75 comments

  1. Missing my manual typewriter . . .

    Where are the 8-track tapes?

    Have you heard my quad stereo?

    Where did I park the Thing/Trekker?

  2. Okay – I’ll start (because old guys get up early).

    I wrote school papers with a fountain pen.
    I took a “typing” class in high school using a manual typewriter.
    I watched a black and white TV with about 6 available channels.
    My first car had power nothing. It was a three speed stick with no power steering or brakes and no air conditioning other than the hand crank windows.
    I always had a dime in my pocket to make that emergency phone call.
    I made long distance calls through a telephone operator.
    I rode elevators that had an expanded metal cage door and an elevator operator who sat on a stool in front of the control panel.
    I remember party line telephones.
    I remember always dressing up in a suit and tie for church, family parties, and school events.
    I remember ladies wearing hats to church.

    That’s probably enough to get us started. To establish the time line I was born in “the middle of the last century” 1952 to be exact.

  3. 5 words?

    Remembering the Cuban Missile Crisis
    Friends’ parents drove a DeSoto
    The JFK Assassination (this is a vivid memory.)

  4. “All Circuits are busy, please try again later”, on calling relatives during the Christmas holidays. As well, $30 long distance phone call…. in the 70’s

  5. Ill just leave a two liner…..

    I traveled in East Berlin/Germany before the wall,
    “I’d like to place a call to the United States this week….”

  6. My high-school friend Al went
    To Woodstock on his motorcyle.
    I had a job and couldn’t go.

  7. This needs some background to be understood by youngsters like you, Kim. Lucky Strike cigarettes used the letters LSMFT on their packs and in their ubiquitous print and radio ads to stand for Lucky Strike means fine tobacco. Depending on your political leanings it was modified to:

    Lord, save me from Truman.
    And
    Lord, save me from Taft.

    1. By the time I was in school it was “Loose Straps Mean Floppy Tits”. We knew where it came from, we just didn’t smoke that brand anymore. Cultural transmission.

  8. Indian head test pattern on TV
    $.34/gal for gasoline
    Milk delivered in glass jugs
    Banana seat Schwinns

  9. My aunt sitting in parents living room crying when her husband my uncle was wounded at Chosin Reservoir…..

    Riding heavy fat tire bicycle downtown to see Saturday 10 cent movies with Movietone News, Comedy Cartoon, serial series (Lash Larue) and main feature, Grade B or C Westerns with singing cowboys.

    Picking up telephone and when operator says, “Number Please” you give her friends phone number often just two or three digits, ours was 858.

    Black & White TV with two channels, big antenna on side of house and changing stations required moving channel selector and then unhooking on set of wires with a clothes pin like clip and hooking up the other, they were color coded.

  10. 1964-1973 == us$2.11 filled my gas tank.

    1960s == “Gas War!” by service stations on opposing corners. 6.99 cents a gallon instead of 7.99 cents a gallon; that penny cheaper justified waiting at a traffic signal to ‘flip a ‘U-ie”.

    1960s == Rode the school-bus with my M1903 30.06 for teacher-supervised lunch-time school range practice. (Del Oro high-school, Loomis California)

    1964 == mail lady delivered my M1903 wrapped in burlap. The US$6.59 did not include a buck for postage.

    1950s until about 1978 == Schools had gun-shows. (El Camino high-school, Sacramento California)

    Hee Haw was, and is, the finest televisionprogramming of all time.

    1960s-1998 == Gun Show, Cal Expo fairgrounds, Sacramento California. Three days, 6000 vendors, all three stories and out on the ramps. (2016 was the last time I participated; 15 vendors offering garage-sale stuff, although I scored some vintage comic books. No firearms. No erotica allowed…)

    1965-1984 == Sports Car Club of America monitored the Cal Expo rally in the parking lot. (My ride was a 1953 Austin Healey, ex-unrecognizably-tremely modified… #2)

    1965-71 == Flat Track dirt-track racing rural California fairgrounds. (Pat Rooney. Greg Henry. Glen Artenian.)

    1972 == Cow Palace indoor dirt-track. Evel Knevel started a riot with Hell’s Angels. (“Oh, shit! Let’s get out of here!”)

