Ah, the good old days...
We didn't even have color TV... it was an old black-and white Zenith. Dad promised when it went out he would get a color set, but they made things to
last back then... we finally gave up on it giving up and gave it away.
We had 2 1/2 channels... two would come in and the last one would come in half the time. Usually the screen was snowy. And if it got too bad, someone
went outside to the antenna and turned it by hand while someone inside watched the screen to say when to stop. Somehow, I was never the guy sitting
inside watching the screen...
Of course, that meant that if the President was giving a speech, the night was shot.
The news came on at 5:00 and 10:00. Thirty minutes each time. Parents loved to watch the news back then too.
There were no home movies either. If you wanted to watch a movie, you had to go to the theater, and they usually didn't get the movies here until
they were playing everywhere else for a couple weeks.
Speaking of movies, let's talk special effects. You had to use more of that imagination. I still remember the Six Million Dollar Man running at 80
mph down the street... of course, the actual picture you saw was a slo-mo of him running, a few clips of a speedometer, and that "NANANAnanananana...
(I actually showed my kids a clip of that show a while back. They looked at me like I was crazy!)
No porn. Period. No Internet to download it from, and you had to go to the rough side of town to get a magazine. And even then, you better have a deep
voice and a beard, or they wouldn't sell it to you. No, we had to make do with pin-up's and the lingerie section of the Sears and Roebuck
A Fredericks of Hollywood flyer was worth three packs of Marlboros!
We had a party-line telephone. That meant that if you wanted to make a call, you had to pick it up and listen first, because someone a few houses away
might be using the line. that also meant you had to be careful what you said, because someone might pick up and hear it.
I never got a car for my birthday! I did get one from my folks, but it was an old 67 VW Bug that barely ran and permission to use Dad's tools to fix
My bicycle was the frame of an old 20" Spyder-style bike that I turned into a racing bike. Using parts I found laying alongside the road of course,
My old bike shop is still in the loft of the barn.
Our idea of insurance was being careful.
When it got cold, there was no thermostat to switch on and receive warmth. We got to build a fire in the wood stove, using firewood we cut form the
mountain behind us the months before. My pay for carrying the wood back to the trailer was that I could huddle up to the stove in the winter.
No air conditioner. We had a fan, and I usually didn't get to be in front of it anyway. I was outside hoping for a cool breeze. Shade trees were
If you wanted ice, you had to get it out of the freezer. And if you ever forgot to fill the ice trays back up, you went without ice for a while. You
also were careful not to use too much; it took a hour or two to freeze back. Too much too fast and everyone went without.
We didn't get a shower until I was 14. We had a bathtub. Bathing took a lot longer back then.
There was no pre-cooked food. No TV dinners, no frozen pizza... heck, I was a teenager before I ever knew what pizza was!
Oh, and when you first got into trouble with the law... they would call your folks to make sure it was OK, then throw you in the slammer and make you
think you were going away for life for stealing that candy bar! Then the next morning your folks would show up and ask you if you had learned your
Mowing yards for money? Man, you had it easy! I hauled hay for pocket money, after riding my bike across a small mountain to just get to the hayfield.
Then, after spending an entire day lugging around 100+ pound bales of hay, I got to ride back across the same mountain to get home. I was getting, I
think, $3 an hour.
We didn't wear helmets. That was why we had skulls.
If you went to the doctor, it was because you were about dead. And no matter what was wrong, the first step was an injection in the butt.
If you were feeling sick enough to stay home from school, that was OK; you were sick. Of course, being sick meant drinking a friggin' gallon of
castor oil, one spoonful at a time to get the maximum taste benefit from it.
You only said the words "I'm bored" once in your life. Because as soon as you said it, your folks fixed the boredom problem... with three days
worth of the dirtiest, nastiest chores they could think of.
Ah, memories of the 'good 'ol days'... thank you, OP, for posting this thread.
Oh, and for the guy who mentioned the Cold War... that was no real problem. Flimsy wooden school desks were apparently radiation- and explosion-proof.