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When I Was a Kid... Page 8

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I remember a carefree childhood. Coke came in green bottles and cost a dime. I rode my tricycle on wooden sidewalks, our milkman drove a horse-drawn wagon and brought the milk inside the house. The elevator at the department store had an operator who announced what was on the next floor...ladies wear, lingere, greeting cards. Little Lady perfume and lipstick for Christmas. One special gift for Christmas and you anticipated it for months. Everyone played outside until sunset, scrub baseball, jump the ball, skipping, double dutch, a Chinese skipping rope made from thick elastics Dad brought home from work. Getting your first color tv, even though there were only 2 channels and you had to get up and change the channel for your dad. Selling Girl Guide Cookies for 50cents, spending the summer at the family cottage. Finding pop bottles worth 2 cents and taking them to the corner store for a bag full of penny candy. Getting 50 cents on Saturday and getting a Lois Lane and a Superman comic, along with a popsicle, and some licorice with and ice cream cone for your mother. The candy man who drove his truck with music who waited while you ran inside for a quarter. You rode your bicycle for hours, knew everyone in the neighborhood, the teacher were Mister, Miss or Mrs Smith. There were children who didn't pass and repeated a grade. Teachers wrote the lessons on the board, and for a week you and another student cleaned the chalk erasers by banging them together. You had to raise your hand to leave your seat and had to ask permission using please and thank you. You got new shoes and two sets of new clothes to start school in September. Everyone in the family sat down together to eat a meat and potatoes supper at 5:30. You ate leftovers. MAH - Marla Handley

I remember music by Spike Jones, Johnny Ray, Dinah Shore, and Frank Sinatra were all the rage. Then in 1954, Bill Haley and the Comets made their debut. As a kid in school I learned to SPELL. Today, I am the "spell check" for my grandchildren. Can't anyone spell any more? I usually never made a misteak! - Richard Kirk

I remember Ipana commercials (Brusha, brusha, brusha, with the new Ipana) with Bucky Beaver; and Crest's Tuffy Tooth; and watching Mighty Mouse, come to save the day; and The Lone Ranger and Cisco Kid with his sidekick, Pancho. I remember summer vacations when Mom, Dad, and I would drive from California to Wisconsin to see my grandparents. I remember catching honey bees and bumble bees in glass jars as they buzzed around all the clover on the neighbor's lawns. I remember theme parties in the 1960's (Mexican, Beatnik, Hawaiian, etc.) when I was a teenager. - Helen

When I was about 9 or 10 we would walk to the roller skating rink after school for the afternoon session. I remember hearing Elvis ("Hound Dog," of course) on the jukebox while drinking a vanilla "shake" at the snake bar. I never really thought about the fact that he lived here! Also my buddies and I would pitch a makeshift tent in the yard and "camp out" with our flashlights, a couple of cokes and a big sack of Oreos and our parents knew there was no reason for concern. Those were the days!! Memphis, Tn. - Robert Vaughn

When I was a kid I remember we wore "school clothes," that you wern't suposed to get dirty. After school we'd get a baseball game together and of course, get our clothes dirty. Mom would scold you at the dinner table and when your Dad thought she wasn't looking he'd lean in and whisper, "did you get a hit?" and you knew everything was going to be okay. - Peter J. Gallanis

I remember back going to a one-room school as a child. Those were the days. All grades in one school. Christmas programs in front of everyone. We all had a part to verse. Sledding down the hills when winter, playing games when too cold inside. The worst day of my life was getting my tongue stuck on the fuel tank for the school, OUCH! - Marie

I remember real, true quiet! After, say, 11 or 12 at night, you hardly heard a sound in our neighborhood - just the very rare car of someone returning from the late shift. And this was a neighborhood of Boston, not out in the country! Nowadays, it is almost impossible to find real quiet unless you go far out into a rural area. I miss that most of all. - Jim Sullivan

First, hello to all of the younger folks who are doing school projects or whatever. Here's hoping you have as many happy memories of your youth as we have of ours! Did you have a Rag Man in your neighborhood? "Any old rags?" he'd say, as he drove his wagon down the street. And if my Mom had any, she'd bring them out to him. I'm not really sure what he did with them - I guess he recycled them. Other things you don't see today: The Milkman and The Baker, making deliveries to your doorstep. The Family Doctor, coming to your house when needed. Fuller Brush Man or Avon Lady, both of whom always gave out a small gift or sample when you came to the door, even if you didn't buy anything, or any other travelling salespeople, like encyclopedia salesmen or vacuum cleaner salesman. Small corner stores run by neighborhood types, who would let you run a tab if times were tight - Charlie was our guy and he kept your tab on a piece of cardboard, in pencil. Never any arguments when it came time to pay, either. He got it right, always. Kids played ball or street hockey or had bike races on the street until 10 at night or so on summer evenings, and many parents would sit on the porches or stoops and watch, while having a beer or cold coke. And when your parents called you in, in you went, middle of a game or not :-) - Jim Sullivan