    1950s-1980s == Travel freely into Mexico and Canada. (“Apparently, we just crossed an imaginary line back there someplace…”)

    1950s == Extended family included Lauren ‘aunt Betty’ Bacall in San Diego California.

    1976 == met the Bob Seger Band in an elevator in Santa Monica, California. (“Say, you folks look like you might be in a rock-n-roll band… sorry, not familiar with the name.”)

    1971 == rode the length and breadth of Fort Rucker, Alabama (‘Mother Rucker’) on an extended wheelie on a 1966 dirt-bike, the final few miles escorted by admiring militants police.

    1. I rode Muther Rucker on that wheelie on a 1966 Hodaka dirt-bike. Made in Oregon, and I wish I still had it. And I wish I treated it better.

      1. 1978 == brokerage Drexel Burnam Lambert, Vancouver BC. I worked with Michael Milken; favorite quote “Forget about ‘minimum wage’, focus on ‘maximum wage’!”

        1. Small world.

          I attended Sierra JC in the early ’70’s. Used to hit the ‘all you can eat’ special at the White Spot cafe in Rocklin on Wednesdays.

          1. 1969-75 == my family owned Roseville landmark Buzz’s Drive In.

            At ‘Sahara’, I rode my straight-piped Harley Davidson to Criminal J. class taught by major tough-guy police-chief Big Jim Hall… dodging hippies right up the campus sidewalks.

            Probably can’t do that now.

            After four decades busting pumpkins, Chief Hall retired, got scary-obese. People quit calling him ‘Big Jim’.

  11. I remember older guys in the Wall Street bucket shop where I was a runner, cautioning each other “Walk close to the walls” on the afternoon Eisenhower’s heart attack caused a small panic. Fortunately he was still up and running when I enlisted.

  12. I remember when the radio in the living room was taller than I was
    I remember watching my first blizzard on a 6″ screen

  13. Six-transistor portable radio
    Our phone was a party line
    Cable had four TV channels
    Timex watches take a licking, keep on ticking.
    Cigarette ads on TV
    Console TV with doors to hide the screen

  14. 5 words, people!

    My first vote: Richard Nixon
    I had required shop class.
    They started broadcasting in color.

  15. Comic books were 10 cents.
    Parade for Apollo 11 astronauts.
    Chicago’s Prudential Building observation deck.

  16. Can’t beat it, but it’s a fun exercise. I think it only counts if the youngsters don’t know what your statement even means.

    My T-shirt told you I was a pepper.

    That first video on MTV was hilariously appropriate.

    We had phones, but we didn’t own them. And the cord was twenty feet long, with another twenty feet on the handset.

    MCI long distance commercials.

    High speed dubbing.

    Mailing voice letters on cassette.

    Hotel keys that were keys.

  17. Party Line Telephones.
    Outhouse and Sears Roebuck Catalog.
    No AC in our schoolhouse.
    What is a seatbelt?
    Little Rascals and Dobie Gillis on BW TV.

  18. Not being allowed to ‘stay up’ for the moon landing (lifetime regret)
    Calling my first dog Buzz, after the astronaut.
    Seeing JFKs assassination on black and white tv (and subsequent life ambition fulfilled to visit the spot courtesy of your author)
    3p Bus ride to town (it’s now two quid. One way)
    Betamax and Blockbuster video
    Sanitary belts (urgh)
    Cars without seat belt
    Asking a Policeman for the time. And being given it
    Getting chucked out of a pub at 15 for underage drinking
    Going back to the same pub a week later, on my 16th birthday and getting served
    Detention at school

    But in five words?
    Being a virgin. Once.

