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Blasts From The Past

g5000

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Old people like to tell us the past was much better. The golden years.

That really isn't true. Especially if you were a female, black, gay, or handicapped.

Things were definitely different. Some of those differences were bad, some were good.

My kids often ask me to regale them with what life was life when I was a kid and had no cell phone or computer or internet or microwave oven or a blue sky or non-flammable rivers.

I thought I would share with you some of the...regalations(?)...regalia...stories I tell them.

Hmm. If regale is a verb which means to entertain or amuse someone with stories, why aren't the stories called regalia?

I love the English language.

But I digress.


Grocery stores.

You almost never saw a male in a grocery story, except for small boys with their mothers, and the clerks who stocked the shelves.

If you looked at the floor of a grocery store, you would see hundreds of crushed cigarette butts. You could smoke in stores back then, and women would casually grind out their cigarettes out on the floor.

There were no combination grocery/department stores like today. No Walmart type of thing. And grocery stores were much smaller.

Somehow, you would get your groceries rung up and be on your way to your car faster than you do today.

We put our best men to work finding ways to speed up the checkout service. Bar codes, laser scanners, debit cards, conveyor belts at the register.

But someone else figured out how to fuck it all up by asking for your phone number, email address, firstborn's middle name, membership card, and a blood sample since then.

Cashiers were lightning-fast mathematical geniuses back then. Not like the airheads today who can't make change without their cash register telling them how much to give you, and then still struggling to figure out what coins make up 70 cents.

There were no membership cards for stores.

All the coupons your mother brought with her had been clipped out of a newspaper. A newspaper was a non-volatile storage device for the day's current events hand delivered every day to your doorstep by a young lad on a bicycle. We're talking some real Olden Times shit here.

That's another thing. Minors were gainfully employed back then. Delivering newspapers (boys), babysitting (girls), mowing lawns and shoveling snow (boys). There was some definite gender segregation in the youth employment market.

What you got when you paid for your groceries were S&H Green Stamps. They looked like postage stamps and you would get a perforated panel of them, the amount being determined by how much you spent. You took these home, licked them, and put them into a booklet. Once you had enough of them, you could trade them in for cash and prizes.

green-stamps.jpg


green-stamps-prizes.jpg



There were no cart returns in a grocery store parking lot. Everyone just left their carts willy nilly all over the parking lot. Your mother would be cussing up a storm trying to park without hitting a cart in the middle of the goddam parking space.

There were no automatic doors for any stores of any kind. You had to manually push on them like you still have to do in some backward places and at 7-Eleven.

Eventually, there were these rubber mats which had sensors in them and they would open the door when you stepped on them.

Every grocery store had floor-to-ceiling glass windows across the entire front of the store. And then some genius came up with the idea of blocking the windows with gigantic outward-facing posters advertising their prices for meat and other items.
 
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pknopp

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Even on the Andy Griffith show, the grocery store has the advertising posters in the window.
 

Baron Von Murderpaws

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People always say "it was much simpler back then"............BULLSHIT!!!

It was "simple" because you were still a CHILD!!! No bills, no work, no taxes, no stress, no anxiety...................

There's ONLY TWO THINGS THAT CHANGE................

TIME and TECHNOLOGY.

Everything else STAYS THE SAME!!!
 
OP
g5000

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Food.

You could not get tomatoes year round. Only when they were "in season", like strawberries still are today. This inability of year round access was the same with most fresh fruits and vegetables at the time. Summer was great, winter not so much.

Meat was expensive. Far more expensive than it is today. Meat was not an everyday meal for most people back then.

In fact, in the early 70s there was some serious meat inflation and shortages. To meat meet this crisis, Betty Crocker came out with Hamburger Helper.

"Hamburger Helper Helped Her Hamburger Help Her…make a great meal!"

I'm gagging just thinking about that crap.

Hamburger Helper stretched your meat. It was a package of dried pasta and seasoning which your mom would work into hamburger meat. This would enable her to feed the entire family with a single pound of hamburger.

