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For Fifties Folks




From a Classmate of my Wife's

(and their children - so they will understand) Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the Silent Generation. We are the smallest number of children born since the early 1900s.  We are the "last ones."

We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years. 

We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.

We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans. 

We saw cars up on blocks because tires  weren't available. We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the "milk box" on the porch. 

We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War. We saw the 'boys' home from the war, build their little houses.

We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.  As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood "playing outside".

We did play outside, and we did play on our own.

There was no little league.    There was no city playground for kids.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real under-standing of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies, gave us newsreels of the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines)and hung on the wall.

Computers were called calculators, they only added and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The 'internet' and 'GOOGLE' were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our table radio in the evening by Gabriel Heatter.

We are the last group who had to find out for ourselves.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.

VA loans fanned a housing boom.

Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility.

The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands of stations.

Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren't neglected, but we weren't today's all-consuming family focus.

They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on.

They were busy discovering the post war world.

We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed.

We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future.

Depression poverty was deep rooted.   Polio was still a crippler.

The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.

Russia built the "Iron Curtain" and  China became Red China .

Eisenhower sent the first 'advisers' to Vietnam.

Castro set up camp in Cuba  and Khrushchev came to power.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland.

We came of age in the 40s and 50s.  The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, "global warming", and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better. not worse.

We are the Silent Generation - "The Last Ones"

More than 99 % of us are either retired or deceased, and

We feel privileged to have "lived in the best of times"!




Our thanks to a classmate of my wife's for sending this in.

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MUSIC VIDEOS of the 50s
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Our thanks to a classmate of my wife's for these
thought provoking pictures.




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HIGH SCHOOL - 1958 vs 2013

(By today's standards none of us was supposed to ever make it.)
Our thanks to Marsha Turner Hill.
Jack goes duck hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.
1958: Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2013: School goes into lock down; FBI called; Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counsellors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1958: Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2013: Police called and SWAT team arrives, and they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault, and both expelled even though Johnny started it .
Jeffrey will not be still in class; he disrupts other students.
1958: Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still, and does not disrupt class again.
2013: Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family gets extra money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability.
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car, and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1958: Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college; and becomes a successful businessman.
2013: Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse; Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1958: Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2013: The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.
Pedro fails high school English.
1958: Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, and goes to college.
2013: Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, and blows up a red ant bed.
1958: Ants die.
2013: ATF, Homeland Security, and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents, and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee . He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1958: In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2013: Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.
How stupid we have become? Give me the good old days of
common sense and decency!!!




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Our thanks to Marsha Turner Hill.
A little house with three bedrooms,
one bathroom and one car on the street.
A mower that you had to push
to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall
we only had one phone,
And no need for recording things,
someone was always home.

We only had a living room

where we would congregate,
unless it was at mealtime
in the kitchen where we ate.

We had no need for family rooms
or extra rooms to dine.
When meeting as a family
those two rooms would work out fine.

We only had one TV set

and channels maybe two,
But always there was one of them
with something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips

that tasted like a chip.
And if you wanted flavor
there was Lipton's onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because

my mother liked to cook
and nothing can compare to snacks
in Betty Crocker's book.

Weekends were for family trips

or staying home to play.
We all did things together
--even go to church to pray.

When we did our weekend trips

depending on the weather,
no one stayed at home because
we liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate

to do things on our own,
but we knew where the others were
without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies

with your favorite movie star,
and nothing can compare
to watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics
at the peak of summer season,

pack a lunch and find some trees
and never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together

with all the friends you know,
have real action playing ball
--and no game video.

Remember when the doctor

used to be the family friend,
and didn't need insurance
or a lawyer to defend?

The way that he took care of you

or what he had to do,
because he took an oath and strived
to do the best for you.

Remember going to the store

and shopping casually,
and when you went to pay for it
you used your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe

or punch in some amount,
and remember when the cashier person
had to really count?

The milkman used to go

from door to door,
And it was just a few cents more
than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed letters

came right to your door,
without a lot of junk mail ads
sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name

and knew where it was sent;
there were not loads of mail addressed to
"present occupant."

There was a time when just one glance

was all that it would take,
and you would know the kind of car,
the model and the make.