  19. Saw Dad come home from WWII.
    I walked to elementary school.
    Walked to junior high school.
    Wool winter rugs taken up for straw summer rugs.
    Bike was a one speed.
    Rode in a rumble seat.
    House had no air conditioning.
    Listened to Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, The Shadow, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon on radio.
    Radio was a tube set in a big wooden case.
    Ice cold Coke was 5 cents.
    TV with rabbit ears and 3 channels.
    Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan and Dragnet on TV.
    Learned to swim at at the YMCA at age 7.
    We all swam naked in swim class.
    Learned to shoot at age 9 at the YMCA.
    Got morning and evening newspaper.
    Milkman delivered milk with cardboard bottle cap.
    Iceman putting a block in our icebox.
    Chasing the ice truck to grab pieces of ice off the wood floor to suck on.
    Ragbone man and his horse-drawn wagon.
    Scissorgrinder man swinging his bell with wheel on his back.
    Vegetable man Mr. Wetzel with his fedora and open truck with baskets of produce.
    Pump .22’s at the game arcade.
    Met President Eisenhower.
    Ladies wearing hats and gloves for shopping and church.
    Whole mink wraps, beady eyes and all.
    Eight or more people in a car – no seat belts

  20. “Ladies wearing hats and gloves for shopping and church.”

    I remember someone getting turned away from a movie house on a Saturday night for not wearing a jacket and tie.

  21. I SAW the Brooklyn Dodgers play at Ebbets Field.
    I had a Davey Crockett Coonskin Cap.

  22. Nixon visits Red China.
    VW Beetle outsells Model T.
    New lunar rover speed record.
    F-15 makes its first flight.
    Massacre in Munich.
    M*A*S*H premieres.
    Pong hits arcades.

  23. You guys have made me feel like a Young Whippersnapper. 🙂 I better stay off your lawns.

        1. I hate to say this, but didn’t he pass away several years ago? I don’t remember clearly, but a stray brain cell or two seems to think so.

          1. Kind of assumed that, haven’t been able to get him via email.

            Last I spoke with him was late 2017? When Houston got smacked with a hurricane or there abouts.

            Thanks.

  24. The only thing worth watching on my Grandmother’s TV, was the Howdy Doody show. She only got the one channel.
    Mom got most of the gossip going around by listening to our neighbor on our party line phone.

    1. Tell me, tell me, tell me true
      Magic Mirror tell me today
      Did all my friends have fun at play?

      How about Captain Kangaroo who was neither a captain nor a kangaroo. False advertising.

  25. Betamax was still a thing
    Telephones had dials on them
    Dad’s Demon had lap belts
    The TV was furniture
    8-tracks and vinyl
    Jimmuh Carduh got elected President
    Home computers were brand new

  26. Younger than some…

    Michael Jackson was still black.
    Doctor Who was still good.
    Reel-reel recording off the radio.
    Three channels of TV, total.
    Black and White TV.
    We were the remote control.
    Power cuts due to strikes. [Industrial action, not lightning.]
    Nine months for a [new] phone.
    Spanish island with forty Brits [and 4,000 Germans].
    General Franco on Spanish coinage.

  27. Keds & PF Flyer sneakers.
    Chocolate Space Food Sticks.
    Dot candy on paper strips.
    Huge copper pennies in London. (They were nearly the size of half dollars, but not as thick, and the images on them weren’t just Queen Elizabeth, but the three kings previous to her. Found out at the Tower of London why going to the loo is called “spending a penny”: that’s what it cost to use the facilities. I jingled with every other step. Still have half a dozen or so of them.

      1. Yeah. The HP 35 came out just before I took physical chemistry. They cost $395. (With inflation, that’s almost $2300 today.) It was tempting, but I decided I could manage with my cheap slide rule.

        1. A few ‘wealthy’ guys in college (early-mid ’60’s had four function/square root electronic calculators @$180, but for fairness to us poor, the profs banned them for all during exams, so we waxed up our slide rules and filled blue book margins with penciled arithmetic.
          Then came a quantum leap – aluminum slide rules instead of the old K&E wooden ones.

    1. K&E Log Log Duplex ( w Bamboo center)

      Coding on IBM Punch Cards
      LORAN for Navigation
      RCA Tube Testers
      Heath Kit Radios
      Crystal Radios ( no battery needed)
      Telex to “Overseas Office”
      Suptnik Launched
      Rotary Dial Phones
      Snow Chains
      Grandma’s Icebox ( with blocks of ICE )
      Tractors w manual Spark advance

Comments are closed.