Hi, can anyone help me find photographs of Mattapan square/Blue Hill ave from the 1950s-1970s from River st. north to Calendar St. esp. of the Oriental Theater and Morton theater? I grew up in Mattapan from 1962-1968 before moving to Brockton. I would like to remember my childhood memories with photographs of what I remember. Thank You! Phil Klem bird383@msn.com - Phil Klem

I'm convinced that burning leaves on the curbside was healthy, because the aroma made me feel the homiest of home, at peace, all right. The autumn leaves on the trees, before they were burned, were the grandest decorations of any season, made all the sweeter by the chill in the air and the progress of the new school year at the Charles Logue School in Mattapan, Massachusetts. There was less and less afternoon in which to go bike riding by then, but soon we'd get out our sleds and coast down the streets before that became illegal, too. - Paul Trusten

In Boston schools in the early 1960s, boys and girls were in separate schoolyards. When the bell rang, we formed lines according to our class, two by two, and they had to be straight, and we could not stand with our hands in our pockets. Each class filed into the building by its own line, one line at a time, until all were inside. Boys had to remove their hats when entering the building. But the effect of all this did not yield automatons. It yielded American citizens with a conscience and a purpose. It built young men and women who respected each other and the society to which they belonged. It build a working social order, which, now, in 2005, is in danger of collapsing completely. - Paul Trusten

We played baseball all day, almost every day, during the summer. If we had enough players, we played regulation games. If we only had 12 or 14, we played a variation called "doubles." Anyone else do this? My friends and I never were much for Little League. We got to play a lot more when we ran our own games. When you organized your own games, you played from sun up to sundown and got up to bat 20 or 25 times and everybody played every inning. We'd play with any ball we could find. Our bats were often chipped and occasionally cracked - held together with lots of tape. Always real wood, too; no aluminum bats in those days. For bases you used whatever was handy - paper bags held down by rocks, so the wind wouldn't blow second base into the outfield, or someone's jacket or shirt! The same held true, to a lesser extent, for football, hockey, basketball, during their respective seasons, but baseball was THE game in our neighborhood of Boston. - Jim Sullivan

Laying on the front lawn in the evening looking at zillions of stars. Going to cubscout meetings and having fun at the pinewood derbys, rocket races, campouts, (no child molestings going on there!). Playing "spotlight" with about 20 neighborhood kids until parents yelled for us to "come-in because it's late," which meant about 9pm on summer night. Stocking up on candy bars (10 for $1) at the local pharmacy before going to the double-feature matinee (about $2.50) with my older brother--we either walked several miles to the theater or rode our banana-seat bikes. Delivering papers each afternoon and collecting cash from my customers and stuffing the cash into my pockets--(sometimes I was out collecting cash until 9:30pm and I never had any trouble back then). Adventuring out into wooded or unexplored areas for hours, walking barefoot the whole time, catching tadpoles, frogs, minnows, fireflies, or whatever, just to stare at them for several hours or days in a glass jar and then let them go. Going to school and not getting in trouble, otherwise, the worst possible thing would happen, you would get sent to the office!!!! Some kids really screwed up and actually got suspended and if kids got suspended back then it was usually for fighting and then they had to go home and face the wrath of their parents! - D. Barnett

Playing TV tag and Barbie Dolls with bubble cut hairdo. Racing home to watch Dark Shadows. Listening to Gene Pitney and going to the drive in movies. Good Humor ice cream trucks, Gumbie and Pokie, and Frankie and Annette Beach Movies. - Shelley

