Life before e-mails, cell phones, and texting


Fast Food

“Hey Mom?”, one of my kids asked the other day, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?

“We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up,” I informed him. “All the food was slow.”
“C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?”
“It was a place called ‘at home,’ ” I explained.

A time when familys ate together

 “Your Grandmother cooked every day and if Grandad was home, dinner was at 5:30 sharp, plus 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.”
By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid she was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell her the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.
But here are some other things I would have told her about my childhood if I figured her system could have handled it…

Some parents never owned their own house, wore Levi’s, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country, or had a credit card.
In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck.
Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to softball practice. Probably because I wasn’t on the softball team. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed: slow.


Banana Seat bike

 We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 11. It was, of course, black and white, but my parents bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red.
It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone’s lawn on a sunny day.
Some people had a lens taped to the front of the TV to make the picture look larger.

The family television

I was 12 before I tasted my first pizza growing up in Brooklyn, It was called “pizza pie.”
When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too.
It’s still the best pizza I ever had.

We didn’t have a car until I was 10. Before that, the only car in our family was our neighbors 1959 Chrysler. He would give us rides to places too far to walk to.


I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line.
Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn’t know weren’t already using the line.

 Pizzas were not delivered to our home — but milk was in glass containers..and newspapers, too.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers.
I actually delivered a newspaper, 2 days a week, it was the bi-weekly area newspaper. It cost 10 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 5 cents. I had to deliver the paper after school on my bike and didn’t get home until after 9 pm just to collect $1.00
My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change.
My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Delivering with a wagon


Doris Day & Rock Hudson never kissed & told

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies.

Touching someone else’s tongue with yours was called French kissing and they didn’t do that in movies.

I don’t know what they did in French movies. French movies were dirty and we weren’t allowed to see them.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, cell phones, e-mails and tweeting, video games and not much playing outside, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren.
Just don’t blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up has changed..don’t you agree? 



3 thoughts on “Life before e-mails, cell phones, and texting

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