They didn't look like turtles

trying to squeeze out every mile;
they were streamlined, white walls, fins
and really had some style.

One time the music that you played
whenever you would jive,
was from a vinyl, big-holed record
called a forty-five.

The record player had a post

to keep them all in line
and then the records would drop down
and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then,

just like we do today
and always we were striving,
trying for a better way.

Oh, the simple life we lived

still seems like so much fun,
how can you explain a game,
just kick the can and run?

And why would boys put baseball cards

between bicycle spokes
and for a nickel, red machines
had little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier
and slower in some ways.
I love the new technology
but I sure do miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we

and nothing stays the same,
but I sure love to reminisce
and walk down memory lane.

With all today's technology
we grant that it's a plus!
But it's fun to look way back and say,

"Hey look, Guys,


Recovered by Ted Voruz.

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 How Did We Survive?
Our thanks to classmate's of my wife's and a little help

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't
get tested for diabetes.

Then we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints, which were promptly
chewed and licked.


We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites. When we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 49-cent bottle of mercurochrome - kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine - and then we got our butt spanked.

Now, it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $109 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel
where it was such a threat.



   Oh yeah., and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting?  I could have been killed!


My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.



My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers,
but I can't remember getting e. Coli.


We shared one drink with friends - from one bottle or can -
and no one actually died from this.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand. No one would call
child services to report abuse.


We ate cupcakes, sandwiches dripping with mayo, white bread and butter, real bacon; and we drank fizzy pop and Koolaid with white sugar in it. Surprisingly, we weren't overweight. 
Why? Because we were always outside playing. That's why!


We drank water straight from the hose instead of from plastic bottles. It tasted the same.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.


 We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets; and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads. 


 We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then ride them at top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times,
we learned to solve the problem.


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back for dinner. No one was able to reach us all day. No one was worried. And, we were safe!
We rode bikes in packs and wore our coats by only the hood.


      I just can't recall how bored we were without Playstations or X-Boxes - no video games at all - no 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies or DVDs, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, and no Internet chat rooms.
We had friends; we went outside and found them.

  We walked or rode bikes to a friend's house, called to them from outside, knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in.

  We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learned not to do the same thing again. Little did our friends' parents know that they could have owned our house in a law suit.
Instead, we were picked and patched up;
and then we suffered a lecture for being such a goofs.

It was a neighborhood run amuck.

We had fights, punched each other hard and got black and blue.
We learned to get over it.


We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22-ifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and ate live stuff. Although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes  nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.


As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the front passenger seat was a special treat.

 We all took gym, not PE...and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Keds (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors.
I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? They actually gave us asprin for our aches and pains rather than sending us home. Ours wore a hat and everything.



Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem; and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.


The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

Flunking gym was not an option. Even for stupid kids!
I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Believe it or not,
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, leaned to deal with disappointment.


I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law.  Imagine that!


 To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that
they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly
have known that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes.

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

 THIS GENERATION has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you're one of them. Congratulations!

But really. . . . . .  how did we ever survive?



Author Unknown

 In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

It becomes more and more difficult for sexual harassment
charges to stick.

No one expects you to run into a burning building.

People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"

Doctors no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

 There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

 Things you buy now won't wear out.

You can eat dinner at 4 PM.

 You can live without sex but not without glasses.

You enjoy hearing about other people's operations.

 You get into a heated argument about pension plans.

You have a party, and the neighbors don't even realize it.

You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter
who walks into the room.

You sing along with the elevator music.

Your eyes won't get much worse.

Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

 Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.

Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

 Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

People send you this list.


Our thanks to my wife's classmate.

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Thanks to Masha Turner Hill




From a Younger Indiana Friend   

WHEN I WAS A KID, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up. What with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning....Uphill... Barefoot...BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of sixty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today and hear myself saying, "You've got it so easy!  I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! 

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and 'eject' it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it.

There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY GOSH !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen. Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get up and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little brats!

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!   

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the 'safety arm' across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling 'shot gun' in the first place! 

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1950 or any time before!"


The Over 60 Crowd



Contributed by my wife's classmate. 

"I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, 
it’s going to be impossible to buy a week’s groceries for $10.00."


"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year?  It won’t 
be long before $1,000.00 will only buy a used one."