And this, boys and girls, is how bulimia was invented. Fucking Hamburger Helper.

Since meat was in short supply and was expensive, people ate a lot more fruits and vegetables back then. It filled up all that empty space on the plate.

Food was more locally sourced. Not by choice, but because we just didn't have the necessary infrastructure or large national chains who could operate on economies of scale.

Jello was big. Every kid consumed his or her body weight in Jello every year. Every mom had a copper Jello mold.

jello-mold.jpg


Most stoves were electric, though many were gas. There was no such thing as a glass-topped stove.

I mention this because somewhere back there, somebody invented Jiffy Pop popcorn. If you have kids, you can still find it. I was amazed at that when my kids DEMANDED I get some when I told them about this wonder of science.

Get some.

What you did is take off the carboard cover and then place the Jiffy Pop container on a burner and shake it. And shake it. And shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake it.

A few days later, the popcorn kernels within begin to pop, and a magical ball of foil begins to rise from the aluminum pan. A real delight!

jiffy-pop.jpg


]
jiffy-popped.jpg




Modern day campers may be familiar with Jiffy Pop as you can perform this act over a campfire.

If you camp and don't know about Jiffy Pop, get some! Your kids will remember to the day they die.



There were only a couple varieties of food brands back then. For instance, bread. Bread didn't take up a whole aisle with eleventy-hundred brands.

Every kid grew up on Wonder Bread. "Helps build strong bodies 12 ways."


About 40 percent of the average child's composition was Oscar Mayer bologna. "Baloney". And I guarantee you everyone my age knows the Oscar Mayer bologna jingle by heart.

If they need prompting, just say, "My bologna has a first name..." They will not be able to stop themselves from breaking into that song.

No, really. Try it and see. :lol:

There were foods which had urban myths. Pop Rocks killed Mikey from the Life cereal commercial.

Poor Mikey. Everyone loved Mikey.

mikey.jpg



Going out to eat at a fast food emporium was infrequent. It was a real treat when you did.

Every box of cereal had a toy inside. You could also save the box tops and send them off for more toys. This would encourage you to eat as much of the cereal pushers brand as possible.

Families with multiple children would see the kids trying to be the first to get to a new box of cereal to get the toy.



One of my favorite sweets when I was little were candy cigarettes. Every store carried them. I felt like my Camel non-filter chain-smoking dad.
 

Peace

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Old people like to tell us the past was much better. The golden years.

That really isn't true. Especially if you were a female, black, gay, or handicapped.

Things were definitely different. Some of those differences were bad, some were good.

My kids often ask me to regale them with what life was life when I was a kid and had no cell phone or computer or internet or microwave oven or a blue sky or non-flammable rivers.

I thought I would share with you some of the...regalations(?)...regalia...stories I tell them.

Hmm. If regale is a verb which means to entertain or amuse someone with stories, why aren't the stories called regalia?

I love the English language.

But I digress.


Grocery stores.

You almost never saw a male in a grocery story, except for small boys with their mothers, and the clerks who stocked the shelves.

If you looked at the floor of a grocery store, you would see hundreds of crushed cigarette butts. You could smoke in stores back then, and women would casually grind out their cigarettes out on the floor.

There were no combination grocery/department stores like today. No Walmart type of thing. And grocery stores were much smaller.

Somehow, you would get your groceries rung up and be on your way to your car faster than you do today.

We put our best men to work finding ways to speed up the checkout service. Bar codes, laser scanners, debit cards, conveyor belts at the register.

But someone else figured out how to fuck it all up by asking for your phone number, email address, firstborn's middle name, membership card, and a blood sample since then.

Cashiers were lightning-fast mathematical geniuses back then. Not like the airheads today who can't make change without their cash register telling them how much to give you, and then still struggling to figure out what coins make up 70 cents.

There were no membership cards for stores.

