Friday, November 13, 2009

The good old days?

Yesterday I received one of those "pass-this-on" e-mails (which I never do). Nevertheless, it was interesting and gave me much food for thought.

What follows is my adaptation of that e-mail. It's how I remember things when I was a youngster.

Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.

My parents never had a check book, let alone a credit card (credit was what it said it was, debit was debt), even though they both ran a business. All their bills were paid in cash. Their bank accounts were conducted using a pass book and they would never accept a check. I'm sure they never owed anyone, even though plenty of their customers owed them.

My parents never drove me to school (that would have been difficult as we didn't have a car). I walked until I had a bicycle and that was second-hand.

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 13. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem. There were only two channels and no daytime programs.

Cell phones? You are kidding. We never even had a land-line until I was married. My parents even managed running a business without one.

Pizzas were not delivered to homes, but milk, bread and even soft drinks were. So was the mail, at least twice daily. Post a local letter in the morning, it was delivered in the afternoon. Next day delivery was normal, not a premium service. Mail order? No need, everything you could possibly need was produced or purchased locally.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered newspapers, morning and evening, six days a week, and had a large Sunday morning round.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. We came home from the theater feeling entertained because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

If you tripped and fell over it was your own fault, not that of someone else. The only counselling you got was "Oh dear, how sad never mind".

People felt, and were, responsible for their own actions. They didn't blame "society", "the government", or anyone else.

Gooders" actually did just that.

I can also remember . . .

Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Wearing cycle clips when riding my "bike".
Soldering irons you heated on a gas burner.
Using hand signals, even if the car had "semaphore" turn signals.
When there were only two sets of traffic signals in our town and only one traffic circle (roundabout).
When street lights were turned off at midnight.
When women wore hats in church but men did not.
Respecting my school teachers and those in authority (they usually earned our respect).
When we stopped what we doing and took off our caps when a funeral procession passed by.
When Christmas lasted two days, not two months.
Candy cigarettes.
Tiger nuts.
Children playing in the streets from dawn til dusk.
Having never heard of the word "obese".
Home milk delivery in glass bottles.
Cops actually knowing people in their neighborhoods.
Newsreels before the movie.
Conductors on the buses.
TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again the next evening.
Saturday morning movie matinees (the ABC Minors).
Being able to hear oneself think in a public library.
Never, as a child, even knowing what "being bored" was.
Being satisfied with having what we needed and not craving for something we wanted.

Were these my "good old days"? Of course they were.

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