"If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit;
20 cents a pack is ridiculous. "
"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging
7 cents just to mail a letter."
"If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to 
hire outside help at the store."

"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would 
someday cost 25 cents a gallon. Guess we’d be better off leaving 
the car in the garage."
"I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more.  Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in ‘GONE WITH THE WIND’, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it."
"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it’s possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas."
"Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for 
$50,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday they’ll be making more than the President."

"I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would 
be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."
"It’s too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few 
married women are having to work to make ends meet."
"It won’t be long before young couples are going to have to hire 
someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

"I’m afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a 
whole lot of foreign business."
"Thank goodness I won’t live to see the day when the Government 
takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are 
electing the best people to government."

"The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, 
but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

"There is no sense going on short trips anymore for a weekend. 
It costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a hotel."
"No one can afford to be sick anymore. At $15.00 a day in 
the hospital, it’s too rich for my blood."

"If they think I’ll pay 30 cents for a haircut, forget it."



Marsha Turner Hill uses the following list to explain  “old Streator” to young people in the Kankakee area.

You know how to play and spell “Euchre.”


You know how to polka, but have never
tried it sober.


You know that "knee-high by the fourth of July" means that
it is not a good year for corn.


You believe it is traditional for the bride and groom to go bar hopping between the wedding and reception.


You know that "combine" is a noun.


You know that "creek" rhymes with "pick".


You don't automatically think of beef when you hear
the word “tenderloin.”


You knew that simply because girls danced with girls they
were not gay.


At some point you considered a fun Friday night to be getting a couple of quarts and going to Marilla Park.


You assume that every small town has 35 to 40 taverns or bars.


You think that everyone in town is invited to every
wedding reception.


You know that you can get live bait at a
gas station.


You think that the start of duck and deer season are
national holidays.


You have de-tasseled corn or walked beans.


You know why farmers switch between corn and soybeans
in the fields.


You know that drinking beer is not really “drinking.”


You've won a tip board.


You didn't realize that chicken could be eaten any way except fried until you were well into your 20s. 


 You think that every town has berms.


 You order your chicken as "quarter dark"
or "quarter light."


 You don't think anything about the slag piles.


 You still cannot eat bison because you have memories
of Buffalo Rock.


You have wondered why it is “nine rahs” rather than some other number of rahs.


 Your parents had the same high school teachers you did (or do).


 You know the "True stories" behind
the police reports.


 You have ever flipped an elderly woman the bird because she cut you off in traffic.


 You can rattle off Whalen’s menu from memory. ..And still stare at it for fifteen minutes anyway......


 You unfortunately have more state titles in the music department
than the athletic dept.


You do not think it odd that the local paper lists the names of people admitted to the hospital.



 Great Old Cars
Our thanks to
my wife's classmate.

1956 Ford Thunderbird



1959 Chevrolet Impala 2Dr Hardtop

File:58 Chevrolet Impala.jpg


 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria


  1958 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan



Thanks to my wife's classmate for finding these old sayings.

Be sure to refill the ice trays, we're going to have company. 

Watch for the postman, I want to get this letter to Willie
in the mail today. 

Quit slamming the screen door when you go out! 

Be sure and pull the windows down when you leave, it looks like a shower is coming up.

Don't forget to wind the clock before you go to bed.  

Wash your feet before you go to bed, you've been playing outside all day barefooted.

Why can't you remember to roll up your britches legs? Getting them caught in the bicycle chain so many times is tearing them up. 

You have torn the knees out of that pair of pants so many times there is nothing left to put a patch on.

Don't you go outside with your school clothes on! 

Go comb your hair; it looks like the rats have nested in it all night. 

Be sure and pour the cream off the top of the milk when you open the new bottle. 

Take that empty bottle to the store with you so you won't have to pay a deposit on another one.

Put a dish towel over the cake so the flies won't get on it. 

Quit jumping on the floor! I have a cake in the oven and you are going to make it fall if you don't quit!

Let me know when the Fuller Brush man comes by, I need to get a few things from him. 

You boys stay close by, the car may not start and I will need you
to help push it off.

There's a dollar in my purse, get 5 gallons of gas when
you go to town. 

