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Posts Tagged ‘Good Old Days’

 

Bushel Pillow

When the grandgirls were little and came for a visit I remember singing to them.  I tucked them in at night to Mr. Sandman, recorded in 1954 by the Chordettes.  And there was the popular song from the 50’s sung by Doris Day,  A Bushel and a Peck, a happy piece from my own youth.  My best friend Kit and I actually made a recording of us singing, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, You bet your purdy neck I do!” They used to have booths in the old days where for a quarter you could have your picture taken and even make a recording!  The little record we made disappeared over the years, but the song still makes me smile.

Then all of a sudden I was a Grandmother who loved to make her grandgirls laugh.  They knew and I knew Grammy really could not carry a tune so there was always a lot of giggling going on.

My grandgirls are all grown up now and the tucking in days are over.  But last year for my birthday they came bearing a special gift – a pillow!

But it is not just any old pillow.

This one is a pillow full of memories!

And it has a home in the “kids’ room” where we sang those happy songs.  I love the memories of the laughter and the love, and I am so glad my grandgirls remember too.

And Kit, if you are reading this, “Thanks for the memories”!

Published in 2016 by Okmusix

 

 

 

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A Shiny Old ChevyThere is always a sense of the past as you walk down Main Street in Lexington, Virginia.  Parts of the sidewalks are still paved with the original carved bricks and wherever you look there are restored old buildings and signs of times long ago.

Then why is it always so surprising when I come across an old car parked right there on Main?

And why do I feel I am in a time machine?

Isn’t this the most gorgeous shiny Chevy?  I am not sure of the year but I know it was “before my time.”

It is being used to advertise a local Bed and Breakfast (502 Main Street)) and if the B&B is as beautiful as the Chevrolet, I would highly recommend it.

Advertising a B&B

 

 

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roller_skates_2_1024x1024

Photo from Vintage 1950’s http://www.redlinevintage.com

 

One night we dined with “old” friends.  Our friendship is old and our ages are (barely verging on) old too.  And although we often talk of current events and joke over funny things we have lately seen or heard, this time we kept returning to childhood.

  • Bill played Kick the Can in the Bronx, New York.  He played Stick Ball too, with cut off broom sticks and a little pink ball.  The ball would disappear into a rain gutter collector  and had to be retrieved with a tin can on a rope.
  • Our friend and his pals found a secret culvert and followed it from one opening to the other.  He and his cohorts could then disappear and mysteriously reappear to confuse adversarial teams of other kids.
  • His wife loved roller skating (with wooden wheels) at the roller rink.
  • Dor loved roller skating too, (with metal wheels) on neighborhood sidewalks.
  • Bill would find roller skates in the neighborhood garbage and would attach them to an old board to make a scooter!
  • Dor twirled a baton and dressed paper dolls with clothes fashioned from wall paper sample books and played Jacks for hours.
  • We all recalled the big Sears catalogs.  “Do you remember those and how exciting it was to thumb through new arrivals?
  • People actually bought houses or barns from the Sears catalog but what about the great toys?”

It was an amazing evening of remembering that  brought us all the way back to a wonderful life.  We entered a time machine and were suddenly those kids again  – the tom boy, the girl with a baton, the West Side Story live-a-like, and the country boy looking for action.  And there we all were, once more in our own memory made wonderlands.

Remember THAT?

  • Remember when we used to hang our feet out the car window to feel the air blow through our toes?
  • Remember  bike rides to the public pool – and bikes with brakes in the pedals instead of the handlebars?
  • I rode my bike to school.
  • Wasn’t it fun to play hide and seek until dinner time?
  • Climbing trees!  I spent a lot of time in trees.
  • Remember Woolworth’s Five and Dime?  I loved Woolworth’s.  Mom took me to there for breakfast!

Oh, the night was simply not long enough to recapture our very full quartet of memories.

But we all agreed it was a wonderful life.

Who said you can’t go home?

You certainly can,

on such a night

 in the company of old friends.

 

 

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Dor and Bill  The Wanderers at Big Bear Lake, California

Dor and Bill
The Wanderers at
Big Bear Lake, California

 Daily Prompt: Salad Days

Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days?

Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).

They did not seem like the good old days but they were.

Right after we were married, Bill and I drove from Florida to California in a car without air conditioning or heat.  We crossed the desert at night with water bags tied to the front of the car and hanging out the windows (refills for a potential overheated radiator).  You might say it was an adventure but I cried all the way across country for leaving my home, my parents and everything I knew and understood.

And it did not get much better.

Bill had just graduated.  He was a real Civil Engineer and we were off to his first job building roads in remote areas of California.  There were no guarantees of furnished housing in strange places like Big Oak Flat, Hayfork, or Portola.  But we were young, eager, and flexible.

Well, semi-flexible.  One of our posts was in beautiful Hayfork, a mountain community where the only available rental was a one room shack with a tin roof and no bathroom. If I had known about blogging then I would have taken photos. However, since the view of our own personal shack was somewhat less than scenic, there are no such records available.

I painted and decorated the shack though and hung plastic curtains for shades.  And there was a shiny new refrigerator (the only mirror in the place).

There was a community bathroom and a shower for the ring of six shacks.  The tin roof made living conditions a bit warm sweltering hot, so we drove “down the hill” to Redding for an air conditioned motel room almost every weekend.

