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Memories of Growing Up in the 40's and 50's (and since, even)
email | 1/4/01 (this time) | Unknown

Posted on 01/04/2003 12:12:42 PM PST by Dakotabound

"Hey Dad," My Son 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."

"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"

"We ate at home," I explained. "Your Grandma cooked every day and when your Grandpa got home from work, we all sat down together at the table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I had to sit there until I did like it." By this time, my Son was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer some serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to get my Father's permission to leave the table.

Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I had figured his system could handle it.

My parents never: wore Levi's, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country, flew in a plane or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a "revolving charge card" but they never actually used it. It was only good at Sears-Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears and Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was because soccer back then was just for the girls. We actually did walk to school. By the time you were in the 6th grade it was not cool to ride the bus unless you lived more than 4 or 5 miles from the school, even when it was raining or there was ice or snow on the ground.

Outdoor sports consisted of stickball, snowball fights, building forts, making snowmen and sliding down hills on a piece of cardboard. No skate boards, roller blades or trail bikes.

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 12. It was, of course, black and white, but you could buy a piece of special 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.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza. It was a Sam's Pizza at the East end of Fruit Street in Milford. My friend, Steve took me there to try what he called "pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down and plastered itself against my chin. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

Pizzas were not delivered to your house back then, but the milk was. I looked forward to winter because the cream in the milk was on top of the bottle and it would freeze and push the cap off. Of course us kids would get up first to get the milk and eat the frozen cream before our mother could catch us.

I never had a telephone in my room. Actually the only phone in the house was in the hallway and it was on a party line. Before you could make a call, you had to listen in to make sure someone else wasn't already using the line. If the line was not in use an Operator would come on and ask "number please" and you would give her the number you wanted to call.

There was no such thing as a computer or a hand held calculator. We were required to memorize the "times tables." Believe it or not, we were tested each week on our ability to perform mathematics with nothing but a pencil and paper. We took a spelling test every day. There was no such thing as a "social promotion." If you flunked a class, you repeated that grade the following year. Nobody was concerned about your "self esteem." We had to actually do something praiseworthy before we were praised. We learned that you had to earn respect.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and most all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered the "Milford Daily News" six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. 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 on screen. Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing and they just didn't do that in the movies back then. I had no idea what they did in French movies. French movies were considered dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.

You never saw the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers or anyone else actual kill someone. The heroes back then would just shoot the gun out of the bad guys hand. There was no blood and violence.

When you were sick, the Doctor actually came to your house. No, I am not making this up. Drugs were something you purchased at a pharmacy in order to cure an illness.

If we dared to "sass" our parents, or any other grown-up, we immediately found out what soap tasted like. For more serious infractions, we learned about something called a "this hurts me more than it hurts you." I never did quite understand that one?

In those days, parents were expected to discipline their kids. There was no interference from the government. "Social Services" or "Family Services" had not been invented (The ninth and tenth amendments to the constitution were still observed in those days.)

I must be getting old because I find myself reflecting back more and more and thinking I liked it a lot better back then. If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your kids or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they wet themselves laughing. Growing up today sure ain't what it used to be.


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This has several anonymous postings on the web, so I have no idea who the author was.

Posted for your reminiscing pleasure on this Saturday in January.

1 posted on 01/04/2003 12:12:42 PM PST by Dakotabound
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To: Dakotabound
White Castle sliders have been around since 1921.
2 posted on 01/04/2003 12:16:00 PM PST by Willie Green
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To: Dakotabound
I was born in the late '70s and grew up in the 1980s. I remember the '80s as a simpler better time.
3 posted on 01/04/2003 12:16:01 PM PST by Commander8
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To: Dakotabound
I remember being adjured very strongly, when starting elamentary shcool, "If you get a spanking at school, you'll get a bigger one when you come home." In those, the paddle was used, nobody was hurt but discipline was maintained.
4 posted on 01/04/2003 12:18:09 PM PST by xJones
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To: Willie Green
White Castles - Also known as "sames" or "zacklys", because they make your breath smell zackly the same as your butt.

The restaurant can also be identified by the following names - Whitey Castile's, the Porcelain Palace, or my personal favorite, Le Chateau Blanc (for 5 star dining and the finest in French cuisine).