Open the back door and see if we can get a breeze through here,
it is getting hot.

You can walk to the store; it won't hurt you to get some exercise. 

Don't sit too close to the TV. It is hard on your eyes.

If you pull that stunt again, I am going to wear you out! 

Don't lose that button; I'll sew it back on after awhile.

Wash under your neck before you come to the table, you have beads of dirt and sweat all under there. 

Get out from under the sewing machine; pumping it
messes up the thread!  

Be sure and fill the lamps this morning so we don't have to do that tonight in the dark.

Here, take this old magazine to the toilet with you when you go, we are almost out of paper out there.

Go out to the well and draw a bucket of water so
I can wash dishes. 

Don't turn the radio on now, I want the battery to be up when the Grand Ole Opry comes on.

No! I don't have 10 cents for you to go to the show. Do you think money grows on trees? 

Eat those peas, they'll make you big and strong like your daddy.

That dog is NOT coming in this house! I don't care how cold it is out there, dogs don't stay in the house.

Sit still! I'm trying to get your hair cut straight and you keep moving and it is all messed up.

Hush your mouth! I don't want to hear words like that! I'll wash your mouth out with soap!

It is time for your system to be cleaned out. I am going to give you a dose of castor oil tonight.

If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you'll get another one when you get home.

Quit crossing your eyes! They will get stuck that way.

Be sure to hang the sign for 50 pounds since today is ice man day.

Soak your foot in this pan of kerosene so that bad cut
won't get infected.

When you take your driving test, don't forget to signal each turn. Left arm straight out the window for a left turn; left arm bent up at the elbow for a right turn; and straight down to the side of the door when you are going to stop.

It's: 'Yes Ma'am!' and 'No Ma'am!' to me, young man,
and don't you forget it!

Bring back Memories?




Our thanks to wife's classmate for these fun memories.



I came across this phrase yesterday "fender skirts." A term I haven't heard in a long time.
Thinking about 'fender skirts' started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice . . .  . Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first.


 Words like "curb feelers."




And, "steering knobs." AKA: "suicide knob" and "Neckers Knobs."


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." 
Many today do not even know what a clutch is or that the dimmer switch used to be on the floor.


Didn't 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 material 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. We take the term "world wide" for granted. This floors me.


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

Go figure.


When's 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 for use in polite company. So instead, we had all that talk 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 "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.


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!


Here's a word I miss: "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And, what was it replaced with? "Coffee maker." 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 "Electrolux." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"


Food for thought: Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore.
Maybe that's what castor oil cured because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore.

 Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most is "supper."
Now everybody says "dinner."

Save a great word. Invite someone to supper.
Discuss fender skirts.



Author Unknown

"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. 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 Levis, 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 Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

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 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.

Pizza were not delivered to our home. But, milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys, and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper 6 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.

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.

Growning up isn't what it used to be; is it?



Video Starts Here


Marsha Turner Hill sent us this enjoyable peek
into our "early" years.


  Remember when . . .

. . . all the girls had ugly gym suits? 

. . . it took five minutes for the TV to warm up?

. . . nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got home from school?

. . . nobody owned a purebred dog?

. . . when a quarter was a decent allowance?

. . . you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny? 

. . . your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces? 

. . . all your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels? 

. . . your windshield was 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?


. . . laundry 
detergent had free glasses, dishes, or towels hidden inside the box?

. . . it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents? 

. . . they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed. And, they did? 

. . . when a 57 Chevy was everyone's dream car? 
And, to cruise, peel out, lay rubber, or watch submarine races was "cool?"

. . . no one ever asked where the car keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition? And, the doors were never locked.

. . . you'd lie on your back in the grass with your friends and say things like, "That cloud looks like a
. . . ?"

. . . baseball was played with NO adults to help kids with the rules of the game?

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

. . . being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited you at home?

. . . both girls and boys sported a six-gun and holster? 

. . . our heros were Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys,  Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Dowdy & the Peanut Gallery, the Lone Ranger, The Shadow, and Roy, Dale, Trigger, and Buttermilk?

 . . . summers were filled with bike rides, baseball games, Hula Hoops, bowling, visits to the pool, eating Kool-Aid powder with sugar? 

. . . wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside were popular treats?

