark we used to watch fireflies - remember them - no one was worried about being kidnapped or attacked and every parent on the block had the authority to send anyone home.

No one had a pool in their back yard but we had a large galvanized metal tank, about 8 feet across, 3 feet deep and when filled with water we thought that it was marvelous.

Love ya,


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Well, let's see. Being in the first grade walking all the way down the street to buy candy at the newstand. I loved black licorice, double bubble [ remember the chocolate flavor]. Bought my first penny packs of Topps baseball cards.

Our milkman came every day and every once in awhile I got a qt of chocolate mile to drink. Or maybe a popsicile. The breadman came everyday [but not on Sunday].

We had a 7 party line and I would sometimes listen in. Sure heard some interesting stuff lol. I think that I may still have one of the old Bell phones up in my attic. Oh remember, the dailey radio shows- no tv back then. And the newspaper arrival was a big event to see what was going on locally and around the world. And going to the local little town library in the summer and getting a stack of books to read- how we could get lost in books and sail around the world.

Remember going to the county fair. Piling into the old car or truck and packing a picnic lunch and if you were real lucky, you might have saved up a buck or two to spend on the rides or games.

Gas and smokes were dirt cheap comppared to todays prices. So were cars. I think Dad usually bought a new Chevy or Ford car for around $1,000 or so. Heck, in 1970, I only paid $3,000 for my brand new Chevey 396 super sport. I think the 454 was around $3500


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I had forgotten about the $0.29 gasoline with the full service - at least three young men came dashing up to you car, one to fill the gas tank, one to clean the windshield and the other would check everything under the hood - and then they handed you a set of dishes, glasses or flatware as a gift for buying more than 8 gallons.

My first car was a 1973 Camero 350 V8 - air conditioned, power steering and turbo-hydromatic transmission for $3,600. (My 2011 Nissan Versa 4 cylinder cost over $17,000)

Love ya,


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Guest Eloise

We only had 3 channels on tv...coke was 15 pence (about 21 cents) a can...global warmingists were ignored (happy days!!) it didnt matter what label was on your clothing...no interfering idiots telling us what we could/couldnt eat/drink etc....no ambulance chasing lawyers....the music was made by people who could actually play REAL instruments and had vocal abilities surpassing that of a manetee in pain.....no nutjobs threatening to kill everyone who didnt convert to their religion....political correctness didnt exist... the food was REAL food...no nitrate ridden crap was allowed in our house....we played outdoors all day, wandering miles from home, and our parents didnt worry, liberals werent calling people racist for saying the country needs to sort out immigration....

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Guest FemtoKitten

Ahh, the good ol' days of the 1990's.

Cell phones? Rare and only among the 5%. You see, CORDLESS phones that had to be within 2m of the holder were in.

The internet was just HTTP websites with simple text and maybe an image. Not how everything is java'd and rule 34'd nowadays.

Russia? In economic turmoil and being run by corrupted plutocrats.

Afghanistan? The place that the Soviets left in the good hands of the freedom loving Mujaheddin (helped by good buddies USA and Pakistan of course!).

The USA was scared of Japan taking them over economically since everything was made there.

The kids actually knew what the item of the 'Save' icon actually was, and used it often (I remember being awed by a now $2.00 humble flashdrive in the early aughties)

We played outdoors, they actually existed back then.

There was no cable or satellite, if there was it was static and wasn't worth anything. Not anything like they have now where the kids are mesmerized and babysat for the day.

No one cared about the environment, people who did care were labeled as nutjobs.

A new house? Pssh, 2-300k at most. Also people didn't just 'flip' houses like they do now.

We could actually see the stars! The stars! Those things no longer exist to most kids outside of the sun and their textbooks.

Movies actually had to BE good, rather then have them CGI'd or Autotuned the hell out of.

No one was scared about having themselves being blown up, it was a time where one could leave their door unlocked and be perfectly safe.

I could buy a Bug Juice, a candy bar, and a baseball card for 1.5 USD at MOST,

While you may remember these times differently, I hold them dearly... and for me these ones are correct for that era. Of course someone older than yourselves may hold your good times in a different light, like how you might view mine. Thank you for bringing back the good ol' days in my mind.

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Guest Shari

Hi everyone,

I share many of the same memories so I won't repeat. Isn't it funny how we all remember the simple times, according to our individual age and perspective? The nineties seem so long ago, the eighties like a century now, the seventies (my time of rock and roll, breaking a few laws and generally misbehaving) seem like another lifetime and the sixties OMG such a long time ago. I was just a little kid getting my knuckles whacked by my teacher for something I said! They can't do that anymore, thank goodness. We were sneaking out of our houses late at night, wandering around acting stupid (we thought cool at the time) and smoking whenever there were no adults around. During the day we collected pop bottles, rode our bikes everywhere and threw rocks at passing trains.