All the coupons your mother brought with her had been clipped out of a newspaper. A newspaper was a non-volatile storage device for the day's current events hand delivered every day to your doorstep by a young lad on a bicycle. We're talking some real Olden Times shit here.

That's another thing. Minors were gainfully employed back then. Delivering newspapers (boys), babysitting (girls), mowing lawns and shoveling snow (boys). There was some definite gender segregation in the youth employment market.

What you got when you paid for your groceries were S&H Green Stamps. They looked like postage stamps and you would get a perforated panel of them, the amount being determined by how much you spent. You took these home, licked them, and put them into a booklet. Once you had enough of them, you could trade them in for cash and prizes.

green-stamps.jpg


green-stamps-prizes.jpg



There were no cart returns in a grocery store parking lot. Everyone just left their carts willy nilly all over the parking lot. Your mother would be cussing up a storm trying to park without hitting a cart in the middle of the goddam parking space.

There were no automatic doors for any stores of any kind. You had to manually push on them like you still have to do in some backward places and at 7-Eleven.

Eventually, there were these rubber mats which had sensors in them and they would open the door when you stepped on them.

Every grocery store had floor-to-ceiling glass windows across the entire front of the store. And then some genius came up with the idea of blocking the windows with gigantic outward-facing posters advertising their prices for meat and other items.
Why you brought your kid was to get them to run out and move that damn cart and load the damn car!!!

The good ol’days!
 

Likkmee

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I remember strolling out the front door and double drawing my pistols and "capping" my neighbor.
OOPS
They still do that today
 

Moonglow

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Old people like to tell us the past was much better. The golden years.

That really isn't true. Especially if you were a female, black, gay, or handicapped.

Things were definitely different. Some of those differences were bad, some were good.

My kids often ask me to regale them with what life was life when I was a kid and had no cell phone or computer or internet or microwave oven or a blue sky or non-flammable rivers.

I thought I would share with you some of the...regalations(?)...regalia...stories I tell them.

Hmm. If regale is a verb which means to entertain or amuse someone with stories, why aren't the stories called regalia?

I love the English language.

But I digress.


Grocery stores.

You almost never saw a male in a grocery story, except for small boys with their mothers, and the clerks who stocked the shelves.

If you looked at the floor of a grocery store, you would see hundreds of crushed cigarette butts. You could smoke in stores back then, and women would casually grind out their cigarettes out on the floor.

There were no combination grocery/department stores like today. No Walmart type of thing. And grocery stores were much smaller.

Somehow, you would get your groceries rung up and be on your way to your car faster than you do today.

We put our best men to work finding ways to speed up the checkout service. Bar codes, laser scanners, debit cards, conveyor belts at the register.

But someone else figured out how to fuck it all up by asking for your phone number, email address, firstborn's middle name, membership card, and a blood sample since then.

Cashiers were lightning-fast mathematical geniuses back then. Not like the airheads today who can't make change without their cash register telling them how much to give you, and then still struggling to figure out what coins make up 70 cents.

There were no membership cards for stores.

All the coupons your mother brought with her had been clipped out of a newspaper. A newspaper was a non-volatile storage device for the day's current events hand delivered every day to your doorstep by a young lad on a bicycle. We're talking some real Olden Times shit here.

That's another thing. Minors were gainfully employed back then. Delivering newspapers (boys), babysitting (girls), mowing lawns and shoveling snow (boys). There was some definite gender segregation in the youth employment market.

What you got when you paid for your groceries were S&H Green Stamps. They looked like postage stamps and you would get a perforated panel of them, the amount being determined by how much you spent. You took these home, licked them, and put them into a booklet. Once you had enough of them, you could trade them in for cash and prizes.

green-stamps.jpg


green-stamps-prizes.jpg



There were no cart returns in a grocery store parking lot. Everyone just left their carts willy nilly all over the parking lot. Your mother would be cussing up a storm trying to park without hitting a cart in the middle of the goddam parking space.

