Do ya' remember when...

Mom was home when the kids got home from school.

When nobody owned a purebred dog.

When a quarter was a decent allowance, and another quarter, a huge bonus.

When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny and flip the wooden sidewalks looking for nickels

When all of your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done and wore high heels.

When the first television set hit your neighbourhood.  Rabbit ears didn't get you much but if it withstood the windstorms, a rooftop t.v. antenna could bring in the Adventures of Rin Tin Tin in 1953.  Other t.v. programming around then included Howdy Dowdy, The Lone Ranger, the Ed Sullivan Show, and in the late fifties, Disneyland.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time. And, you didn't pay for air.  And, you got trading stamps to boot.

When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.  Those were the days before fast food restaurants.

When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum, or in the case of Cambie High, when the mice chewed all through the wooden lockers and we had to pack a lunch in a metal lunch bucket like the little kids.  (horrors)

When a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car (in Grant's case it's 1941)... to cruise, peel out, lay rubber or watch submarine races, and people went steady and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped yarn so it would fit her finger.

And no one ever asked where the car keys were 'cause they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked.  And you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key. And if they had one, it was a skeleton key like everybody else in the neighborhood had.

Remember your best "buddy" and you playing outside with until your parents had to come and 'drag' you away.  Remember becoming blood brothers in a secret initiation rite, or giving each other "Indian arm burns".  Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a ... "

Remember jumping waves at the ocean for hours in that cold water.  (waves?? McDonald's beach?).  Remember diving from the log booms along the Fraser River?

Remember running across the floating sidewalks during the rainy season and how they jiggled.  Yeah that was fun  squish, squish, slosh, slosh

And playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game. Back then; baseball was not a psychological group learning experience-it was a game. 

Remember the bigger kids were "allowed" to play the knife-game called mumbly-peg

When we were allowed to have knifes and we whittled whistles from the new willow whips at Dinsmore Island....what Mom didn't curse the sand from the kids boots (even when we were forbidden to go down to the River)

Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals 'cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.

Remember the cars with vacuum operated windshield wipers?  How they never worked going up the hills of Vancouver, but how fast and crazy they went going down the hills?

And with all our progress ...don't you just wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace ...and share it with the children of today, your grandchildren maybe...

Remember when being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.  Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.  Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we all survived because their love was greater than the threat.

Remember your Mom bringing clothes in off the line in the winter and standing the long-johns up in the corner for all to laugh at?

Our bathtub stood on lion legs and we brushed our teeth by dipping a wet toothbrush into tooth-powder cupped into our hands

Go back with me for a minute....

Before the Internet or the MAC, before semi automatics and crack, Before SEGA or Super Nintendo... before T.V.

Way back ....

I'm talkin' about hide and go seek at dusk. Red light, Green light. Kick the can. Playing kickball & dodgeball until your porch light came on.  500-up, Mother may I, Red Rover, Hula Hoops, Knockout Ginger, Roller skating to music, Skate key on a string around your neck, Running through the sprinkler, Rock Scissors and Paper, Marbles and Hop Scotch at the boys or girls gyms at the school.

Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole.

The only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn't some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.  Read more on Dirt Roads at URL:

Wait ....

The cream popped the cardboard cap on the glass milk jars when it froze over night out on the porch:
Christmas morning ....
Ginger beer or Crème Soda pop at Joe's Confectionary
Double Bubble gum at Butler's Store
Ookpiks and Schmoos.
Molly Groggs or Knuckle Noogies in a headlock
The smell of fresh sawdust on the floor of the butcher store at Grauer's
Your first day of school
Saturday Matinee at the Marpole Theatre
Bedtime Prayers and Goodnight Kisses,
Climbing trees:
Plays, Cubs, scouts and girl guides, and Carnivals at the Community Hall.
Getting a Dixie Cup from the ice cream truck.  Do you remember the tune that drove your parents wacky?
Feeding the milk-wagon horse an apple.  He was a big Clydesdale named, Bud.
Riding on the back step of the vegetable truck
I don't remember mosquito bites on Sea Island, but do you recall the bees in the clover lawns before the days of herbicides?  Many mothers had to get out the bluing squares in gauze to treat the stings from barefoot summer days.
Sharing a bedroom because Burkeville homes only had two
Jumpin' on the bed, pillow fights, and broken windows from baseball fever,
When they first paved your street,
Runnin' till you were out of breath,
Roller skating on the only paved driveway in Cora Brown
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt, Being tired from playin'....
Your first crush .... Remember that?  Teen Town?
First bikeFirst kiss?First prom?First car?First airplane ride?

