Remembering the good old days


By Eileen Wiseman



As the year winds down, I want you to take a walk down memory lane with me. I am a baby boomer (1946), but I still can remember some of the things from my childhood.

Do you remember skate keys, Evening in Paris and pay phones? How about pegged pants, poodle skirts and spoolies? How about hair styles: the flat top, butch (with butch wax), the DA, bouffant and the beehive?

I remember when cars had metal in them and mohair that burned your legs when you scooted over. They also had fins, white wall tires and AM radios.

My mother always anxiously awaited the Omar bread man. And we even had Charles Chips delivered to our house.

Someone at work told my dad that you could go to Dayton and pull in at a restaurant, order through a speaker and they would bring the food out to your car. What an innovation; I couldn’t believe it. We just had to try it!

I loved “Howdy Doody,” and the Peanut Gallery, “Mr. Ed,” “My Favorite Martin,” and “Dragnet.”

And we were able to enjoy these shows in black and white. Did we notice that there was no color? No, we just enjoyed this newfangled gadget.

We left our doors open at night in the summer, and when we left for the day we never locked our doors.

I always had to be home before the street lights came on. I was never afraid to walk home from my friend’s house, which was quite a few blocks away.

Did anyone else follow the fogging truck around on their bicycles? I did and I am still here. That could not have been good for me.

I played in the creek at Harmon Park that ran all different colors.

My best friend had twist shoes. They had little plates on the bottom that would rotate as you did the twist.

I remember the music, too. I loved early country stars such as Roy Acuff, Ferlin Husky, Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline and George Jones. I was also into Otis Redding, Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys and Tina Turner. I listened to them on vinyl! I had a little transistor radio that I turned down low and listened under the covers instead of going to sleep.

School was different back then. We had manual typewriters, mimeographs and learned shorthand. What the teacher said was what we did. And don’t expect for Mom or Dad to go to school to tell the teacher that they were on your side. Whatever you got in school was exactly what you got when you got home. No way would we call our teacher by their first names! It was all about respect.

We didn’t have an expensive, store-made swing set. We had an old tire, and it worked beautifully. My first bicycle was the prettiest thing I ever saw. Only later did I find out that my dad bought it at an auction and repainted it. But was I ever proud of my “new bike”!

How about clothes? I had blouses and skirts made out of feed sacks. The material was sturdy and wore forever.

Only when I got to high school did I realize that I was considered poor by my peers. But was I really? I don’t think so.

It’s good to think back to our younger years, but it is also good to look forward to another new adventure.

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By Eileen Wiseman

The writer is the executive director of the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County.

The writer is the executive director of the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby County.