There were no automatic doors for any stores of any kind. You had to manually push on them like you still have to do in some backward places and at 7-Eleven.

Eventually, there were these rubber mats which had sensors in them and they would open the door when you stepped on them.

Every grocery store had floor-to-ceiling glass windows across the entire front of the store. And then some genius came up with the idea of blocking the windows with gigantic outward-facing posters advertising their prices for meat and other items.
The best thing about them is they are over.
 

Moonglow

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I remember strolling out the front door and double drawing my pistols and "capping" my neighbor.
OOPS
They still do that today
I prefer a long gun and a scope.
 

MisterBeale

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A lot of the things in the OP are regional. It took time for the innovations that were happening in Michigan, to filter out to the rest of the nation, clearly.

1669772245962.png


THRIFTY-ACRES-HISTORICAL-SIGN-060622-e1654532030790.jpg



1669772516488.png

 

Care4all

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You could not get tomatoes year round.
Only cellophane tomatoes in the winter.....that's what we called them...wrapped in 3s, in cardboard and cellophane, that never ever got ripe....greenhouse tomatoes maybe? They were horrible!
 

Hossfly

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Why you brought your kid was to get them to run out and move that damn cart and load the damn car!!!

The good ol’days!


Happy Birthday, Bruce T!


1669772982530.png
 

Peace

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Happy Birthday, Bruce T!


View attachment 732599
Thank you Hoss and you remember every year…

How am I doing at a 122 years old?

I must the be oldest interweb member ever!!!

Anyhoo, truly thanks and I did hit a milestone this year.
 

Manonthestreet

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Lot of women didnt drive back then so how did they get to the grocery store by themself. Dad always did it all
 

Peace

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OP
g5000

g5000

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I remember strolling out the front door and double drawing my pistols and "capping" my neighbor.
OOPS
They still do that today


Toys.

Every child had a toy chest.

In a girl's toy chest were dolls.

In a boy's toy chest were cap pistols, cap rifles, dinosaurs, some rocks, a baseball glove, and Tonka trucks. You could not close the lid of a boy's toybox.

Every boy had cap guns, and they didn't have gay orange tips. And there is nothing sweeter to a boy's nostrils than the smell of gunpowder.

Caps were strips of paper with little bubbles of gunpowder. They came in a roll and you loaded them into your gun, and on a good day, six out of ten would pop with a satisfying bang when hit with the gun's hammer.

cap-gun.jpg


caps.jpg
[


Tonka toys. Because of the Cold War, Tonka trucks were designed to withstand a direct hit from a nuclear bomb.

The world might have ended, but you could play with your dump truck in the ashes.



I had a Tonka mixer, a Tonka dump truck, and a Tonka firetruck.


Creepy Crawlers. Creepy Crawlers were rubbery creatures you baked yourself on a hotplate, without adult supervision, using a liquid material called "goop". Goop had a very distinctive and memorable odor as it cooked.

There was a wide selection of creatures you could make with a creepy crawlers hotplate. My favorites were salamanders.

The Olden Time creepy crawler manufacturing process was nothing like what you see peddled on Amazon today.

You have not had a real childhood unless you have given yourself third degree burns on that fucking hotplate.

creepy-crawlers.jpg



Hula hoops. Yes, kids, we goobers actually stood around making a plastic circle revolve around our waists.

Pogo sticks. One of my all-time favorite toys. It was basically a long medal rod with a heavy duty spring and some handles sticking out of it. The idea was to mount this thing and hop up and down for eighty-four hours until your spine compressed.

If you didn't know what you were doing, you could be launched at a 45-degree angle at high velocity and discover the negative side effects of gravity.

What? Wear KNEE PADS and HELMETS!?!? Are you fucking kidding me?

I just checked Amazon and pogo sticks are still around. But I have not seen a kid on one since the 60s.

