Thursday, November 17, 2011



I just read the post by MRMACRUM in the blog LOST IN THE BOZONE.   He was blogging about how things had changed in his lifetime, and not necessarily for the better. This got me thinking about all the things I have seen during my 70+ years that have gone by the wayside.   I found myself scribbling items in an old notebook – then decided to post them for what they are worth.

OK, it is just a list, and lists are boring – but hey I old and self-absorbed, and  it's two-o-clock in the morning – so here are a few things I can remember:

Automobiles: Plymouth Fury, DeSoto, Nash Rambler, Rambler American, Packard, Hudson Hornet, Kiser, Henry J, Studebaker and the first T-Bird. Cars had distributors and car tires had inner tubes.

Motorcycles I have known: Service Cycle, 650 Triumph Bonneville, Snort-n Norton 750, Royal Infield, BSA Lightning, BSA single cylinder 500cc, Indian Chief, Harley 45, Kawasaki three-cylinder, Suzuki water buffalo; and, You meet the nicest people on a Honda.

Telephones connection with live operators that would ask you:” number please.”   If you didn’t know the number you just asked for the person by name.

Telephones in our town in Mississippi had single, double and triple numbers – our number was 26.   There were also party lines and later dial telephones.

At one point we had a real Ice Boxes; and ice was delivered by the ice-man in 25 and 50 pound blocks.

My grandmother and I lived in a shotgun house in Mississippi that had Linoleum floor covers with floral decoration that looked like a rugs.

We had lights that hung from the ceiling and you turned them on with a pull cord; we also had push button light switches on the walls.

Before television there were console radios – every home had one.   Later there were transistor radios. The first TV I saw was black and white and had a nine inch screen.

Before calculators we used slide rules.

Kids and working men carried lunch boxes

Back in the 50’s everybody smoked.   The cigarettes available were Lucky Strike, Camels, Chesterfields, Old Gold, Philip Morris and roll your own.

There were 5cent Cokes, 10c movies, 25c sandwiches, 15c for a small loaf of Wonder Bread and 25c for a large loaf, Milk was 25c a quart, ice cream cones 5c; there was penny candy, 5c candy bars and 15c gasoline. Cokes, Pepsi, Orange Crush, Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Dr Pepper were all in 6 ounce bottles – Upper 10, RC Cola and Nehi Cream Sodas; also Nehi Orange, Grape and Strawberry came in 10 ounce bottles. The bottles were kept cool in the grocery stores in a water bath coke box.

The alternative to sodas was ice tea and Cool Aide (“Cool Aide, Cool Aide can’t wait. We want Cool Aide, taste great.”)

I had a Red Rider BB gun and a JC Higgins bicycle (I was paid $2.50 cents a week to deliver 25 papers, seven days a week.)

The barber shop was a man’s world.   There were stuffed fish and deer heads mounted on the wall, along with calendars of scantily clad women.   Old men sat and smoked and spit in the spittoons while they discussed politics, women and hunting and fishing.   Haircuts were 50c and you had your choice of Lucky Tiger, Vaseline or Wildroot Cream-oil hair tonic.

Men shaved at home with straight razors or the Schick safety razors; and they lathered from soap cups with animal hair brushes.

My grandmother kept a can of bacon grease on the back of the stove for frying and she made coffee in a percolator on top of the stove.

Women wore girdles, stockings with garters, and pill box hats.

Hell I could go on and on and on, but even I get tired of list.
the Ol'Buzzard


  1. Holy shit YES. I am with you. Every damned one of those things, every one...and in addition, Saturday afternoons at the local movie theater looking forward to the latest serial installment...and throwing popcorn boxes, yes BOXES, at the screen. My grandfather would drop me off at about noon and pick me up at about 5. No worry about kids being abducted in those days.

    It is strange that you should post this. I was thinking recently how in my lifetime I have gone from radio entertainment to NetFlix on ipods, two-party line phones to smart phones that do everything except dress you, and from encyclopedias to just Google any thing you want to know about. Amazing, really.

    And one other thing that occurs to me, had I been the age I am now even thirty years ago, I'd probably be dead. The advances in medication are what's keeping me alive at this very moment. Good post, bro.

  2. Jefferson 6755
    short shorts
    pixie cuts
    and yes, those push button light switches
    everyone still smokes here in Talihina, OK

  3. I have a pull light in the bathroom of my bike shop. Have em in my basement also. Love pull lights.

    Twas a great list. But be honest, would you really want the Brylcreem look to come back? Tats and piercings are really much more interesting to look at and make fun of.

    Memories - "A little Dab'll Do ya."

  4. MRMcrum: the barbershop of the 50's gave a young male a sense of male identity - for good or bad, we don't have that today.

  5. New car models came out in September, The Wizard Of Oz was shown like clockwerk every fall, our phone number in town was ALpine 6-2356 and at my Granny's it was Two Shorts and One Long (and anybody could listen in on the 'Party line') and baseball hadn't been played 'Under the lights' yet. Great days those .....

  6. Love the list. How many hours of work to get a haircut? Good way to do price comparisons sans inflation. My first paying job took 2.5 hours to get a pair of jeans, I remember that. We had a box phone on the wall and local operators in every town. Our ring was (line)2(ring)2(long)1(short)


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