5 posted on 01/04/2003 12:19:27 PM PST by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: Willie Green
I've eaten two White Castle sliders in my entire life, and both gave me splitting headaches! Maybe they were vintage 1921 hamburgers.
6 posted on 01/04/2003 12:19:59 PM PST by mountaineer
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To: Dakotabound
Born in 1947. Remember those days well and wish time travel was a reality and I could go back.
7 posted on 01/04/2003 12:22:57 PM PST by rooster1
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To: Chancellor Palpatine; mountaineer

WHITE CASTLE HAMBURGERS - SLIDERS
Yield: 10 servings

      2 lb Lean Ground Beef
    1/4 c  Dry Minced Onion
    1/4 c  Hot Water
      3 oz Jar Strained Beef Baby Food
    2/3 c  Clear Beef Broth
      1 pk Hot Dog Buns

Soak 1/4 cup dry minced onions in 1/4 cup hot water until soft while you mix 2 pounds ground beef with 3 ounce jar of strained beef baby food and 2/3 cup clear beef broth. Keep patties uniform using 1/4 cup meat mixture for each patty, flattened to 1/4" and fried quickly in 1 T oil per patty on a hot griddle. Make 3 or 4 holes in patties while frying. Cut hot dog buns in half. Cut off rounded ends. Fry 1 t onions under each patty as you turn to fry 2nd side. Slip each patty into bun with 2 dill pickle chips, mustard and catsup.


8 posted on 01/04/2003 12:25:25 PM PST by Willie Green
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To: Dakotabound
I was born in 1944 - to place myself on the time line.

I still remember that you didn't sass other kids' parents either. Because, somehow my parents found out about it before I could get home.

And we never locked our doors...how would our friends get in?

And we only had one car, Dad used it to get to work, so we had to walk everywhere, or wait for Dad to come home.

And we went to the Saturday matinee theater for a double feature and a cartoon for a dime!

We drank a lot of orange juice since we had five orange trees in our backyard, and we played in the orange groves at the end of the block (So Calif)

We would go to the other end of the block to my uncle's house and make fresh peach ice cream every Sat night during the summer. Course, we had to crank it because they hadn't put electric motors on the ice cream makers yet.

And we dressed up to go to church every Sunday morning. Coat and tie was the standard.

We would also sit around the radio in the evenings and listen to the variety and drama shows. Boy, did we have an imagination in those days. No TV screen to show us what was going on.

I'll have to keep remembering...more later, perhaps.

9 posted on 01/04/2003 12:26:45 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Dakotabound
Just last week I was telling my kids that I was 14 when I first ate pizza. It was on the way back from a Boy Scout canoe trip into Minnesota & Canada (Charles L. Sommers). A couple of girls in Owatonna, MN bought it at a place called King Tut's Pizza. The girls loved our Southern accents and treating a friend and me to pizza. That was in 1966.
10 posted on 01/04/2003 12:27:20 PM PST by Arkansawyer
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To: Dakotabound; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
Some of this sounds familiar. It gripes my butt to no end if kids don't say "sir" or "m'am", including and especially my kids.

Actually I remember an awful lot of this, except the snow. It doesn't snow much in south Georgia.

11 posted on 01/04/2003 12:27:27 PM PST by SeeRushToldU_So
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To: Dakotabound
I tell my kids that we had to walk 5 miles to school (one way) through the deep snow watching out for ravenous wolves and bandits. We were too poor for sack lunches and the one room school didn't have a cafeteria so we had to go home for lunch.

When the kids say, "but, dad you grew up in Los Angeles", I tell them about global warming.
12 posted on 01/04/2003 12:28:10 PM PST by Mike Darancette
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To: rooster1
That is just what Trent Lott was tryin to TELL y'all. If Thurmond had won the 1948 election, none of this would ever have gone away, and none of this BS we live with now would ever have come upon us.
13 posted on 01/04/2003 12:29:09 PM PST by crystalk
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To: LiteKeeper
I was always more afraid of my friend's parents than my own! If another kid's folks got on to you, well my folks never defended me if I was scolded by another kid's parent!
14 posted on 01/04/2003 12:30:08 PM PST by Arkansawyer
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To: crystalk
You hit the nail on the head!!!!
15 posted on 01/04/2003 12:31:04 PM PST by rooster1
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To: rooster1
If you could go back you wouldn't have the internet, wouldn't be posting on this fine site and we'd still have to look forward to President Bill Clinton! Don't ever wish to go back! :)
16 posted on 01/04/2003 12:31:12 PM PST by carmody
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To: SeeRushToldU_So
My kids say Yes M'am...and yes Sir....... but they are an exception in this area.......
17 posted on 01/04/2003 12:32:19 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
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To: Dakotabound
Pizzas were not delivered to your house back then, but the milk was.