Jarts. Jarts were "lawn darts". What they really were were unguided death missiles which you would launch by hand into the air and try to make them land in a small circle a lot like a miniature hula hoop.

But what really happens when you hand a boy a missile with a sharp metal tip is a childhood version of Mutual Assured Destruction between the boys in the backyard and the boys in the front yard.

You can't get real Jarts any more. There is a gay safer version available on Amazon.


Whammo. Whammo was a toy company. Their commercials flooded all three TV channels.

Yes, we had just three television channels back then. But we were more advanced than you think because we could watch TV without a cable or a subscription. So HA!


Whammo particularly ruled the waves on Saturday mornings. Cartoons were aired only on Saturday mornings.

There might have been cartoons on Sunday mornings, but the whole country was in church, so I don't know.

Because cartoons were only available on weekend mornings, we had to play outside a lot. In all kinds of weather. It was wonderful.

Whammo. Hula hoops. Frisbees. Super balls.


I would be a traitor to the male species if I failed to mention army men. Every boy had a bucket of army men. Green ones and yellow ones. Americans and Japs.

That's it. Two colors. Good guys vs. bad guys.

Everyone said "Japs" back then. WWII was only six or seven days in the past, so...

Dad said "Japs". Grandpa said "Japs. So you said "Japs".

Army men.

Hot wheels. Tiny metal cars. Metal. You could hit 'em with a hammer. Because that's what boys do.

I have not mentioned girls' toys. That's because boys and girls absolutely did not mix on their down time. You only saw girls in school, unless you had a sister and she had her friends over. But you avoided them because they had cooties.

There is only one toy which jumps out at me in the girl department.

The Easy Bake oven.

The Easy Bake oven was the female version of Creepy Crawlers, except with real cupcakes you could eat.

Because cooking was the destiny of every girl.
 
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g5000

g5000

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1srelluc

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I'd certainly take the 60s over today, warts and all, just for the simple fact there were around 159 million less bodies cluttering up the American landscape.

US population in 1960.....179,323,175

US population in 2022.......338,289,857 not even counting the illegals.

If you never lived back then you just can't fathom it.
 

Hossfly

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My awareness happened around mid 1943 when I was almost 4 years old. We lived across the river from Martin Aircraft in Baltimore. My father walked to work for 1st shift and mother drove to work for 3d shift. They had a '37 Plymouth coupe. In the mid 30s until 1940 my father worked on the county roads dept. breaking rocks with sledge hammers 10 hrs a day, 6 days a week for 10 cents an hour. There were no hardtop roads in the county except US 40. Then they both got jobs at Martin. In late '43 he was drafted into the Army with pay of $21 per month. His unit boarded a ship in May 44 and landed at Omaha Beach on June 6. Mother and I stayed in Baltimore until Sept 45 until I started school in W. Maryland. I remember that almost everything was rationed but things were cheap.

Meat and sugar was rationed as was gas. Gas was 20 cents a gallon. Tires were rationed. Hardly anything came in cans or boxes because of the war effort. All candy bars and other goodies came without wrappers. Bread, Cracker Jack among other perishables were in cellophane bags. Flour and animal feed came in patterned cotton bags and the women would make dresses and shirts from the material. From the mid-40s till the late 50s things were cheap compared to today's prices. Candy bars, ice cream and sodas were always 5 cents. On Saturday nights in town a movie cost 25 cents, 10 cents got you a soda and a candy bar or a bag of popcorn. At Ben Franklin a comic book was 10 cents.

As for home life, few people had a fridge. We had an ice box that looked like a fridge but the ice man would put 50 pound blocks of ice in it each week. Most of the the food was kept in the cupboard or a cool place. It didn't spoil and it wouldn't kill you because there wasn't a ton of chemicals in everything. Women cooked on electric or gas stoves but many had wood burning stoves that cooked and baked and had a big water tank on the side for hot water to wash dishes.

