1. Blackjack chewing gum came in a light blue package with black
writing--why do I remember that? (I know--because I'm older than dirt)
3. Candy cigarettes came in two types--solid peppermint flavored, with
a red tip, as if the cigarette was lit and, my favorite, chocolate sticks inside real
paper. Amazing how we all thought "smoking" was such a sophisticated thing.
(That was before all my relatives died of lung cancer.)
5. Juke Boxes. Of course there are still places where you can
find juke boxes on the table. In fact, we visited one just a week or so ago, in San
Francisco. In some places, it's nostalgia, but I suspect this restaurant still had
them left over from when they were the "in" thing.
6. Bottled Milk. Not only was milk delivered and come in bottles
with a cardboard stopper, but it was not homogenized, so there would be some cream at the
top as you lifted the lid.
7. Party lines. I don't know how long there were party lines on the
telephone system in San Francisco, but I do remember having to wait until some faceless
voice on the other end stopped talking before I could use the telephone.
8. Newsreels. It was our only "media" way of getting
the news. Reports from whatever was the current war, for example, came to us watered
down several days/weeks after a battle took place--we didn't see the bombing live as it
was happening. Not only newsreels before the main feature, but cartoons as well. If
you were lucky, you'd get a 2 or 3-cartoon showing. I wonder where they show cartoons made
today. I haven't seen one before a movie in years.
11. Telephone Numbers. Prospect 5-8792 was really our phone
number when I was growing up. I miss having "named" prefixes. A friend in San
Francisco still has the same number she's always had, only now it's converted to all
numbers. I, however, in my mind still call the old "Juniper" exchange--I don't
convert JU into "58." I also remember my grandmother's phone which was one of
those stand up kind, where the ear piece hangs off the side and was separate from the
mouthpiece. You can buy those now, but they are special nostalgia things--I remember when
they were just normal telephones.
14. 45s. I don't have to REMEMBER 45 records (those little
records with the big hole in the middle). I still HAVE 45s. Of course, I can't play them
on anything. (Anybody want to buy some old 45s?)
S&H Green stamps!!! Oh yeah. We saved stamps to get all sorts of
wonderful "gifts." You got stamps when you bought gas or went to the supermarket
and then went to a stamp redemption center to choose your "gifts." I can
remember getting (people who know me in real life will laugh at this) an iron with
green stamps. There is a story, probably apocryphal, of Jackie Kennedy finding out about
Green Stamps and asking where she could buy some. (there were also Blue Chip stamps--same
thing, but given by different vendors.)
16. Hi-fi's. I still remember the day my father came home with a brand
new record player and told us it was the latest thing, called "high fidelity"
and how much better the sound would be on this new machine.
19. Blue flash bulbs. There was a flash holder which attached to the
side of the camera, and you licked the flash bulbs before you put them in the flash
holder. I remember frantically trying to assemble my Brownie Box camera and get a flash
bulb into the holder so I could take a picture of Judy Garland. No chance to take two pix,
of course, because you had to remove the flash and insert another one and there was no
21. Roller Skate Keys. I look at in-line skates now and
wonder if anybody still uses the old fashioned 4-wheel (2 in front, 2 in back) skates. The
kind I had as a kid clamped onto the side of your shoes (only the "rich" kids
had shoe skates). You tightened the skates to your shoe with a skate key and attached a
strap around your foot to hold them in place. You wore the skate key on a string
around your neck while you skated.
23. Drive-Ins. Both kinds--restaurant and movie. I wonder what we
thought was so wonderful about sitting in our car, with a tray clamped to the window,
eating instead of going inside. There was an old A&W Rootbeer in Sacramento which
continued to be a drive-in long after there were no more anywhere else, but now it, too,
has converted into a regular fast-food format.
As for movie drive-ins, I remember going with my parents when I was a kid, and then
taking our own kids when they were little--dressing everyone in pajamas, so (the theory
went) they could go to sleep while we all watched the movie. (They rarely did, of course).
Come to think of it, that means that maybe my own kids are getting "older than
dirt" if they can remember those days! Parking in the drive in, hanging the speaker
on the mirror and trying to get the volume right and hear the sound from the movie over
the crackle of the speaker. And, of course, the best part--going to the snack bar during
intermission (because in those days we also had double features, not just one movie).
Another fun thing about drive-ins is that you could see them from the freeway or the city
street. The only X-rated movie I ever saw part of was with another couple who drove down
alongside the old drive in here in Davis and parked outside the fence to check it out. Of
course with a porn movie, you didn't need a speaker to get the gist of what was going on!
24. Studebakers. We called them "coming or going cars"
because the front looked just like the back and you couldn't tell if they were coming or
25. Wash tub wringers. I remember both the hand-crank type and then
the automatic type, which I was sure I would some day find myself caught in, trying to
squeeze the water out of clothes before hanging them on the clothes line (ahhh
yes--there was a day when I routinely hung my clothes out on the line, Peggy)
Anybody remember mangles? (The machines that ironed your clothes?)
Well, now that I've made SO many people feel like they should hobble back to their
rockers and gum their oatmeal, I'll wish you all a very good day. And for those of you who
scored 0-5 on this test, just wait--your day will come!!!
P.S. To add insult to injury, my WordPerfect spell checker didn't even recognize half
of the words on the age test list!!!!