I'm not finished yet....
Kool-aid was the drink of summer, chocolate milk at Frasea Farms
Toting your friends on your handle bars,
Wearing your new shoes on the first day of school, Class Field Trips.
Skating on the frozen ponds in Grauer's fields or the ditch behind the firehall with hot chocolate and bonfires,
Didn't that feel good?
Just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that?

Remember the day they said, "The King is dead, long live the Queen"?  Who would have thought that the medallion kids received in school to commemorate the Queen's 1953 Coronation would still be around to hear that she is still the Queen fifty years later?

Remember when bare-naked ladies was something unseen and to titter about?  Now they're a rock band and seen almost daily on t.v.

Remember Mr. Peanut and his top hat?

There's nothing like the good old days.
They were good then, and they're good now when we think about them.

Share some of these thoughts with a friend who can relate, then share it with someone that missed out on them.

I want to go back to the time when......
Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do it over!" "Race issue"; meant arguing about who ran the fastest. Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly".  Catching the Miller Road ditch pollywogs could happily occupy an entire evening before you finally got a soaker.

It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends. Being old referred to anyone over 20.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. 

Push lawnmowers.  Picking dandelion flowers for your parents' wine and then making ring necklaces with the stems

Getting a left-over meal from a Super Constellation at the TCA hangar

Sayings like, "Mint" and "Be there or be Square"

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true. The RCAF Station bunker was the only hill on Sea Island to take a sled up.

Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare".  Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.  Getting dizzy now just means it's your age!
Remember getting your "free" admittance ticket to the PNE at the end of June with your report card?  It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the PNE.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Water balloons were the ultimate weapons. Remember the Chestnut fights at Donegani's and raiding the orchards there or at Sherwood's.  Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.  If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!!

Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their "grown up" life, and don't forget to submit your family story for the Sea Island history book.

I DOUBLE DOG DARE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!

The 50ies Remember clips

Do you remember.....

Hide and go seek at dusk.

One speed-bicycles.

Hopscotch, butterscotch, double dutch.

Jacks, kickball, and dodge ball.

Mother May I? Red Rover.

Hula Hoops, jacks.
When you picked up the phone and the operator said, "Number please?"
Wax Lips and Mustaches.

Penny candy in a brown paper bag.

A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers.

Listening to Superman on the radio

Catching lightning bugs in a jar.

Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt.

An ice cream cone on a warm summer night...

A cherry coke or vanilla shake or float from the fountain at the corner store.

Cops and Robbers....Cowboys and Indians.

Running till you were out of breath.

When the only time you wore sneakers was at school for gym.

When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up, if you even had one.

When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there.
When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box.

When nobody owned a purebred dog.

When a quarter was a decent allowance.

When girls never kissed on the first date.

When every adult had a title as Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma'am.

The Mickey Mouse Club (Annette and Cubby?)

Drive In movies.  Westminster Highway Drive-in (or was it the smooch-in?)
When homework assignments were a daily routine.

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Sitting on the back porch listening to the ballgame on the radio.

When Sundays were for God and families.

Having to sprinkle lime in the outhouse after each use at summer camp.

When you removed your hat and bowed your head when reciting the "Lord's Prayer", or held your hand over your heart while "belting out" our National Anthem.

May all your memories be warm and happy!


- Older Than Dirt Quiz

How old are you? You may be older than dirt! Take this quiz to find out.

Count all the ones that you remember -- not the ones you were told about! Ratings are at the bottom.