I could go on and on but you get the drift. Life was slow and easy and the people got along. No TV, internet or smart phones. Also no credit cards. I have always tried to live in that mode and only wish that people could experience that style of living but those days are gone forever.
 
OP
g5000

g5000

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Automobiles.

Every car had four doors and a trunk. You just chose the color and shape.

There was a singular exception, the "station wagon". I'll get to that.

Back then, you could hit a thousand year old oak with your car, and the tree would die. Your car would make an annoying loud squeaking sound from the fan belt, but you could back up and drive away. That is, if you had not been projected through the windshield and become one with the tree.

Seatbelts? What are those?

I cannot tell you how angry the men of America became when the federal government forced car makers to put a buzzer under the seat which would buzz until you put your seatbelt on.

One of the earliest lessons you were given upon achieving adolescence was when your dad showed you how to rip that fucking wire under the seat.

Not snip it with a wire cutter. You fucking rip that shit out with your bare hands.

After I was involved in two multicar accidents with multiple fatalities and my face was smashed, I became a big believer in seat belts, which I am to this day.

Families were bigger back then. The cars were bigger, too. Way bigger. "Land yachts". But not big enough to fit your whole family and grandma. So at least one kid was sitting on someone's lap.

That was me. And that is how my face came to be mashed. Twice.

I think it improved my looks, but opinions vary.

The seats in cars, front and back, were bench seats. Single passenger seats were not yet a thing.

So in every car, a woman could be seen sidled right up to her man, her left arm wrapped around his right. His combat veteran right arm was her seat belt. I gotcha, baby.

The back seat was a playground. If you were driving behind a car with kids in it, you could see them looking back at you out the back window. They'd be playing with their dolls or Hot Wheels on the little platform on top of the back seat.

They would wave, you would wave. Life was good.

Until you got in a multicar accident, which were way too common back then.

Then those poor kids were destroyed. I was lucky I was not.

A lot of scientists went to work figuring out to make highways safer. They have done a pretty good job so far.

And the government went to work putting children into bondage in the backseat, strapped into a cloth and plastic roll cage.

Those really work. If the car seat is somehow ejected from the car, it completely protects the kid as it rolls down the emergency lane and off a cliff.

If you opened the hood of a car back then, everything was accessible. You could actually see the starter and the alternator. You could take them out with a wrench. 9/16. Everything was 9/16 back then. And none of that gay metric shit.

If your starter shit the bed, you could put off getting a new one for a while. All you had to do was short it with a big screwdriver while someone cranked the engine until it started.

Good luck finding the starter when you open the hood of a new car these days. Optimus Prime is crouched in there, getting in the way of everything.

Pontiac, Ford, Chevy, Oldsmobile, Buick, Chrysler.

You'll notice there are no Jap names. Or Korean names.

Your car's brand name actually mattered to you back then. Fistfights would break out between Ford owners and Chevy owners.

My family was Team Chevy.

FORD: Found On Road Dead. Fix Or Repair Daily.

And then there was the station wagon. The family car. Vans didn't come along until marijuana hit the mainstream, and they were not intended for families.

The station wagon was one ugly car. It was all practicality.

You had the front seat for mom and dad. Then the back seat for some kids. And then the "way back" for luggage. The way back had another small backward-facing bench seat which folded flush with the floor. If not on a long trip requiring that space for luggage, kids would fight over who got to sit in the way back. Everyone wants to sit in the way back. It is the children's first step toward leaving their parents.

For some godawful reason, most station wagons had wood paneling on the outside.


station-wagon.jpg



It is not easy to find a station wagon these days, but they are still out there. They are a lot smaller now, though, which defeats the whole purpose.

Oh, I almost forgot.

The vast majority of automobiles had a standard shift. Automatic transmissions were for people with money.

Like a woman on TikTok said, "I love when younger TikTockers comment on older people's pages and it's like 'You shouldn't even be on here, you don't even know how to use technology.' It's like if we started writing in cursive again and driving stick shift cars, we could cripple your entire generation."
 
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