I Remember…

Life before electronics

You, of the younger generation, may ask, “What is she talking about?”

Others, nearer my age, will remember many of the same things.

I won’t go so far as to say “good old days.” I enjoy many of the modern inventions.

But, there was life before TV, computers, iPods, Kindles and cell phones!

Before TV, there was radio – music, stories and news.

Two shows I remember were The Whistler and The Lone Ranger and Tonto – High-Ho, Silver.

I saw my first TV when I was a senior in high school.

Lassie was a big favorite.

Phones were operated by a switch board with helpful, human operators.

At first, we had a party line. When anyone on the party line received a call, everyone’s phone rang. You knew if the call was for you by the number of rings.

What a joy when we finally got a private line. Someone was always listening – eavesdropping – to our conversations on the party line.

Movies were the highlight of our lives. Lots of westerns – The Lone Ranger, Roy, Dale and Trigger, Randolph Scott and Gene Audrey. John Wayne came along later.

I saw enough westerns to last me a lifetime!

MGM Studio is located in Culver City, California, home to famous movie stars. We hopped on a street car and traveled the 10 miles to get there most Saturdays.

Famous names at that time: Frank Sinatra – who was one of the nicest to his fans. He always had time to chat with us. I still love listening to his music. Of course, there was Sammy Davis and Dean Martin, Mickey Rooney, Dinah Shore and Gene Kelly – remember “Singing in the Rain?” Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor – who was a beautiful 16-year-old at that time with her black hair and violet eyes. Clark Gable, handsome in his Army uniform, but he did not have time to stop and sign our books or say “hello.”

These names will ring a bell to some people, while others will shake their heads.

Guess what I don’t know.

I don’t know the names of the popular actors of today!

Most of our time was spent outdoors, playing in vacant lots or in someone’s yard and in the streets at times.

Do kids play these games now: Hop-Scotch, Jump Rope, Red Rover, Hide and Go Seek, Jacks, London Bridge?

Do they ride bikes and play baseball in empty lots?

The pier at Venice, California, was like a year-round fair, minus the animals. There were lots of rides and carnival food.
My husband, Herb, grew up in Campbelltown. His interests were different than mine,

Swimming or fishing in the creeks; crawling around in caves. I remember him telling me he explored a cave at Swago. He just knew he was the first to discover it.

What a big let down when he found, written on the cave wall, “Porter Dan was here.”

Herb enjoyed hunting, and back then the guys took their guns to school and left them in Charles Edward McElwee’s room until after school.

Most of the games I played were considered too girly for Herb. But Hide and Seek, Tug of War and King of the Mountain were okay.

The boys liked throwing rocks, baseballs and footballs.

Things change. Refrigeration is great, and we take it for granted.

I remember the wooden ice boxes. Trucks came around with blocks of ice. On summer days, it was a treat to suck on the ice chips.

If we had any money, we listened for the bell on the ice cream truck.

I enjoyed my first childhood, and have not reached my second one….yet.

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