Living in Pittsburgh in the late 1960s, we had metal milk boxes outside our front door for deliveries from the dairy man. Those boxes were especially useful in winter, when we used them to store our snowballs for the big battle with the other kids in the neighborhood.

18 posted on 01/04/2003 12:34:39 PM PST by mountaineer
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To: rooster1
Born in 1947

Vintage year my friend!

On my 25th anniversary, my kids invited my best man who was also my best friend growing up in those "formative years." After the celebration, he and I drove to where we grew up and drove all around at 5 mph recalling everything we could. Man, talk about time travel. Cheers.

19 posted on 01/04/2003 12:34:54 PM PST by The Citizen Soldier
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To: Arkansawyer
Our big treat was a visit to Howard Johnson's.
20 posted on 01/04/2003 12:35:03 PM PST by Mears
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To: Arkansawyer
AMEN!
21 posted on 01/04/2003 12:35:36 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Mears
Our big treat was a visit to Howard Johnson's.

Restaurants were something we visited only when on vacation. Who could afford to eat out?

22 posted on 01/04/2003 12:39:49 PM PST by mountaineer
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To: Dakotabound
Born in 1937 in Newark, NJ.......can't go home again.
23 posted on 01/04/2003 12:40:45 PM PST by OldFriend
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To: Chancellor Palpatine
"Le Chateau Blanc (for 5 star dining and the finest in French cuisine)."

LOL! I went to school at the Culinary Institute of America and there we used to call Ketchup "Sauce Americane" :)

24 posted on 01/04/2003 12:41:58 PM PST by volchef
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To: Commander8
I grew up in the 60's. The entire article rings true. The first calculator I saw was in a college chemistry class in 1973. I was an expert with the slide rule and the requisite scientific notation as we all were. I remember diagraming sentences for my English teacher. I actually had phonics in the second and third grade. I used to love going to a field and blowing the heads off of gophers with my trusty semi-automatic 22. Mom would say, "Be careful and have a nice time," as I went out the door with a couple of boxes of shells. I had Hunter's Safety when I was 12 so It was OK. Kids were kids and we weren't scared of nothing except for anyone who was older than we were. If the person was way older, we actually used the words sir or maam.

However, I am now 48 and I love my X box! I don't have any respect for kids these days because they don't have any respect for me.
25 posted on 01/04/2003 12:43:41 PM PST by montomike
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To: Dakotabound
Thanks for the chuckle and the memories, especially that tri colored screen that was taped to the tv. We always went over to my Aunt's house every Sunday evening to watch "Ponderosa" because she had one of those.
26 posted on 01/04/2003 12:44:26 PM PST by Conservababe
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To: Commander8
I remember the '80s as a simpler better time.

ROTHFLMHO!!

Man, I must be getting old. I remember the 50's ...How annoying is that?

Speaking of annoying, how about gettin' your hands off my Rogain!

27 posted on 01/04/2003 12:47:15 PM PST by The Citizen Soldier
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To: carmody
"Don't ever wish to go back!"

Born in 37. I'd give up computers, calculators, TV, etc., if I could return to the early days of the 40s and 50s.

BTW, there was a Mc Donalds in Glendale in the early 50s that served something they called a hamburger that they charged 13 cents for or $1/dozen and they wern't worth half of that!
28 posted on 01/04/2003 12:48:11 PM PST by dalereed
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To: Willie Green
I'm going try this tonight, if they come close, I will be forever indebted to you!
29 posted on 01/04/2003 12:48:36 PM PST by SAMWolf
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To: carmody
But times were much simpler then, people looked out for each other and technology had not transformed us into "Do unto others before they do unto you".
30 posted on 01/04/2003 12:48:47 PM PST by rooster1
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To: Dakotabound
Born in 1943, at the New Jersey Shore. Used to walk 1/2 mile to Hwy. 35 and catch a bus (10 cents) to Asbury Park and the amusements. My paper route paid me almost a dollar a week!

There was Little League, but no Pop Warner football or Biddy Basketball, and only foreigners played soccer. We fished, clammed, swam and played "guns" all summer.

We didn't have a telephone, but our neighbor did. Being "on relief" was shameful; military service was honorable.

We bought milk with a beautiful layer of cream on top by the gallon direct from the dairy farm a mile west of home.