When I was in grade school there many small shops. J.J. Newberry's had a long lunch counter. If you bought a banana split, you could pop a balloon. Inside was a slip of paper and maybe you would win a free banana split the next time around. Kute Kiddie sold children's clothes and the girls bought their Brownie and Girl Scout uniforms there. The town was bustling on Friday evenings. You would always run into people that you knew. Dewey's Drugstore had the old fashioned milk shake machine and a soda fountain. I worked on tobacco in the summers during Jr. High. My friends and I would take our paychecks and shop for school clothes, meeting up with other friends downtown. You could go places alone or with a friend and not worry. We would trick or treat on Halloween with a bunch of neighborhood kids. Parents didn't have to go with us or check our candy. In the summer, we would go to Grandmother's Garden paddle pool and would spend the whole day soaking in the knee high water, splashing and having a ball. We would run through the sprinkler for hours on end. The winters we would ice skate at the outdoor rink at the high school until it seemed our toes would freeze off. Sometimes we went to Sycamore Street Rink, where they had an outdoor fire going to keep us warm. We would also sled down a huge hill at the High School. We walked everywhere. I remember when I was about six, my older sister and I got Thumbalina Dolls from Santa. You would wind up the button on her back and her head moved around just like a real baby. My grandfather bought me a Susie Smart Doll from the A&P store. They would display their toys way up on the top shelf. She had blonde hair and came with a blackboard and school desk. She was my first talking doll. I would also get coconut custard from the Deli at the A&P. It was sooo yummy! As a pre-teen I had many crushes on movie stars. Troy Donahue, who was much older, Peter Tork of the Monkees (because he was the shy one), Sadjid Kahn from the short lived show Maya. That was the show about an Elephant. My best friend, Della and I loved the movie, Romeo and Juliet. We had a wicked crush on Leonard Whiting. We went to the Strand Theater and spent one whole day watching the movie, over and over. We knew all the lines from the movie and it was our first introduction to Shakespere. 007 was cool and Sean Connery will always be the ONLY James Bond, to me. In fifth grade we watched The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Some kids had spy cases and we all played international spys. We played marbles, made forts out of cardboard boxes, rode our bikes and stayed out until dark. It is nice to remember the simpler times. - Shelley M. Massachusetts

I never lived in the 60's cuz Im only 12 but i absoloutly LOVE the music from the 60's. Especially The Beatles and The Ramones. I also think it would be awsome to go to a three day concert like Woodstock. I love punk rock concerts and a three day one would be AWSOME! Whoever lived in the 60's is soooo lucky. 1. to be able to dress like that (no offence but you wouldnt catch anyone dressed like that these days, but i still love it.) And 2. again, the music. - Lynn

I am a teenager now and I spend my time doing homework, volunteering, playing soccer, and staying after school for club activities. I have a curfew and so do most of my friends. Many things have changed but not like most older people believe. The youth of today do not run around like mad children; we take pride in our freedom of expression and respect elders just the way we would like to be respected in return. At least I know my friends and I do! - Cat

I remember the Mickey Mouse Club, The Million Dollar Movie, Patty play pal, Thumbellina, chewing gum for a nickel, candy bars for a dime,playing cowboys and indians, playing house, buster brown shoes, Good Humor ice cream trucks, my brothers playing toy soldiers, swimming in our above ground swimming pool, roller skating down the street, hoola hoops, playing tag, red light-green light, and Simon says. My happiest memory is going to church with the family, and having a delicious late afternoon Sunday dinner. No stores were open so the family was together. I miss that. - Denise

Sputnik seemed like a real turning point in this 4th grader's life. Schools quickly found the advanced math we all would need and our "duck & cover" drills were much more in earnest. Reading this morning's paper about the former U.S.S.R. & the latest rover on Mars makes me wonder what the turning point is today for school kids. - Bill

Some of those memories I share - being stationed with my dad at Ft. Leavenworth in the sixties to ~ '72. But being from a black family - and my dad was and officer - I don't share everyone elses "pure, great time, etc". I remember Cronkite on the news every night telling us how many dead soldiers we now carried on the honor role, I remember 68' being the worst year ever. I also remember 69' being a year of great acheivement. I loved Laughin - remember the "Beatles" cartoon and hot wheels. There was a competing product called "johnny thunder? but we all wanted hot-wheels. I remember going to the indy 500 and seeing Mario win, Bobby Unser crash his car. I remember Len Dawson, Willy Leneer(?) of the KC Cheifs. Gone fishin, etc. Heck I remember Sesame Stree starting, Zoom ("Box 3-5-0,Boston Mass 02134 send it to Zoom!"), Electric Company, Scoody Doo, Witchy-Poo etc. Good memories and some not so good realist

I was a child-actress, model and singer from the time I was 5 years old and got exposed to a lot of things my other classmates at Saint Jeromes in Brooklyn would not could not ever dream of.. I was a loner by exclusion then choice.. worked on Saturdays, and had parents that would be considered mod swingers of the day.. when I think back its a lotta rock music..a lot of fads, 2 doting grandmothers..my father playing softball at Farragut Park and dreaming of the day I could go to England and hobnob with rock stars...I eventually got to england.. met a lot of rock stars, and miss the music and the fashions back then...oh well...there are other stories to tell but...that is for another time..it's nearly 3 a.m. - judy lucardi-senning

