The Herald Bulletin

October 12, 2013

Jim Bailey: If you remember, dearie you’re much older than I


The Herald Bulletin

---- — Life has changed since we were kids. So if you’ll put down your iPad or iPhone for a bit I’ll take you down memory lane once again.

Remember when it took a few minutes for the TV to warm up? It was a black and white set, of course, with a screen probably no more than 21 inches diagonally and 2 or 3 feet deep.

When kids got home from school, nearly every one of them was greeted by their mom, who rarely had a job outside the home.

When you first got an allowance it was probably a quarter. And you could actually buy something with it.

Remember when your mom wore nylons that came in two pieces, attached to a garter and had a seam down the back?

In those days male teachers all wore neckties, and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels.

You pulled into the gas station and were greeted by an attendant who pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield, checked your oil without asking. If your tire was low you could add air for free. Road maps were free as well. And when you paid for the gas you got trading stamps.

When you bought laundry detergent there was a free glass or towel inside the box.

It was considered a real privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents. And if they got good service they might tip the waitress a quarter.

Remember playing baseball or softball (in Minnesota it was called kittenball) with no adults supervising or enforcing the rules? And if you didn’t have enough kids for two full teams you’d play workup, one o’cat, bounceout or some other variation.

Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no idiot had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.

Remember when being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate awaiting the misbehaving student at home?

Basically we were in fear for our lives, but not because of drive-by shootings, drugs or gangs. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat. But their love was greater than the threat.

Remember candy cigarettes, wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside, soda pop in glass bottles, jukeboxes, home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers, peashooters and Howdy Doody?

We had hi-fis and 45 and 78 rpm records, mimeograph paper, newsreels before the movie and PF Fliers.

Decisions were made by going eeny-meeny-miney-moe. Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming “Do Over!” You could spend an entire evening catching fireflies. And having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.

With all our progress, don’t you sometimes wish you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace and share it with the children of today?

Jim Bailey’s reflections on Anderson’s past appear on Sunday. His regular column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by email at jameshenrybailey@earthlink.net.