For as long as I can remember, August brings out the nostalgia in me. I think it has something to do with school starting soon and eons ago realizing that I had actually passed a grade and was entering the next level. Then it was watching my kids go from 3rd to 4th.........9th to 10th, and finally (gulp) graduating. Now it's my two grandkids; one entering high school and the other charging into first grade. Where does the time go? And today, it's a nice Sunday afternoon and the thoughts of days gone by enter. I laugh, I cry, I ponder the good old days and sometimes I just wish I could reverse it all and start over again! Ok, maybe not!!!
So with no real course in mind or goal to reach, just enjoy if you can, (har, har), the wanderings of my mind.
I remember wash day at the Sheda home. Mondays! Agh! All the clothes on the kitchen floor; the old washer (with a wringer) and Mom not in the best of moods. Wash days was always Monday! And Tuesdays was hang 'em dry day. We had the long clothesline and those little clothes pegs. Sheets were hung on the outside lines and undies and other unmentionables were hung inside lines. Tacky if those undies were exposed!! Oops, first Mom had to clean the clothesline with a damp cloth. Tuesday afternoon, the clothes were taken down and ready to be ironed!!! Ah, you do remembering ironing, don't you?
Do you remember the language of the 50's and 60's? Groovy, can you dig it, burnin' rubber, chick and being "outta bread?" How about those Chinese Fire Drills every now and then? Then there's far out, the fuzz, neato, padiddle, peddle-pushers and also ridin' shotgun. Do you remember what a church key is (or was)? Ya had to have one, just in case!
How about some of those great TV shows? Candid Camera, American Bandstand, (with Shindig & Hullabaloo in the same genre), Combat, Dr. Kildaire, Ben Casey, Have Gun Will Travel, (who starred in this show?), Hootenanny, Outer Limits, The Flying Nun, (remember this lady?) and The Red Skelton Show? There were so many good shows back then. Today we have "Honey Boo-Boo."
And what did your medicine cabinet look like back then. Dr. Mom always had a huge supply of Mercurochrome, iodine, rubbing alcohol & hydrogen peroxide on hand. First wash the scrape with soap and water, put the peroxide on (to watch all the germs scatter), then the alcohol poured in (ouch), then the rest of the stuff. Down your leg or arm depending on where the cut was, usually was a red streak from the Mercurochrome? Or something. Mom would say, "We'll see what it looks like in the morning. No use bothering the doctor at this hour." Did it work? I'm here and have all my toes and fingers. We also drank the nastiest cough syrup in the world. We stopped coughing just so as not to have to take another swig of that stuff!! Then, it was Vick's Vapo-Rub all over the chest, upper neck area and sometimes even some on the nose.
Do you remember Elvis, Marilyn, Ricky Nelson, sock hops, the Twist & Mashed Potato? How about Connie Francis singing "Who's Sorry Now?" And my favorite, "To Sir With Love" by Lulu. How about favorite movie lines such as "Love means never having to say you're sorry" (Love Story); "Here's Lookin' at you kid" (Casablanca); "May the force be with you" (Star Trek) and "What we have here is a failure to communicate" (Cool Hand Luke).
But as I reminisce, I especially those big Sunday dinners. Mom went to early Mass, came home and commenced to cooking. Was today gonna be fried chicken, roast beef or tenderly cooked pork chops? A big bowl of mashed potatoes with the most delicious gravy one could imagine. Fresh corn, peas, beans or perhaps all three. Fresh tomatoes from the garden, all cut and ready to eat and Mom's homemade salad dressing. Out of this world. And sometimes, she made "wilted lettuce" with bacon & its' greasin's and topped with vinegar. Now that was Sunday dinner!
Ahh, the good ol' days. Finally, we had it so rough growing up that if we wanted to change the TV station--we actually had to get up off our cans and manually turn the channler by hand. Course, Dad would quickly holler, "Don't change the %^$&^% TV. Gunsmoke is gonna be on in a couple of hours."
Finally, this column sends a great big, (and belated) Happy 70th Anniversary to Roland & Lorraine Staker. Seventy years! Deb's had me for 39 years so far and I'm not sure if she will keep me another thirty one. I have my doubts. I include the congratulations in this nostalgia column because I most distinctly remember the "Family Tee" miniature golf course. It was always a place to go and have some fun and the course was quite challenging, to be sure. Also, I went to school with Randy during my four years at South Tama. Randy, can you believe it will be 45 years next year that we graduated????
That's The Way I Saw It!
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