We didn't have much, but since most of the folks we knew were in the same boat, we didn't think of ourselves as poor.
31 posted on 01/04/2003 12:51:13 PM PST by JimRed
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To: Conservababe
...that tri colored screen that was taped to the tv. We always went over to my Aunt's house every Sunday evening to watch "Ponderosa" because she had one of those."

We have to be related!

I can still remember my Aunt "Liz" calling to invite us over to watch color TV. It was not until some years later that I realized that faces in color were not half red - half blue!

32 posted on 01/04/2003 12:51:17 PM PST by The Citizen Soldier
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To: The Citizen Soldier
March 28, 1947 to be exact. Yep, that was a very good year.
33 posted on 01/04/2003 12:53:37 PM PST by rooster1
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To: xJones
That's right!

And ... only the liberals have made a connection between abuse and discipline.

My dad was a strict disciplinarian - I can remember having company and my mother putting out a dish of candy on the coffee table in front of us (as we always sat with our parents on the couch). As the dish of candy was passed to our guests, they in turn passed it to me - I looked at my dad, and only when he nodded his head in approval did I reach for A PIECE of candy. It would never have occurred to me to take a piece of candy without his approval.

Although I was always the rebel in the family, I adored my dad and followed in his conservative footsteps. My dad always regretted he was too young for WWI, and too old for WWII. He sadly died at 49 of a heart attack in 1953.
34 posted on 01/04/2003 12:55:49 PM PST by CyberAnt
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To: Dakotabound
Grew up in the fifties.And there was fast food, it just was not as prevelant as today.But going out to eat was for special occasions.We did have a TV and bought our first color set about 1960.And i can remember if ya moved the color TV the guy had to come out with this electric magnitized ring because moving it screwed up its color adjustment.

I do remember the forts, digging holes in backyards, having orange fights in the orchard,riding our bikes everywhere are what occupied out time after school. Oh yeah the first car i remember my folks had as a kid was a 1947 Ford and I remember my favorite place to ride in it was on the ledge behind the back seat and the window with no child restraint devises.And I survived to write this post!

35 posted on 01/04/2003 12:58:36 PM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: Dakotabound
I must be getting old because I find myself reflecting back more and more and thinking I liked it a lot better back then

Me too.

With 50 TV channels to watch today I still can't find anything that compared to "Terry and the Pirates", or "Paul Lavalle and the Cities Service Band of America." or "Fred Allen" or "Amos and Andy"....and so many other radios greats.

I swear I got more education from 9 years with the Sisters of Mercy than some kids today get after 4 years at some liberal diploma mill.

My wife and I got our first Sears 'credit card' in 1960.

I cut it up and sent it back to them a few years ago when their interest charge hit 22%. They used to be a retail store now they're loan sharks.

Cripes I was even a Democrat back then when they stood for something other than getting re-elected every couple of years. Anybody remember Cong. Freddie St. Germain from Woonsocket, RI.

He coulda been Clinton's guru!

Ah, well....onward and upward!

36 posted on 01/04/2003 12:58:47 PM PST by JimVT
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To: Dakotabound
....we were expected to say thank you, please, I'm sorry, Pleased to meet you Mr., Mrs., or sir or mam.

Our aunts, uncles, teachers, priests, nuns, were allowed to correct us and we were made to listen.

We had no dishwashers but ourselves, and every night took turns washing, drying and sweeping the floor.

We had no showers so every morning we would take turns, oldest one first, and stand in the tub to wash ourselves off.

Saturday we got a full bath, but warm water was limited because of the small water heater so we were forced to top off the past bathers water to keep it warm.

We were woke up every morning by the sound of my father knocking the cold coals from the heater and refilling it with the coal in the coal bin.

We had to stand over the heater vent and dress, because there was no forced air heaters at that time, or we were to poor to own one.

Cokes were a dime and served in a fountain glass at the dime store, and twinkies were a nickel.

37 posted on 01/04/2003 1:00:11 PM PST by GrandMoM
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To: The Citizen Soldier
Nope. My Aunt's name was Rachel. She was an old maid who had a good job and could afford fancy stuff. I well remember sitting on her nice new furniture, which she covered totally in clear plastic that stuck to my legs. LOL
38 posted on 01/04/2003 1:01:18 PM PST by Conservababe
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To: Dakotabound
Born in 1950; this all rings true. Thanks for putting it up!
39 posted on 01/04/2003 1:02:10 PM PST by facedown
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To: Dakotabound
First American space flights. Our school did not have TV. But, I took my transistor radio to school, and teacher let me listen to the reports and scrawl them on the chalkboard.