I remember my mom coming out of the house on the run shouting, "Don't eat the snow! The Russians have just tested another nuclear bomb." We had air raid drills at school and once we were sent home. Dad came home from work, too, and we sat around the living room listening to the crackle of the radio, waiting to be told to go back. - Linda Mehus-Barber

When I was young, I didn't like to play with girls because they were boring, so I played football with their brothers, or other similar games. I lived in a city, but my best memories are from my home town when I visited my grandparents. I could play outside all day, except for the time we had lunch and after lunch because it was very hot in the street, so we had to take a nap until the weather was less hot. The only thing that I didn't like at all was that there wasn't any toilet inside the house, so you had to go to the yard to do your things and the hens used to run around you. At the end, you couldn't do anything. - Maria Rosa

Summer nights in the San Gabriel Valley; that's what I remember most. The warm breath of the sundowner Santa Anna wind that blew away the smog with the smell of warm sage from the foothills. Those breezes also carried with them the smells of Coppertone, fresh cut grass, high octane gas, and the sound of Vin Sculley bleeding Dodger blue. Everybody's doors were open. We played in the streets and open spaces while TVs flickered, dads tinkered and moms rattled in the kitchen. We were NEVER bored. We had to be in when the acorn shaped streetlight came on, unless it was the 4th of July, and we slept the sleep of spent contentment that only a child of that marvelous and innocent era can. - millard

Finding this Website and reading these entries has reminded me of childhood good times -- and a sense of appropriateness about things in life. :-) Today's kids will like this one: I remember being in school in the late '60s and early '70s when you could only wear shorts during the last week of school in June; NO jeans; and sneakers only during gym class! ...And then, of course, Friday nights on ABC were "Nancy & The Professor" at 7:30, "The Brady Bunch" at 8:00, and naturally "The Partridge Family" at 8:30! - Gary

I remember...pixie hair cuts, knee knockers, fish-net hose in bright colors... Hip-huggers, bell-bottoms and beads. I remember...Dobie Gillis, Romper Room (magic mirror, tell me today..., See me walk so straight and tall...), Captain Kangaroo, Slam-Bang Theater, The Three Stooges! I remember real cartoons! cartoon-shorts...and they didn't have to mean anything, they didn't have to be educational, just fun. Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Donald Duck... I remember...Thumbalina, Tiny Tears, Barbie with molded eyelashes and bald under her pony tail. I remember going to the park by myself when just a little girl, I still live by that park...don't think I'd go by myself today...how sad. I remember climbing trees, and tree swings. I remember if my mother said to, I did...and if she said not to, I didn't. I remember having one black telephone with a dial. I remember sleeping in front of a big wooden fan with my brother and sister. So nice to remember! - Suzette Moore

When I was growing up in the 50's, we had freedom - freedom to roam and explore, freedom to develop our imaginations, and freedom to make mistakes. I remember from the time I first managed to ride a bicycle, being able to explore the town and countryside around it. We made up stories to frighten each other, stories like the hand in Dodd's Lake that would reach up and pull you under. "There're bodies they've never found in there," my brother would warn. Every town had its haunted house, and every haunted house it’s crazy old man or woman. When we weren’t riding our bikes, we'd be building tree forts, or digging for treasure, or making daisy chains to wear around our heads. We skipped "Double Dutch," and played one-two-three O'Leary with a fire bouncer ball, and manage to have some great games of scrub in the vacant lot at the end of the block - we didn't need a ball diamond or an umpire. In the winter, when the snowplough cleared the church parking lot behind our house, they didn't truck away the snow - they piled it high and we dug tunnels. Dad always flooded our garden so that we had a skating rink in our backyard, and we could climb the hill in the middle of the golf course and whiz down it on our sleds. Mom would wear a whistle, and when it was suppertime or bedtime, or if she just wanted to check on us, she’d whistle and we’d come running. All our friends' parents looked after us, and my parents looked after all our friends - it truly was a community raising the children. - Linda Mehus-Barber

In rural middle Tennessee, summers spent "camping" with my brother and five cousins, eating fish we caught on cane poles, watermelon and six oz. cokes we chilled in the icy spring water, the swimming hole our grandpa would get his buddies from the county highway dept. to dig out for us, my cousin almost drowning at the deep eddy, riding horses until you could barely walk, Bagget's store run by Willie and Sis Bagget, midget sisters, for penny candy, brownie chocolate drinks, and moonpies. Going to Chattanooga for school shopping, having to wear a hated dress and shoes to our four-room eight grade school. The BIG deal eighth grade graduation was going to town on Saturdays sitting in the Oldham Theater (still there, still running) watching second run movies cartoons and serials for fifty cents. Hammers discount, the ultimate dimestore, Huge family gatherings always with a big noon meal, hand cranked ice cream and watermelon in summer, coconut cake in spring, pecan and pumpkin pie in winter. The Christmas tree at church where every kid got presents, and the really poor kids got tons from the whole community. Reading comic books and library books on the porch swing or up in the giant magnolia trees in my Aunt's front yard. - Sherry