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Guest Donna Jean


That's funny.....I don't remember any of that stuff....

Donna Jean....(Sweet 16)

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Guest ~Brenda~

I remember when I was a kid, I could find loose change on the street and go to the local 5&dime store and get a candy bar for a nickel. Sometimes I would find a quarter and get a coke in a glass bottle from the coke machine from the filling station at the corner of my block.

Good times :)


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Here is the hardest change for me to deal with, in the 50s you went to work for a company and you stayed with them until you retired - they stood behind their employees and did not replace experienced workers with new hires just to save money - there was a value placed on ability and a certain amount of loyalty between the owner/boss and the workers.

I lived in the house that my parents bought when they got married in 1946 - after my daddy died this past Memorial Day Weekend we sold that house and my mother now lives in a small apartment with an assistant during the day.

Marriage then was an actual permanent arrangement and divorce was rare, now long term marriages are the exception.

Why do I miss these things so much?

There was a stability to life, you got a job and did your work you would keep your job and make your house payments so that when you retired you could life in a home that was not only as familiar and comfortable as an old shoe but it was paid for - only taxes and utilities for housing expenses.

Love ya,


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We used to scout for pop bottles and their deposit value to get our candy. A really big pop bottle would fetch a dime in deposit enough for 2 candy bars.

$20 back then filled our grocery cart. I do remember .25 gas and "gas wars" where each penny per gallon mattered to competing stations.

We woud find big boxes (appliances) to make forts out of. We would make our own rubber band guns, or soap tractors (hand made toys). We played kick the can, and dug huge pits in our back yard to play in.

I loved helping my Mom with the laundry, wooden clothes pins were used to hang the clothes on a line in our back yard. I learned to sew back then, and would go to the fabric stores with my Mom, ahh the smells.

So many memories, I could go on, great thread Johnny.


Cindy -

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Have you noticed how many people are remembering pop bottles?

Canned soft drinks were not around - when they first tried to put them on the market no one really liked them very much and they required a punch style bottle opener - not that big a deal as the pop bottles had to have a bottle opener and they usually were opposite ends of the same tool.

Also there was no high fructose corn syrup in them only cane sugar - what a difference.

Love ya,


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Carolyn Marie

Wow, what a great thread. Thanks, Johnny.

Let's see, I can rattle off some things that only those here over 50 would remember:

Gas stations where someone would pump your gas, clean your windows, and offer to check under the hood.

Home delivery not only of milk, but soda water (seltzer) and baked goods. Anyone (So. Cal) remember the Helms Bakery trucks. OMG, I can still smell it! :)

Wang word processors - that's all they did, and they were humongous!

Fax machines with the damned paper rolls that always jammed.

The Sears catalog mailed to your house.

When going out to a restaurant was a big deal, and for my family, usually meant the local sit down Chinese restaurant, with nothing more exotic ordered than chow mein and egg drop soup, and no one used chopsticks. :P

High school protests against the Vietnam war (sorry, Dee Jay).

Having a paper route and getting up at 5:00 a.m. on Sundays to deliver those Herald Examiners, and once a month, doing my own collections (no one ever got robbed).

Eating an Abba Zabba and chasing after the ice cream truck on a Saturday afternoon.


Carolyn Marie

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Guest Edu

I feel like I am too young to be posting here, but I'm posting nevertheless.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, there was a generation of children throughout Catalunya that would race to their homes after finishing school at the afternoon just in time to watch Dragon Ball... and then shut off the TV and not watch it 'till the next day's episode. Why would we, when we could gather at some park, breathing fresh air (oh, how I miss fresh air!), and mimic whatever we had seen in the anime... Of course, we couldn't fly nor shoot off kamehameha waves like the characters in the series, but we could jump off swings after building up enough momentum or throw stones at each other... Now, try to suggest a child to play like we used to, and their parents will even call the police!

Year 1992 deserves a special mention. Anyone who was living in Barcelona by then will remember it because of sports. With F.C.B. winning its second league in a row and its first European Cup ever, and following with the 1992 Summer Olympics. My memories of Koeman's goal at Wembley are rather blurry, but those of my mum jumping off the chair and almost reaching the roof when it happened are so sharp! Of course, I was too young to understand the meaning all that had for the grown-ups: from my 6-year-old-child perspective it was as simple as "the good guys are winning and everybody is celebrating". Honestly, since those dates I haven't seen people being so happy and so nice to each other at such a big scale (hundreds of thousands of people being guided by joy and happiness alone for several months). Even with the recent achievements of the same club, which go beyond those of 1992, that "magic" feeling around the people is long gone. I guess I'd just wish the "Amics per Sempre" (Friends Forever) motto of the Olympics would have lasted forever ^^'

Aside from all that, I had a chance to almost literally travel back in time several summers in a row. Going for vacations to my grandmother's home town was more like going to another time than like going to another town.