First time I saw color television. Next door neighbor's house. We watched "The Wonderful World of Disney" At 7:00 EST on NBC.

Mickey, and Goofy, and Donald and Tnkerbell on small screen, just like in the theater was a big deal.

40 posted on 01/04/2003 1:03:01 PM PST by don-o
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To: Dakotabound
Are you about to move to the Dakotas yet?
41 posted on 01/04/2003 1:07:08 PM PST by SoDak
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To: don-o
The McCartneys down the street had the first color television in our neighborhood. We'd all go over to watch Shari Lewis.
42 posted on 01/04/2003 1:08:23 PM PST by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
I still have a metal milk box by my back door. I use it to keep my gardening supplies in it.
43 posted on 01/04/2003 1:08:47 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: lexington minuteman 1775
I remember my favorite place to ride in it was on the ledge behind the back seat and the window with no child restraint devises....I had to sit between my older brother and sister who each had a window. I can remember them poking and teasing each other until one of the hit me, then I would cry and my mom or dad yelled at them. Boy, did I get it back when they got me alone.
44 posted on 01/04/2003 1:10:24 PM PST by GrandMoM
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To: CyberAnt
Drive-in movies? Remember the $2/carload with 3 really cheesy sci-fi flicks or the Elvis Presley night specials? :)
45 posted on 01/04/2003 1:10:48 PM PST by xJones
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To: Dakotabound
Born April 1975. I remember big hair and legwarmers.
46 posted on 01/04/2003 1:12:13 PM PST by Skwidd
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To: Dakotabound
I was born in the early fifties in NYC. THe neigborhood was a melting pot, Italian, Jewish, German and Irish. Went back there three years ago, and the kid says "Dad, you grew up here"? Sadly, it's just not the same.

I really believe that the day that JFK was assassinated was the very day that all things changed here in the USA. Shortly after that, the riots broke out and the cities burned. We got LBJ and all the inherent evil things that came with him. The serenity of the fifties gave way to the insanity of the sixties and thereafter. I swear that JFK's demise was the catalyst for all this. since most Americans lost faith in the society that was left for them.

I may be wrong, but it seems that after the severe shock of that event, Americans somehow, for a time anyway, lost our way. Thats when the liberals/socialists saw their chance and they pounced. It has taken us this long to begin a correction of that, although it started with Reagan. Hopefully, this correction will continue and be successful.

Would that it be so.

47 posted on 01/04/2003 1:13:22 PM PST by tenthirteen
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To: Dakotabound
I can identify with this posting. My first recollection of a McDonalds was at the Traffic Circle in Columbus, GA in about 1956. As to fast food, that was a luxury!

At the same time, I remember learning the math tables and being tested, with the goal of becoming a "Minute Man".

Yes, despite the threat of polio and small pox, life was much better then. Much simpler and more honest.

I remember talking to a college student from New York City back in the late 60's at the University of Wisconsin. Being a Wisconsin native, I politely asked him how he liked Madison, then one of the premier cities to live and raise a family. He told me that it was okay, but needed some of the "vices of New York City to make it worth living in." I would dearly love to get my hands on that pompous, "sophisticated" puke for just five minutes today. I'd give him some "sophisticated vice" to last him the rest of his miserable life...all two minutes of it!

48 posted on 01/04/2003 1:13:56 PM PST by Redleg Duke
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To: Willie Green
Thanks...I think! :-)
49 posted on 01/04/2003 1:16:11 PM PST by Redleg Duke
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To: Dakotabound
Thanks for posting this.

Weirdly, I relate to some of that even though I was born in 1972. I grew up with relative who were 50+ years older than myself.
The house we lived in was a renovated/former dairy with cold concrete floors and a wood stove for heat. Back before the depression,and subdivisions, they had cattle and horses. Grandma grew much of her own food and canned it. I didn't eat fast food until I was like 10 years old or so and that was when my dad and I snuck away to Mc Donald's. I didn't discover the joy of pizza until I was a teen. Grandma always cooked dinner every night and on holidays and the other women helped clean up afterward while the men went outside and lounged.
Girls didn't call boys, it was too forward. There were strict rules for dating.

I feel old now. lol
50 posted on 01/04/2003 1:17:56 PM PST by Pintobean
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