Thursday, July 19, 2007

From Pilar:


“ Hey Dad,” 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. “Grandma cooked every day and when Grandpa got home from work, 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 he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, 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 little league practice. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow). We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was of course, black and white, but they 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.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza; 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.
“ I remember this one all too well. But it was the best pizza ever.”

We didn’t have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather’s Ford. He called it a “machine”.
‘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.
All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I had to get up at 4 AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change. My least favorite customers were the one who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did it 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 were fast foods, 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 isn’t what it used to be, is it?

MEMORIES from a friend:

My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother’s house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to “sprinkle” clothes with water because we didn’t have steam irons. Man, I am old!

How many do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the firewall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older than dirt quiz: Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about. (Ratings at the bottom)

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water.
3. Candy cigarettes
4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles.
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes.
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers.
7. Party lines.
8. Newsreels before the movies.
9. P. F. Flyers.
10. Butch wax.
11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Olive-6933).
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
15. S & H Green Stamps
16. Hi-fi’s
17. Metal Ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper
19. Blue flashbulb
20. Packards
21. Roller skate keys
22. Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins
24. Studebakers
25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered:
0 – 5 You’re still young
6 – 10 You are getting older
11 – 15 Don’t tell your age.
16 –25 You’re older than dirt!

I might be older than dirt but those memories are the best part of my life.
Don’t forget to pass this along!!! Especially to all your really OLD friends…

“God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked.
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do
And have the eyesight to tell the difference.”


From Larpi.


C C ramirez said...

Larps, the dirt quiz items would render us all very young because we will not remember most of them. These items are mainly American things and were not part of our landscape as kids. If you list karitela and karomata, gugo shampoo, palupalo and batya, bubble gum and white rabbit lollies, pakiling, jukebox, hueteng, tumbang preso, sumpak, balut and blue seal cigarettes, we might be in business.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting and entertaining post. Keep them coming, girl.

Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

Cora, the main reason why those items are mainly American is that so we will all feel young. Ops, I remembered those items you had listed. I am now thinking what is the brand name of the buble gum. Is it Tarzan? Does anybody knows?

ErnestoDR said...

With America having strong influence among Filipinos, it's little wonder we identify with some of the items presented. What I do remember during our high school days are Elpo rubber shoes, beachwalk slippers, Banlon shirt, bloomer, tira-tira, chocnut, palutong, sarsaparilya with raw egg, "Mission" orange soda, plantsang de uling, our first black & white "Radiowealth" TV which was shared with the whole barrio Bilolo, our first refrigerator branded "Frigidaire", and all refrigerators coming out after were all called frigider, Student Canteen, Tawag Ng Tanghalan, "bakuran" sa sayawan sa baryo, .....
It's heart-warming to vivify the good old days!