Now where the dinkly doo did all those cool things go? I don’t know why, but last night, I was in quite the melancholy, nostalgic mood. Watching news coverage of the blizzard up in Cleveland while sitting on my couch, wrapped in my electric blanket, eating a cheezer and chicken soup made me all wistful and maudlin. Sometimes I get that way, and I can’t explain it. It’s very much like the feeling I get when I hear certain harmonic progressions or lyrics, especially if they’re sad. I can’t describe it, but it’s pretty intense.

Anyhow, I started thinking of things you just don’t see anymore:

  1. Rotary pay phones (for the ‘snappers, they look like this)
  2. Milk delivered to the doorstep (our Grandmas Johnson and Murphy had metal milk boxes on their porches)
  3. “Service stations” where guys in blue uniforms pumped the gas, checked the oil and cleaned the windshield, at no extra charge
  4. Mimeographed copies (also called “dittos” or “spirit masters”). I loved the smell of them as a kid.
  5. Basketball players wearing shorts that didn’t look like saggy, wet diapers (at this rate, it’s only a matter of time before they’re wearing palazzo pants)
  6. Paper grocery bags by default
  7. Kids using a clothespin to fasten a playing card to their bike wheels so the spokes made noise
  8. Roller skates that required a key
  9. The “dime store” – haha
  10. School milk cartons that had the round pull tab on the top

What do you remember? I’ll bet you miss lots of things from a time when the world was simpler. Like last week.


14 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. Meg's Mom

    Aaahhhh….how sweet it is…love those memories. Here’s a few of my own:

    1. Going to the local five and dime (in Greenwich it was KC’s) to special order a 45 record of your favorite new hit
    2. Walking to school every day in a skirt because young ladies weren’t allowed to wear pants to school. Your knees felt like hard, frozen sausages by the time you got there…well, maybe this isn’t such a great memory!
    3. Kids being allowed to play outside all day running from one friend’s house to another without parents having to worry about them being accosted by a stranger
    4. 5 cent pack of gum, 25 cent candy bar, 4 cent stamps
    5. colorforms purchased at Simmons’ Drug Store
    6. Mom being home when you got home from school
    7. one-car families
    8. The Dick Van Dyke Show (the 1st one with Mary Tyler Moore), The Honeymooners…simple, fun TV with no innuendos, no murder, no sex…imagine that!

    Those were the days!

    1. Meg

      #6. Or better yet, riding home with Mom to and from school (singing “Down By The Bay” and doing long math problems). :)

      1. Meg's Mom

        Now THAT’S a great memory and the Fink thinks she’s the one who taught you to sing like an angel! Well…actually…she is!

        1. Rat Fink Post author

          No way, M’s M! That girl arrived singing like an angel…I’d sooner think it’s fantastic and fortunate genes that made that voice. :-)

  2. Sam's mom

    I remember having to change channels on the TV with a knob and then with needle-nose pliers when the knob broke off; pepsi in returnable bottles; my first cell phone that was the size of a walkie-talkie used by the military…..this could go on forever. Some things I want to remember and some I want to forget.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Returnable bottles! My maternal grandmother had dozens of those at a time. I remember always feeling cheated because my parents would never buy pop in bottles. Going to Grandma’s house for a whole bottle of Pepsi to myself was a deluxe treat! Them were the days…

      Hey, great to see you comment, S’s M!

  3. Mavis

    1. Hiding my transistor radio under my pillow at night so Mother wouldn’t know I was playing it.
    2. Skating with you and our friends at Brown Deer Park.
    3. All the parties Mother would give at the holidays. The wonderful smells in the house.
    4. Being able to take you Trick or Treating all by ourselves in our Waukegan neighborhood.
    5. Our old, little record player and the 45’s we always listened to.
    6. The way Dad would water down our front yard in the winter so we had a skating rink. That was in the Waukegan house. Do you remember that?

    I could go on and on. Thanks for reminding me of simpler days. I really needed that today. Love you, Lindabird.

  4. Stein

    1. The invention of a touch-tone phone allowed for a great deal of other progressive technology around the house.
    2. I appreciate milk with an expiration date printed.
    3. You never know when those guys are going to rip you off.
    4. No more getting carbon “ink” all over your fingers. There are copies of music made 40 years ago from which I STILL get dirty fingers.
    5. Those old basketball shorts were SO short that you could see the straps from the jock hanging out the bottom. DISGUSTING.
    6. I would like for this one to return. Plastic is cheap, but paper is more eco-friendly.
    7. Can I add, kids riding bikes?
    8. I have no recollection of such things…
    9. We still have these. Inflation merely required them to become dollar stores.
    10. They found that the round pull-tab did not seal the milk adequately and the milk would go bad, making children sick.

  5. Greg

    1. Crystal radios–no batteries needed, just a ground clip to a water pipe or metal dial on a rotary phone and you could tune in to stations on the air.
    2. The rotary “turners” on TV antennas. Turn the dial and the outdoor antenna would rotate in the direction of either Cleveland or Toledo.
    3. Yellow or red children’s phonograph records plus the old style record player with an enunciator in the tone arm–no speaker!
    4. 45 rpm record inserts so those wide-holed records could be played on a standard phonograph.
    5. Old washing machines that had 1 cycle–wash! And the attached wringer to squeeze out the water. Mom had one that she used to wash my dad’s work clothes–they came out spotless!
    6. Family dinners at grandma’s house.
    7. Visiting Santa in a REAL Santa house—no folding chair in an empty storefront, rented for the holidays.
    8. The old “series-style” Christmas lights—if one burned out the whole string went dead!
    9. Strong, durable metal toys that never broke 10 minutes after opening the package.
    10. Push-type lawnmowers that used no gasoline and made very little noise.

  6. Rat Fink Post author

    Hey, I love all these lists, wow! Great memories from some of them, too. And Stein (you little ray of sunshine), I didn’t mean I liked the short shorts…the early 90s had some mid-length baggy ones that were fine. But I went to a game last week where the shorts were almost an A-line culotte, complete with gold piping on the hem; full and swishy and all the way down the calf.

  7. Kodye

    The LA Lakers Ron Artest still wears the classic high basketball shorts, when he’s not busy trying to beat up fans in Detroit :)


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