Remember when …


Truisms from our childhoods.

Submitted by Dawn Mack
  1. Sweet cigarettes.
  2. Coffee shops with juke boxes.
  3. There were newsreels before the movie.
  4. Some parents never owned their own house, wore jeans, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card.
  5. 33 rpm records. 45 rpm records. 78 rpm records.
  6. I was cleaning out the attic the other day and found an old lemonade bottle. In the top of the bottle was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to ‘sprinkle’ clothes with because we didn’t have steam irons.
  7. Wash tub wringers.
  8. Metal ice cube trays with levers.
  9. Home milk delivery in glass bottles.
  10. Party lines on the telephone.
  11. Ignition switches on the dashboard.
  12. Film stars kissed with their mouths shut.
Submitted by John Crichton
  1. I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone 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.
  2. Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table. If I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.
  3. My parents never drove me to school.
  4. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed (slow).
  5. Pizzas were not delivered to our home … but milk was and so was bread.
  6. All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. To do this, I had to get up at 5am every morning.
  7. Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.
  8. The television was black and white only, and the station went off the air at 11, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 6am, usually with a locally produced news and farm show.
  9. Trouser leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
  10. Head lights’ dimmer switches on the floor.
  11. Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes.
  12. There were no movie ratings because they weren’t needed.
  13. Pea shooters.
Submitted by Maree Papworth
  1. It took five minutes for the TV to warm up.
  2. All male teachers wore ties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels.
  3. You got your windscreen cleaned, oil checked and petrol served, without asking, all for free, every time.
  4. Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.
  5. People went steady.
  6. The Lone Ranger and Sgt Bilko.
  7. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with tinfoil tops.
  8. Summers filled with bike rides, cricket and hula hoops.
  9. Children were sometimes kept back a year if they failed the school year.
  10. Playing cricket with no adults to help the children with the rules of the game.
  11. Nearly everyone’s Mum was home when the kids got home from school.
  12. Cigarette cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
Submitted by Terry Hearity
  1. All potato crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
  2. A big mac was what we wore when it was raining.
  3. ‘Kebab’ was not even a word, never mind a food.
  4. Multiplication was called ‘times tables’.
  5. Paper bags were being blamed for the destruction of trees – and plastic bags were the solution!
Submitted by others
  1. Lita Lee (who wrote it herself): You went to the grocer’s shop, not a supermarket. The grocer, wearing an apron, stood behind the counter and you watched as he made up your order. He packed biscuits into paper bags, cut butter and cheese to the size that you wanted and wrapped it in special paper, measured out flour or sugar into paper bags, etc. Then the grocer would put your items into a big cardboard box and deliver it to your kitchen bench not long after you got home with your mum!
  2. Lita Lee (who wrote it herself): And you could buy a paper bag of broken biscuits for a very reduced price.
  3. Sue Bailey (who wrote it herself): There were only four types of shampoo – Sunsilk, for normal hair, Richard Hudnut egg-creme shampoo for dry hair, Wella for oily hair and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.
  4. Sue Bailey (who wrote it herself): Chinese food came in your own saucepans.
  5. Thomas Friedman via Dianne Baird: When we were growing up, ‘later’ meant that you could paint the same landscape, see the same animals, climb the same trees, fish the same rivers, visit the same Antarctica, enjoy the same weather or rescue the same endangered species that you did when you were a kid — but just later, whenever you got around to it. Not anymore. Later is now when you won’t be able to do any of them ever again. So whatever you’re planning to save, please save it now. Because later is when they’ll be gone. Later will be too late.