Old Days


Growing up in the OC as a pimple-faced teen in the late 50s and early 60s, before the advent of computers and drive-by shootings, life was a lot simpler and less frantic. It was a time of innocence, a time accented by Butch Wax, Blackjack gum, S & H Green Stamps, coffee shop diners with tabletop juke boxes, dial telephones with party line phone service, newsreels before the movie, 45 RPM records and ice-cold popsicles delivered curbside by the Good Humor man.


“Old days, good times I remember. Fun days filled with pleasure, drive-in movies, comic books and blue jeans, Howdy Doody, baseball cards and birthdays. Take me back to the world gone by, memories seem like yesterday. (“Old Days – Chicago 1975)


A reader asked me the other day what my favorite fast food was when I was growing up and I informed her that we didn’t have fast food when I was growing up. All the food was slow. Mom cooked every meal and, when dad got home from work, we sat down at the dining table. If I didn’t like what was on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it. Oh, and then I had to get permission to leave the table.


Some parents never owned their own house, never wore Levis, never set foot on a golf course, never traveled out of the country and never had a credit card. In their later years, they had something called a revolving charge card that was only good at Sears and Roebuck. Now there’s no Roebuck, let alone Sears.


My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was because we never heard of soccer. I had a bicycle that weighed about 50 pounds and only had one speed (slow). We only had one TV in the house; it wasn’t in color and the stations went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem, after which there was a test pattern featuring the face of an Indian…excuse me, I meant to say Native American.


Pizzas were not delivered to our home, but milk was. Movie stars kissed with their mouths closed…at least they did in the movies, and there were no movie ratings because all movies were clean and wholesome.


When my dad was cleaning up the house, he discovered an old Royal Crown Cola bottle that had a bunch of holes punched into the bottlecap, which sat on the end of the ironing board. It was so grandma could sprinkle the clothes with water because we didn’t have steam irons. I must be getting old.


“Oh, old days, good times I remember, gold days I’ll always treasure. Funny faces full of love and laughter, funny places, summer nights and streetcars. Take me back to the world gone away, our good memories seem like yesterday, old days…”


Keep it flyin’ Uncle Mott