Delta High School Class of '65

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Long Ago Words

 

The other day I picked up a copy of his essay collection, "Tom Dodge Talks About Texas."  Well, one of those little pieces sent me off on a reverie almost immediately. It was about Big Jim Tidwell of Whitney - "The Fender Skirt King of Texas." And I thought, "Fender skirts!" What a great blast from the past! I hadn't thought about fender skirts in years. When I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term. Made me  think of a car in a dress.

Thinking about fender skirts started me thinking about other  words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice. Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. You kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you.

Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and  spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental. When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake."  I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed."

Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - "store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "worldwide" for granted. This floors me. On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered their hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.

When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all that talk about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply "expecting."

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cackled. I guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.  It's hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper - "divorce." And no one is called a "divorcee" anymore. Certainly not a "gay divorcee." Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too.

Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!

Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffeemaker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this. I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro Words like "DynaFlow" and "ElectraLuxe." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most - "supper" ! Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.

 

 

 

IT WAS GOOD 

 

Were you a kid in the Fifties or earlier? Everybody makes fun of our  childhood! Comedians joke. Grandkids snicker. Twenty-something's  shudder  and  say "Eeeew!" But was our childhood really all that bad? Judge for  yourself: 
 
In 1953 The US population was less than 150 million... Yet you knew  more  people then, and knew them better... And that was good. 

The average annual salary was under $3,000... Yet our parents could put  some  of it away for a rainy day and still live a decent life... And that was  good 


A loaf of bread cost about 15 cents... But it was safe for a  five-year-old  to skate to the store and buy one... And that was good. 


 
Prime-Time meant I Love Lucy, Ozzie and Harriet, Gunsmoke and Lassie...  So  nobody ever heard of ratings or filters... And that was good. 

 
We didn't have air-conditioning... So the windows stayed up and half a  dozen  mothers ran outside when you fell off your bike... And that was good. 


Your teacher was either Miss Matthews or Mrs. Logan or Mr. Adkins...  But  not  Ms Becky or Mr. Dan... And that was good. 

 
The only hazardous material you knew about... Was a patch of grassburrs  around the light pole at the corner... And that was good. 

 
You loved to climb into a fresh bed... Because sheets were dried on the  clothesline... And that was good. 

 
People generally lived in the same hometown with their relatives.. So  "child care" meant grandparents or aunts and uncles... And that was  good. 

 
Parents were respected and their rules were law.... Children did not  talk  back..... and that was good. 
 

TV was in black-and-white... But all outdoors was in glorious  color....And  that was certainly good. 

 
Your Dad knew how to adjust everybody's carburetor... And the Dad next  door  knew how to adjust all the TV knobs.. And that was very good. 

 
Your grandma grew snap beans in the back yard... And chickens behind  the  garage... And that was definitely good. 
 

And just when you were about to do something really bad... Chances were  you'd  run into your Dad's high school coach... Or the nosy old lady from up  the  street... Or your little sister's piano teacher... Or somebody from  Church....  ALL of whom knew your parents' phone number... And YOUR first name...  And  even THAT was good! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
 

REMEMBER... 

 
 Nancy Drew, The Hardy  Boys,  Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello, Sky King, Little Lulu comics, Brenda  Starr, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow  Knows  Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk as well as the  sound  of  a real mower on Saturday morning, and summers filled with bike rides,  playing cowboy, playing hide and seek and kick-the-can and  Simon  Says, baseball games, amateur shows at the local theater before the  Saturday  matinee, bowling and visits to the pool...and eating Kool-Aid powder  with  sugar, and wax lips and bubblegum cigars 

 
Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that! 

 
And was it really that long ago? 
 

 

Home Bulletin Board Where Are You? Reunion Information In Memorium Delta High School Song Points to Ponder Graduation Veterans Memories Grandparents 1965 YearBook Top Singles of 1965

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Revised: January 02, 2007