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed bottle
5. Coffee shops with tableside jukeboxes
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines
8. Newsreels before the movie
9. P. F.  Flyers
10. Butch wax
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Olive -6933)
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records
15. S&H Green Stamps
16. Hi-fi's
17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers


If you remembered 0-5 = You are still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

Don't forget to pass this along, especially to all your really OLD friends.

"Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day, "What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?"
"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up," I informed him. "All the food was slow."
"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"
"It was a place called 'at home,'" I explained. "Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."
By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. We weren't allowed to wear hats in the house.  Especially at the dinner table.  Elbows on the table were poked at by my father's fork.  Ouch!  I learned quick!
But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:
Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levi's, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Simpson Sears. Grauer's Store always gave credit to everyone.
My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds and heavier when you added that big steel carrier on the handlbars, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day. Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.
I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called "pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.
We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather's Ford. He called it a "machine."
I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.
All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.
Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.
The Marpole theatre was fun, especially the Saturday Matinees.  Teen Town dances were all chaperoned and we had neighbours take turns driving us kids to and from them on Friday nights.  Home by eleven, or else!
If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.
Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?

MEMORIES from a friend:
My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to "sprinkle" clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?
Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

I might be older than dirt but those memories are the best part of my life.

"Senility Prayer"..God grant me...
The senility to forget the people I never liked
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do
And the eyesight to tell the difference."


.and, if you can STAND just two more:

Some Things You Keep 

Some things you keep. Like good teeth. Warm coats. Bald husbands. They're good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to throw them away would make the garbage man a thief. 

So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new, and what you know is often better than a stranger.

These are my thoughts... they make me sound old, old and tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that's new and improved in their lives. New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars. The world is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but I don't think I want to. 

I grew up in the fifties with practical parents - a mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it - and still does. 

A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. They weren't poor, my parents, they were just satisfied. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. 

I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt and Mom in a housedress, lawnmower in one's hand, dishtowel in the others. It was a time for fixing things - a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, and the hem in a dress. 

Things you keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful.
Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more. 

But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return. 

So, while you have it, it's best to love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. That's true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents. You keep them because they're worth it, because you're worth it. 

Some things you keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate you grew up with, there's just some things that make life important....people you know are special....and you KEEP them close......

Disappearing Words...

I haven't thought about "fender skirts" in years.  When I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term.

Made me think of a car in a dress.

Thinking about "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice.

Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs."  Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first.

Remember "Continental kits?"  They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.

When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?"  At some point "parking brake" became the proper term.  But I miss the hint of drama that went with emergency brake.

I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed."

Did you ever wait at the street for your Daddy to come home, so you could ride the "running board" up to the house.

Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore -- "store-bought."  Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days.  But once it was bragging rights to have a store-bought dress or a store bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing.  Now we take the term "worldwide" for granted.

Blotter.  Who remembers those soft paper ink slopper-uppers at Sea Island Elementary School?  And ink wells.  Not too many school desks with holes in the tops of the desk these days.  Too bad if you were left handed and still had an ink well in the top right corner.

This floors me.

On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes.  In the '50s, everyone covered their hardwood floors with "WOW" wall-to-wall carpeting!  Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors.  Go figure.

When is the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?"  It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company.  So we talked about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply "expecting"

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage.  I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up.  I guess it's just a "bra" now.  "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.

It's hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper -- "divorce."  And no one is called a "divorcee" anymore.  Certainly not a "gay divorcee".

Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too!

I always loved going to the "picture show," but I considered "movie" an affectation.  Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day "rat fink."  Ooh, what a nasty put-down

A word I miss "percolator."  That was just a fun word to say.  And what was it replaced with?  "Coffeemaker."  How dull.  Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this..

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro.

Words like "DynaFlow" and "ElectraLuxe."  Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!

Food for thought -- Did something wipe out lumbago.  Nobody complains of that anymore.  Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list.  The one that grieves me most -- "supper."  Now everybody says "dinner."  Save a great word.  Invite someone to supper.  Discuss fender skirts.

Someone forwarded this to SIHS in an email, and I thought some of us of a "certain age" would remember many of these "old" words.  However, you may want to think twice before showing this (or sending this) to your kids, it might take quite awhile to explain all of these old words.