Reading this page has been an 'Eye Opener' in so much as being English, and living in England, I realise the U.S.A. was no different from us Brits! We never locked doors or windows, and a Bobby (policeman) walking his Beat was just as likley to clip you round the ear' and then take you home for your father to do the same, for any small wrong-doing. Unlike now-a-days when a policeman could be in serious trouble for laying a finger on a hooligan. Barbara Adams. - Barbara Adams

I remember my mom and dad taking us to the drive in movies. We were all in our pj's. Plastic pictures filled with kool-aid, jiffy pop made at home and brought with us. We were there early so we could play on the swing sets before the movie. We watched the cartoons, then were asleep not long after that. I remember air blaster, johnny astro, secret sam, johnny seven. Camping in the back yard, (only to have your tent come down in the middle of the night by older kids in the neighborhood). Baseball cards in the spokes on my bike, archie comics, Mad magazine, and all the different ice cream trucks that would come on our street and stop the rubber ball game. A great time to be a kid...... Ken, Penna. - Ken Meoli

I remember collecting 2-cent soda bottle deposits. I could find three soda bottles clean the mud off of them, and have six pieces of penny candy. CJF - Carl Friday

I grew up in the 60s and 70s and remember all of that. The hot summer nights, fireflies, the swimmingpool at the end of the block. I also remember and can't find any imformation on a TV show I watched after school. It was called "HotDog, a show about stuff" it came out of New York I think and had great comidians like Ruth Buzzi, and Johnathan Winters and Woody Allen. Mostly the show was about how things are made, like baseballs and crayons and rope. Does anybody else remember it or am I crazy? - Andy Day

My parents owned a "confectionary store" with fountain sodas 5 and 10 cents; nickel snowballs, 25 cent sundaes, 35 cent banana splits, penny candies..mary janes, smartes, cartwheels, wax teeth and moustaches, 20 cent milk shakes; on TV there was Kate Smith, the Bucaneers; Wells Fargo, Pinky Lee, The Big Top Circus, Jackie Gleason, The Hit Parade, John Cameron Swazey, Walter Winchell, I Remember Mama, Gillette Calvalcade of Sports, Firestone Fireside Theater, Topper, Beat the Clock, You ask For It, You are There! Arthur Godfrey Show, Milton Berle, I love Lucy, Paul Whitman show, Xavier Cugat Show, Superman, Davy Crockett and coon skin caps and of course Howdy Dowdy and Annette Funichello of the Mouseketeers... - Al

I remember in L.A. in the '50s going to the shoe store for new shoes, and standing with my feet in that X-ray machine to make the shoes fit. - Ginger

I remember watching Disneyland on Sunday evenings, with its weekly update on the progress being made at their upcoming amusement park in Anaheim, California. When Disneyland finally opened in 1955, my parents took us shortly after opening day. My sister and I were so excited, neither of us slept a wink the night before we went to Disneyland. I wanted so much to drive the "Autopia" cars, only to be disappointed because I wasn't tall enough to reach the bottom of the sign which was the indicator of whether you would be allowed to drive yourself, or whether a parent drove and you were a passenger. One other attraction I remember was the "House of the Future." All the most modern and futuristic things imaginable - microwave ovens, push-button phones, phones with tv's so you could see the person you were talking with. That house was torn down some 40 years ago. - Ginger

for all those' 'euclid beach' cleveland ohio fans who were in live with ''laughing sally'' she is on display at the marc's in garfield heights oh on turney in rockside.... - leslie

I remember the late 1950's-1960's: WLS-AM, WCFL-AM in the Marina City Towers, FM radio when it Really was Cool, going to the Loop and Old Town, Battle of the Bands, high school dances, hippies, greasers, gangs, doopers, the 1968 Democratic convention, man walking on the moon, Kayo soda, soda fountain drinks, penny candy, the Beatles for $2.00 at Comiskey Park, the Electric Playground and Aragon Ballroom. Chicago was a great place to be back in those days. - Margie Z

I remember the grand opening of the first McDonalds in our town. We had to drive 10 miles to get to it, and when we did it was packed. The hamburgers cost 15 cents and as I recall was the first hamburger I ever had outside of home. That 10 mile trip now has about 6 McDonalds scattered throughout and I know you can't find anything for 15 cents anymore. - Bob W.


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