“I need to go home,” I would finally cry and Bill would send me back to Florida to visit my parents and friends.

But we made friends in Hayfork.

Ernie, the owner of the general store, had a small trailer/mobile home in his back yard.  One day Ernie asked if we would like to rent his trailer.  WOULD we!  It had an inside bathroom and tiny shower.  It had a tiny kitchen too, where I could cook, wash up, and put dishes away standing in one place (by simply pivoting around).

HayforkTrailer1

The trailer had a gas stove.

I never used a gas stove before so I decided to turn on the burners and let them go awhile before lighting a match.  BRRRROOOOOOOOM!  Everything exploded.  The doors and windows of the trailer blew open.  Our dog, Tinker, ran out and away (far away) into the snow.  My llama slippers were scorched.  I think my eyebrows were scorched too.  But there was no real damage and we all lived.  Bill had to go out and find Tinker though.

Those were the good old days all right.

But things got worse.

I was pregnant when we moved to Big Oak Flat near Yosemite Park. There was a gas station and a post office.  That was it.  The nearest town/drugstore/cleaners/hospital was over two hours away.  No diaper service and nobody ever heard of pampers in those good old days.

It wasn’t a shack we lived in but a house that had been moved from somewhere else and stood on cement blocks.  There were cracks in the floor wide enough to see flash floods rushing along underneath.   The cracks let in cold drafts too.

Bill at Big Oak Flat House on Cement Blocks

Bill at Big Oak Flat House on Cement Blocks

The water in the shower started off orange.  There was a frog in the shower once. Imagine my naked reaction to THAT!

And the doctor in Sonora told me he would not drive the 2 hours “up the hill” to deliver the baby.

“I need to go home,” I wailed.  I could not imagine birthing a child in such circumstances.  So Bill sent me home.  But once home I could not imagine having the baby without Bill there so I went back (Poor Bill).  Our son was born at the bottom of the hill in a small hospital and there were no mishaps. The only problem was it was going on winter.

I hung Corky’s cloth diapers on a line and they froze.  Then he got a recurring rash which I later learned was from me bleaching his diapers.

Or how about the time there was a blizzard and the heat went off!  This muttering mother trudged a mile (well, not really a mile) carrying a wrapped up infant through a blizzard to the landlady’s house.  Before you issue condolences, I may be slightly exaggerating.  It was a snow storm though and I did have to leave that freezing house to get help.

Bill and I roamed a few more months around the wilderness with our new son.  Everything we owned was packed into a Dodge station wagon, and again I cried.

“We need to have a home!  We need roots! We have a child now.  We have responsibilities!”

And so it was we returned to the city dwellers’ life.

Looking back in time, those Wilderness Days were our “Salad Days” of adventure, the good times, the young years, the experiences that left us with stories to tell.

Those years had so much impact  that I now think of them as a rehearsal for our eventual big move to country living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (where we are now) with other stories to tell.

But I often think that if only I had known then what I know now, I would never have needed to go home.

 

 

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Echoes 1

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Drizzly Hotel ViewIt rained when we left Virginia on Saturday morning and rained for our drive to Durham, North Carolina.

Bill and I were heading off to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons!

It was raining when we got there and raining for our  walk to the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), and again for our drippy walk back to the hotel after the concert, but we didn’t care.Durham Performing Arts Center

The drive was delightful with virtually no traffic and we never even got lost once!  The only things missing were Burma Shave signs.  Does anyone remember them?Easy Driving

But the best part of the trek was the “senior citizens happening” in Durham.

We joined 2,698 other devoted old fans all drifting in and out of musical reveries.  Bill and I were seated in the “best available” seats (high balcony left!) since “DPAC” was sold out.  Many of us climbed interminable heights and stairs to get to our seating. Stage Set for Frankie Valli

It was an impressively huge audience.  Our heydays were in the 60’s , 70’s, and 80’s and we waved and swayed and tapped and clapped and hollered as we all forged a mutual link to a never-forgotten musical past.

Frankie Valli  is now 80 years old!  Imagine?  And he sang on August 9th  almost non-stop in his characteristically high voice for an hour and 45 minutes.  With each announced song we could hear voices yelling, “Yeahhhhh” and  “All Righttttt.”

He covered the musical renditions from when he began in 1962 and onward through the generations and we all recognized our earlier selves.

 And for just those fleeting moments we were once again who we were then –

fresh and young and dreaming of things to come.

It was  over so fast no one wanted to leave.  There was a standing ovation with yelling and whistling that went on and on.

Yes, it was a drizzly drive to Durham but happiness was tripping back through time.

Wet?  Who cares?  We would do it all over again.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons began filling the air with love and romance way back in the 60s.  They scored 29 Top 40 hits, one Top 40 hit under The Four Seasons’ alias ‘The Wonder Who?’, and nine Top 40 hits for Frankie Valli as a solo artist.  They marked the seasons with their biggest hits like ”Sherry” (1962), “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (1962), “Walk Like a Man” (1963), “Rag Doll” (1964) and “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” (1975).   “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, which reached number two in 1967, is one of their best-loved hits.    As a solo artist, Frankie Valli released his number one hit — “My Eyes Adored You” (1974) and “Grease” (1978).

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