Was this your childhood too?

Here are some reminiscences you might enjoy...

Subject: The Stranger (THIS IS GOOD!)


 A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.

The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche.

My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.

But the stranger... he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The
stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.  Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.

Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes
suggestive, and generally embarrassing...

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?.....

We just call him 'TV'. 

NOPE, we ain’t done yet!

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 He has a wife now.... we call her 'Computer'.

Their first child is: "Cell Phone".

Second child: "I Pod".

And, JUST BORN A FEW YEARS AGO, was a Grandchild: IPAD.


NOTE: This should be required reading for every household! 



For all those born before 1945

We are survivors!!!!  Consider the changes we have witnessed:

We were here before television, before penicillin, before polio shots, frozen food, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the Pill.

We were here before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams, and ballpoint pens, before pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air-conditioners, drip-dry clothes, and before man walked on the moon.

We got married first, and then lived together.  How quaint can you be?

In our time, closets were for clothes, "not for coming out of."  Bunnies were small rabbits and rabbits were not Volkswagons.  Designer jeans were scheming girls named Jean and Jeanna, and having a meaningful relationship meant getting along well with our cousins.

We thought fast food was what you ate during lent, and outer space was the back of the Riviera Theater.

We arrived before house-husbands, gay rights, computer dating, dual careers, and computer marriages.  We came before day-care centers, group therapy, and nursing homes.  We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt, and guys wearing earrings.  For us, time-sharing meant togetherness -- not computers or condominiums; a "chip" meant a piece of wood, hardware meant hardware, and software wasn't even a word.

In 1940 "Made in Japan" meant JUNK and the term "making out" referred to how you did on an exam.  Pizzas, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of.  We hit the scene when there were 5 cent and 10 cent stores where you bought things for five and ten cents.  Sanders and Wilsons sold ice cream cones for a nicket or a dime.  For one nickel you could ride the street car, make a phone call, buy a Pepsi or enough stamps to mail one letter or two postcards.  You could buy a new Chevy coupe for $600, but who could afford one?  Pity, too, because gas was only 11 cents a gallon!

In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, grass was mowed, Coke was a cold drink and pot was something you cooked in.  Rock Music was a Gramma's lullaby and Aides were helpers in the Principal's Office.

We were certainly not here before the difference between the sexes was discovered; but we were around surely before the "sex change."  We made do with what we had, and we were the last generation that was so dumb as to think you needed a husband to have a baby.

No wonder we are so confused and there is such a generation gap today!  But we survived!!  What better reason to celebrate?

Here are some additional reminiscences

I think you'll enjoy this. Whoever wrote it could have been my next door neighbor because it described my childhood.


Black and White  

Black and White TV

(Under age 45? You won't understand.)


You could hardly see for all the snow,


Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.



'Good Night, David.


Good Night, Chet.'


My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.


My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting E.coli.


Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.


We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.


Flunking gym was not an option... Even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.


Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.


We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses?  Ours wore a hat and everything.


I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.


I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.


Oh yeah... And where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!


We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.


Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $99 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.


We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.


I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off.

Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house.



Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a jerk. It was a neighborhood run amuck.


To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family.


How could we possibly have known that?




We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!


How did we ever survive?