There was a TV on the house, which was only used at afternoon 'cause my great-grandfather always wanted to watch the news, and in fact it only had one channel tuned.

Why would we watch TV, when there were so many ruined buildings we could turn into forts and hideouts, and so many long, untransited roads where we could ride a bike from dawn to dusk?

Often we gathered and played long poker games, using bottle caps as bidding chips. Most of my friends would go around the bars and pick all the caps they could find; but I was more like a smart diplomat than a field worker, so I would just walk into the bars and ask the staff to save the caps for me instead of throwing them away, to which most agreed. At the end, however, I'd end up sharing my vast stock of caps so we could play for longer :P

Sometimes (once or twice each summer), my family would wake me by 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. to take me into a long walk (around an hour or so) across endless sunflower fields to reach a chunk of land belonging to my great-grandfather. There we would watch the sun rise and then start working, gathering as many almonds as we could before the sun got too high (the heat often peaked at 40-45ºC by that time of the year!). Later we would take a hammer and mind our fingers to crack those open. The few times we managed to break them faster than we ate them, my grandma would take the rest and toast them, with a bit of salt and tossing some aromatic herbs to the fire for extra flavor. That was a healthy snack, not like these "wheat-derived salted fried snack product"s we have now.

But as time goes by, the computers ended up invading my life pretty much like everyone else's. As the saying goes "if you can't defeat 'em, join 'em", and thus here I am, a computer programmer who works for an internet retailer and ISP. Fortunately, I still get to eat some toasted almonds from time to time, and I can't help it but smile every time I see some Dragon Ball merchandise or hear some kid talking about the DBZ Budokai series. Sometimes I feel tempted to tell those kids "hey, do you know that what you do on your console me and my friends used to do for real?" :P

Actually, like a couple of years ago or so, I went back to the park I used to play in, wanting to try and fly off a swing for the good old times. But now those things have more straps and safety belts than a spaceship, so there is no way one could properly take off :(



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Guest Janice Lynn
Have you noticed how many people are remembering pop bottles? Canned soft drinks were not around - when they first tried to put them on the market no one really liked them very much and they required a punch style bottle opener - not that big a deal as the pop bottles had to have a bottle opener and they usually were opposite ends of the same tool. Also there was no high fructose corn syrup in them only cane sugar - what a difference. Love ya, Sally


Back where I grew up that "tool" we used to open cans and bottles was a called

a "church key." I have no idea why ....

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Guest Lacey Lynne


Sally, Brenda and you are ... freaking ... me ... OUT!!!

God! Those were the days ... THOSE were The Days!!! Heck, you've only scratch the surface of memories ... sigh. You haven't really said that much about how people were different then too ... for better and for worse ... it all "went south" on 22 November 1963 ... sigh. However, it was STILL great right up until about 1975 or so! My, oh, MY!

Sixties Freak :friends: Lacey Lynne

Ha! Dee Jay remembers it all better than ANY of us ... * giggle * !!! :thumbsup:

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Guest Janice Lynn

"Record players" that played 78s, 45s, and 33-1/3s. And how we felt a little cheated

when we discovered Alvin and the Chipmunks was nothing more than a few guys

recording at 33-1/3 rpms and then putting it onto a 45 rpm.

"Sock hops" because you couldn't wear leather shoes on the gym floor.

Christmas tinsel that was made of lead so it would hang straight.

Candy cigarettes? My Dad found my stash of Old Golds Spin Filters and replaced

with candy cigarettes and a note that said, "Use these until you are 21."

When anything made in Japan was considered junk?

White wall tires.

When 95% of stuff on the radio was on the AM dial and most cars didn't even have


Transistor radios.

Putting baseball cards on the back wheel of your bike with a clothespin to made it

sound like a motorcycle?

Whiffle ball?

Stickball played in the street with different rules for every neighborhood ... as in

"bouncing one off of Mrs. Jones roof was a triple?"


When there were no soccer moms?


"Step on a crack, you break your mother's back...."

"I'm telling!"

Flicking earlobes.

"April in Paris?"

Bobby sox?

When girls who got pregnant went somewhere else to have the baby?

When bringing shame to the family name meant BIG trouble?

"Christmas clubs" at the bank?

Green stamps.

Free road maps .... until they charged 25 cents and we thought they were thieves.

Halloween pranks.


Going steady?

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Guest CariadsCarrot

It's fun reading everyones memories.

