Monday, April 21, 2014

As I Age

As I age, I look back remembering many things of my past; cars with fender skirts and girls with poodle skirts. Then the cars had clutches. Women had clutch purses. Movies had lines like, “I have you in my clutches” and a lot of clutching went on in the back seat of the family’s car. Girls wore bobby socks on their feet and bobby pins in their hair.
We had hula hoops to play with and hula dancers that swayed and competed for space on the dashboard with plastic saints. Behind many homes still had outhouses and smoke houses, one, people hid their smoking and in the other people flavored and preserved their meats.
We had no drive-through, only drive-in restaurants and drive-in movies. We played baseball with calls of balls and strikes and some grown up relatives smoked Chesterfields and Lucky Strikes. The idea of the Marlboro man hadn’t been born yet.
Doors had either porcelain or glass knobs and our cars sported steering wheel knobs. We “smoked” candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars, no one worried. We had ball caps, cap guns, B. B. guns and sling shots and played from sunrise to sunset.
Felix, the cat, Tom Terrific and His Mighty Wonder Dog, Manfred graced our black and white televisions. Kids wore Keds. Our skates were adjustable, had metal wheels, and fastened to our shoes with a key. Our games weren’t electric requiring adaptors, all we needed an empty field, places to hide, or a can to have fun. Our games were powered by imagination, not with batteries.
Little boys kept garter snakes and grown-up girls used garter belts to keep up their nylon stockings.
Boys bought comic books were a dime and men collected match books. Girls played with dolls and women used make-up to look like dolls for men.
Telephones hung on the wall and had a crank on the side. They were connected on a party line and we had to listen and count for our ring tones of longs and shorts. There was no texting, no Google, no computers. The fanciest things we had were typewriters.
We fought with our best friends one day and did a sleep-over the next night. Bullies were a part of life and fights, even at school the combatants were separated and sent in different directions. If it was a recurring theme, the gym teacher might put boxing gloves of the two and allowed the feud to come to a close.
Kids brought guns and knives to school. No one was shot or stabbed. We were taught right from wrong and the value of life. We were controlled by our parents and teachers, not the government and inflexible laws and rules. Things were simpler and handled at a local level; parents, teachers, and local school boards made the decisions.
The money that went to schools was spent on teachers, books, and supplies. Now most of the money is spent to fulfill bureaucratic paperwork and comply with all of the laws that take the place of common sense. The lack of common sense sends five year old children because they point a finger at another student.

No comments:

Post a Comment