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I remember, do you?

February 8, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Do you remember scooping the loop?

Do you remember Saturday morning cartoons and westerns in black and white? Television violence was when Tom hit Jerry over the head with a bat or a board.

Do you remember when our role models were Roy Rogers, Daniel Boone, and Mrs. Cleaver?

Do you remember nickel root beer at the A&W, and pop stacked vertically in a red Coke machine? Did you go for the Coke or the strawberry Crush?

Do you remember Blackjack chewing gum and those wax Coke bottles filled with colored sugar water?

Do you remember when Pizza Pie wasn’t delivered to your house but milk was?

Do you remember walking into a classroom when you were a kid and smelling the mimeograph machine and instantly knew there was going to be a test? I loved that smell, and NOT because there was going to be a test!

Do you remember whoever was taking pictures inserting a blue flashbulb into a large silver reflector? Do you remember the sound and how you couldn’t see for a minute after it went off?

And if the camera was a Polaroid, do you remember the magic in waiting 60 seconds as the image slowly appeared?

Do you remember playing cops and robbers? Remember how the guns didn’t have an orange tip and shot either caps or corks? We called them pop guns too.

It was probably in the late sixties or seventies before ice cube trays were made out of plastic, but do you remember wrestling with the metal ones that had a lever?

Do you remember going to buy new tennis shoes? The only choices were high top or low, black or white, and they were Converse.

Do you remember newsreels before the movie? I remember feeling cheated somehow when they started putting commercials on before the film. After all, I had already paid to get in, why should I suffer through commercials?

Do you also remember how big the screen was? Once they broke the theaters into multiple screen businesses, a lot was lost because of the smaller screen size.

Do you remember when street skates were metal wheeled contraptions that fastened to the bottom of your shoes? If you didn’t have a key, you’d better hope one of the other kids did, because they wouldn’t stay on and you risked a scraped knee if you didn’t tighten them.

Did you ever make a skateboard out of a pair of those skates and a piece of wood? How fast did you go? Did you take a spill?

Many years ago my dad brought home a large piece from the furniture store. It had tubes, a turntable, one large speaker behind a cloth grill, and was called a Hi-Fi. I doubt there are many kids who have ever seen one. Like pre-color TV, we had no idea what a stereo was.

Do you remember the little center button on the Hi-Fi you had to turn and pull up in order to play 45s? Otherwise, it was setup to play either 78s or the new fangled 33 1/3 or Long Play (LP) records.

My kids have cell phones. Not long ago the teen line was in. When I was a kid we had one phone. It was an old rotary which hung in a special alcove made in the wall. It was beige. You always took it off the hook slowly and quietly, because chances were someone else was already using the party line.

Do you remember when the headlight dimmer was on the floor of the car? And that the ignition switch was on the dash? How many kids today know how to make hand signals for a turn or a stop, much less how to shift a manual transmission?

Do you remember when “filler up” meant they washed the windows too?

How come more of us kids weren’t hurt when we were jumping around in the car while mom drove to the store? There was no such thing as seat belts, much less child restraint seats.

Did your mom make you macaroni and cheese when you were a kid? My mom did. It was mixed in a casserole dish using Velveeta and cooked macaroni before being baked in the oven. It didn’t come in a box and even the idea of a microwave oven back then would have scared us.

Who ever invented Ramen noodles? Even at 5 boxes for a dollar I’m not sure mom would have let us eat that!

I know you can still buy Kool-aide, but did any of you NOT have a pitcher of that in the refrigerator at all times during the summer? We never had pop unless it was a special occasion like an extended family reunion, or when one of the grandparents wanted to spoil us.

Do you remember the first time you ate Pizza Pie? It wasn’t called pizza. And when you unwittingly took that first bite, did you burn the roof of your mouth? And then when you yanked it away from your mouth, did the cheese slide off and swing down and burn your chin? Part of the learning experience, eating pizza pie takes a knack.

I remember. Do you?

Until next time--

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In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2011 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.

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