Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Those Were The Days

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played, Songs that made the hit parade. Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.

Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight. Gee, our old La Salle ran great. Those were the days.

I remember cruisin,' down Main Street on a Saturday night. I remember drive-ins with names like Toot n' Tellem and Chat n' Chew with carhops on roller skates. I remember hiding in trunks at the drive-in theaters. I remember sock hops and DA's. We used to get up to change channels on the television set. TV's were furniture. Juke Boxes - 5 songs for a quarter! Towels in laundry detergent. S&H Green Stamps. Cardboard record players. Hopalong Cassidy lunch pails. Penny candy that cost a penny. General Practitioners. Bicycles with one gear. The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, and Fibber McGee and Molly on the radio before television. Telephones with cords - party lines. Uncle Miltie and Pinkie Lee.

Sorry, please excuse my waxing nostalgic. I just finished reading Blue's latest posting about the "good old days." This past weekend I was watching the specials "The Golden Age of Television" and "Baby Boomers: The Next Senior Citizens" on PBS. It was a four-hour trek down memory lane. I was once again in the back seat of my father's '49 Packard Clipper. My brother, sisters and I were at the drive-in theater in our pajamas, gorging ourselves on popcorn and Jujubes. We weren't as interested, as our parents in the front seat were, at the movies on the screen. It was the last time as a family unit we ever went to the drive-in. It was Creature Triple Feature Night, with The Incredible Shrinking Man, Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, and The Blob.

It wasn't long after that night that I - (gasp) - discovered girls. Life, as I knew it was never same after that night. Oh, I went to the drive-in many more times, but not with family. My first encounter with camouflage was from the inside of a car with steamed windows. My teen years were frustrating, as they were for my peers, because we seldom got past first base in those days. Those who claimed to have gotten to second were branded "bullshit artists." This was long before The Beatles and the sexual revolution.

Who remembers when the Nabisco logo sported the head and legs of a horse and galloped across the TV screen? Day long Saturday matinees at the theater for 50 cents - three features, a cartoon, news reels and of course, the cliff hangers. We were out of our parent's head practically all day long. I think she looked forward for Saturdays as much as we kids did.

In the early 60s, the place to be seen was Shoney's Big Boy Foodarama on the Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston, W.Va. It was a showcase for all the muscle cars of that era. Roaring lake pipes from the high performance engines was nearly deafening. Most of us looked on in envy, not only for the cars, but over the babes those cars attracted. Chevy Impala Super Sports, Ford Galaxie 500 XLs, Pontiac GTOs, Buick Wildcats and of course Corvette Stingrays dominated the drive-in bays.
....My little puddle jumper, a Nash Rambler Metropolitan, similar to the one pictured, was no muscle car. Cars were often compared by the standard of how many seconds it took to go from 0 to 60 mph. If I'd found a high enough cliff and drove over the edge, it just might hit 55 mph! The best accolades given these little cars usually included the word cute. My present day '98 GMC Sonoma pick up truck with a 4-cylinder engine could take a Metropolitan with little effort.
....But it did get me where I needed to go. It seated two comfortably, an advantage on a date for a little necking down at the submarine races. Beyond necking, I wouldn't recommend it and I am sure my dates would have concurred.

...Slinkies...Twenty Mule Team Borax...Bee Hive hairdos .... poodle skirts ....tinker toys ....the Bobbsey Twins ... Spin & Marty ....Dick and Jane .... inner tubes ....I like Ike ...

(Snap) Okay! I'm back to reality. I'm back in the year 2005. The Way-Back Machine I borrowed from Mr. Peabody and Sherman has been shut down!



jipzeecab said...

My vehicle in High School was my family's blue Rambler stationwagon until just before graduation when we got a Buick special.
You remembered Spin and Marty but you didn't mention "Annette" Funicello. I had dreams about her before she had boobs! (my first older woman)..

Tenderheart said...

I was a teen in the 80's but I do remember some of the these things. It sounds like a fun time.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

My Mom had a Metro. My recollection is that it got about 50 miles to the gallon. This so?

Mike Ashley said...

Hoss, I'm not sure of how many miles per gallon exactly. But it went a long time between gassing up and gas was a heckuva lot cheaper in 62 than now. We used by gas a buck at a time too.