. . . soda pop machines dispensed glass bottles? 


. . .  coffee and soda shops had tableside jukeboxes?


. . . Blackjack, Clove, and Teaberry gum were our favorites--next to Double Bubble, of course? 


. . . milk was delivered to everyone's home in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers?


. . . newsreels ran before the movie which allowed time to refill popcorn? 

. . . no boy would be caught dead without his P F Flyers?


 . . . telephone numbers began with a word prefix...(Waterfall 8-3323) and party lines had to be tolerated?


 . . . pea-
shooters were the weapon of choice for the grade school set? 


. . . you ran home to watch Howdy Doody, Bob Smith, and the Peanut Gallery?


 . . . you received your very own HiFi and began collecting 45 RPM records? 


. . . sitting on your 78 RPM records made that unmistakable crunch and your heart sunk to the floor? 


. . . book after book was filled with Green Stamps and redeemed for a special treasure? 


. . . typing stencils and running copies on the mimeograph machine meant blue hands? 


. . . covering the floor with The Fort Apache Play Set and its hundreds of pieces? 

. . . decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny--miney-moe?" 


. . . mistakes 
were corrected by simply exclaiming, "Do Over?"


 . . the "race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest?


. . . catching lightning bugs could happily occupy an entire evening?


. . . it wasn't odd to have two or three 'Best Friends'?

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


. . . a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot?


. . . Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute commercials for action figures?


. . . "Oly-oly-oxen-free' made perfect sense"?


. . . War was a card game.

. . . baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?


. . . taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin?

. . . water balloons were the ultimate weapon?


If you can remember most or all of these,
then you have lived!




Author Unknown

 1. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.

2. You have a list of fifteen phone numbers to reach your family of three.

3. You call your son's beeper to let him know it's time to eat. He emails you back from his bedroom, "What's for dinner?"

4. Your granddaughter sells Girl Scout cookies via her web site.

5. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa, but you haven't spoken with your next door neighbor yet this year.

6. You check the ingredients on a can of chicken noodle soup to see if it contains Exhinacea.

7. Your mom asks you to send her a JPEG file of your latest grandchild so she can create a new screen saver.

8. Every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen.

9. You pull in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.

10. You buy a computer and six months later it's out-of-date and now sells for half the price you paid.

11. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 50+ years of your life, is cause for panic and so you turn around to get it.

12. Using real money, instead of credit or debit, to make a purchase would be a hassle and take planning.

13. Cleaning up the dining room means getting the fast food bags out of the back seat of your car.

14. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that they don't have email addresses.

15. You consider 2nd-day air delivery painfully slow.

16. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.

17. Your idea of being organized is multiple-colored Post-It notes.

18. You hear most of your jokes via email instead of in person.

19. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.

20. You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling as though you just pulled the plug on a loved one.

21. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your breakfast.

22. You wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and check your emails on your way back to bed.

23. You start tilting your head sideways to smile.

24. You now think of three expressos as "getting wasted."

25. You haven't played solitaire with a deck of cards for years.



Note: Clicking on any of these will take you off our site, but each is fun to experience. To return, you pull up: FengerJune1958.com again and log on.

A great site to remember all the places that once were a part of Chicago. http://www.craigslostchicago.com/



This is a site of numerous lists. The Administrators say they are compiled by knowledgeable experts, of movies, music, and performers; and subjects range from Movies to Inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Music lists, with sound, dominate the site and include the following from our teen era.

Their list of the 100 best films of the 50's is also especially intersesting and has sound trailers for some of the films.

Old movies and serials, http://www.oldies.com/
Old radio shows, http://otrcat.com/, http://www.radiospirits.com/
For " The Shadow" episodes

The most complete 50's site. You will find information and pictures of clothes, hair styles, food, costs, cars, teen life, and of course, TV, movies, music, and dance. You can even subscribe to their newsletter.

A wonderful free site to find your immigrant relatives and perhaps see a photo of of the ship on which they made the journey to America. In some cases ships' registries are available.

Travel along the famed highway from Chicago to the east coast. A wealth of pictures makes one feel you're really there.

The Cars We Drove In The 50s & 60s


Original clips from may of our favorite stars can be enjoyed once more.