People mentioning about the old glass milk bottles delivered to the doorstep reminds me also of the little half pint size glass bottles that we were all given each morning in infants school with a straw to pierce the silver foil lid to drink it. There are too many allergies and budget cuts for that sort of thing now!

Watching our kids complaining that they have nothing to do if they can't go on their laptops or x-box often makes my partner and I often reminice about our childhoods when toys were simple and the best ones were the ones we made ourselves out of cardboard, odds and ends we found laying around and a bit of imagination, or hours spent making and playing in simple forts.

Once I reached my teens there was a new entertainment when I was occasionally allowed to spend a saturday afternoon with my grandpa playing on his BBCB computer. Our favourite games were Granny's Garden which had a few pictures that flashed up on the screen at certain stages of the plot but was mostly played with written puzzles which you had to use typed responses to solve, and Repton with bright, pixlated graphics that seems so simple and slow paced when compared to modern games but in some ways it was more fun because you had to play it over and over again to really work out how to solve each level rather than them relying on fast paced graphics and violence to guage how good they are like most of the games my kids play. (don't I sound old! lol)

You had to put a lot of your own imagination into playing rather than the toys doing the entertaining. Having said that, I love a lot of modern toys lol.


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Guest Clair Dufour

Yea I remember that. There were just TWO sexes and only one way to have sex! Also, women were all great housewives. Everyone else was underground!

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Well, true enough - the times have never been perfect.

We trade off some simple pleasures for progress - somethings get better and some get worse - sadly we do not get to pick and choose.

Love ya,


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Guest Stormrider2112

I remember way back when video games were all about gameplay rather than graphics or plotlines :D

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Guest Sarah Marie

What to add that hasn't already been shared? First -- Yes, as a matter of fact, I do qualify as an Old Timer. Consider:

I first learned to type on a manual typewriter that had one font, and no Return key. The paper rolled around a platen that moved from left to right as keys were pressed with sufficient force, then had to be returned by hand.

I also recall: a time when all gasoline was leaded and cost 25.9 cents per gallon. , , when car radios (AM only) and air conditioning were novelties, not standard equipment . . . when the best way to travel across southern Idaho was either the City of Portland or the Portland Rose passenger trains (there was no Amtrack in those days) . . . when central Idaho had exactly one TV station, which joined all radio stations in going off the air at midnight . . . TVs and radios were powered by vacuum tubes . . . when it was common to find people sitting on their front steps (or lawns) in the evening, and exchanging pleasantries with neighbors who were "out & about" on foot.

I mostly grew up in Boise, the City of Trees (official nickname), where even decades ago leaf recycling into mulch was a city-coordinated project. Every fall, city residents were actually asked to rake all of their leaves (back yard as well as front) into the street in front of their houses. Then, street sweepers went around on a frequent basis, collecting the leaves, which the city then turned into mulch.

At times I am amazed by the events I remember from having watched them live on TV: Alan Sheppard's first suborbital flight . . .John Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth . . . Kennedy's assassination and its aftermath . . . The Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Still, musings like this bring the question in Barbara Streisand's 1973s smash hit (and great movie) The Way We Were to mind:

"Could it be that it was all so simple then, or has time rewritten every line?"

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I remember the simple pleasures fondly it's true. But I know that it was never as simple or idyllic as we sometimes make it seem.

I'll take today over any time that came before it in a heartbeat. Would even if I wasn't trans but being trans there is no way I'd choose the past.

But it is fun to remember where we have come from and how different many of the things in our lives are. Though the bombardment with news may not feel like it because bad news sells and good news doesn't-I believe we live in by far the best times there have ever been

I found a package of Nik-L-Nips at the grocery store a couple of days ago. I loved those things-especially making things with the wax afterward. Then when I got to check out they were $1.98. I came back to the present with a thud. Almost $2? Seriously? They were called Nik-L-Nps because they were a nickel!

My grandad owned an ice plant and we had an ice box for a long, long time. It had lights and a fan -just like a refrigerator.

I remember when you could tell the make of a car-any car-from a block away. And turning knobs on the steering wheel. They even came out with a car air conditioner. There were actually 2 kinds and both were aftermarket. one sat on the floor and the passenger side. The other king was put on the window. Both were plugged into the car. Both used water in a reservoir combined with a squirrel cage fan. Brought the humidity up to nearly 100% and they roared so loudly you had trouble talking over them.

I remember how proud I was that our TV was color and we had 2 besides the color one. We gathered around the main color program at the time-Bonanza-every Saturday night Sometimes even had a TV dinner - they were in little aluminum divided trays and tasted bad. But it was cool to be so modern and serve them sometimes.

Every Sunday meant a roast and the funny papers in color.

And all summer I had orange knees. Whether it was Iodine, Merthiolate or Mercurochrome it was always bright orange, stayed forever and worked like a charm. But they could burn!

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