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Old 02-27-2014, 21:56   #1
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Default Remember When? ☺

Some of us have been kicking around this 'third rock' for a long long time, and maybe some of you would like to tell us your memories.

I'm a war baby and born in a rural area out on the Great Plains of the USA. Some of my memories are from before phones and electricity were even available in every home.

We lived in a very small town (about 300 pop.) and we did have a phone, electricity, propane heat, and hot/cold running water, but I found it fascinating when we visited our cousins where kerosene lamps provided all the light, and coal furnaces or fuel oil stoves provided heat. Indoors, water came via a small pump attached to the kitchen sink, and it pumped from a cistern. There was no water heater, so cold 'running' water is all there was and the teakettle on the stove took care of all hot water needs. I know I was a teenager when some of these cousins finally got REA (Rural Electrification Administration) and indoor plumbing.

Seems incredible now, so c'mon - tell us your stories!



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Old 02-27-2014, 22:38   #2
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Shanny, your memories remind me of camping on the weekends while I was growing up. I was born in 1973 and was raised in an average area. All the usual amenities of the time but nothing spectacular. Even though mom was raising my sister and I alone (dad passed when I was in kindergarten), she managed to buy a camper and put it out in PA, at an association they belonged to before dad passed.

Anyway, the weekends were amazing. We would sit around the campfire behind the camper every night and just relax. It was just the three of us and the occasional neighbor that would stop by. We had marshmallow roasts to high heaven! A few weekends a month, we would walk down to the big barn for a barn dance. It was your good, old-fashioned country barn dance. They always made sure that all of the kids had enough soda to keep us going all night.

I used to love the drive out there - passing all of the farms. I still remember how large the cows looked when I was young. I always wondered what it would be like, to live out there. Even though it was only a few hours away, it seemed like the other side of the world to my sister and I. Sometimes on the way home, mom would stop at this little store where they still made all of their cheeses the old fashioned way. I'd beg my mom every time to buy as much Muenster cheese as we could fit in the car.

Sorry, that probably wasn't the exact direction this thread was headed in. Your memories about water and electricity made me immediately think of what it was like growing up there, every weekend.

Ahh, the good old days.
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Old 02-27-2014, 22:44   #3
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I am a post war baby and have always lived in the city. I do remember our first phone having what they called a party line. You would share your line with one or two other families. Anyone could pick up the phone and listen to your conversations. It would lead to a few fights if everyone wanted the phone at the same time! We didn't have our party line for too long before my father insisted on a private line.

I also remember our first means of keeping our food cold was an icebox. My Dad would pick up a big block of ice everyday on his way home from work. Not an easy feat as he rode a bike!! I remember on more than one occasion my Mother complaining when my father stopped for a bubbly refreshment on the way home and there was nothing but a puddle of water left under the bike carrier haha.

I remember the junk man coming down are lane with his horse and cart, also having milk and bread delivered to the door, and the Rawleigh's man visiting with his many products. I also recall that there were no credit cards and most families would run a tab at the local store.

We had no TV at first and would listen to the radio and my mother would play records. The means of doing the wash was a wringer washing machine that you would have to hand feed the clothes through the wringer. In the summer the clothes would hang on the line outside. In the Winter the clothes would hang by the heat registers all over the house. No disposable diapers then either!

Hmmm so many memories. I could go on and on.
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Old 02-27-2014, 22:49   #4
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Mary, I enjoyed reading about your memories. It sounds like your Mom did a fantastic job making good memories for her family. I am sorry you had to lose your Dad at such a young age. I bet you and your Mom are very close.

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Old 02-27-2014, 22:52   #5
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The milk man ... I remember the milk man would come and deliver milk and bread each week. My sister and I used to try and get mom to buy a pack of peanuts that he also sold, now and then. I always looked forward to his visits just because sometimes he would sell a little candy in there, too.

@ Judy - Thanks, it's all good. The three of us are close. My sister is actually only ten months older than I am, so we're the same age each year for a few months.

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Old 02-27-2014, 22:59   #6
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Originally Posted by Mary0110 View Post
The milk man ... I remember the milk man would come and deliver milk and bread each week. My sister and I used to try and get mom to buy a pack of peanuts that he also sold, now and then. I always looked forward to his visits just because sometimes he would sell a little candy in there, too.

@ Judy - Thanks, it's all good. The three of us are close. My sister is actually only ten months older than I am, so we're the same age each year for a few months.
I would always hope that my Mom would by the chocolate milk, which she very rarely did. The bread man would bring treats of doughnuts etc, but she seldom bought those as well! With four children to feed I guess she had to watch her money.

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Old 02-27-2014, 23:01   #7
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I know the feeling. My mom was raising two girls and providing for herself on just what she made. Not easy but she made it. Mom's always been a total inspiration to me.

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Old 02-27-2014, 23:30   #8
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I was born in 1942 and we also had no TV when I was young. Actually nobody did I remember listening to my favorite radio shows, The Loan Ranger, The Cisco Kid, The Green Hornet, and on Sundays Jack Beney, Fibber McGee & Mollie, Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy, the list goes on. I remember when we got our first TV I think I was around 9 years old. I lived in Los Angeles and even there we had only a few channels. I remember when you could get a Coka-Cola from a machine for 5 cents. I also remember the ringer washer and hanging clothes on the line. We had milk delivered and the Helms Bakery truck came by every day. We had an electric refrigerator but people on our street had ice boxes and the Ice truck delivered every day. As kids in the summer we followed the truck to get ice chips from him because when he broke the blocks into smaller blocks chips would fly and he let us have them. WOW, memories.
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Old 02-27-2014, 23:48   #9
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I was born in 1972 in Cleveland, but we left 6 months after I was born, as the Steel industry was in a depression. My father got a govt job in DC- during a hiring freeze.

We had no money, Judy got by, but my parents made it so much fun. We , family of 5, were packed into a townhouse. House had A/C, but it had to be above 98 to put it on. Everything was homemade- my mother was an awesome baker, so kids flocked to our house. Milk was delivered by the local dairy farm until 76. I remember the bicentennial very well- we decorated our bikes! We played outside until the lights came on, and in the winter, came in when we were frozen! we didn't go on vacation until I was 12. Vacation was not being in school! No video games- you didn't even ask! It was a fun childhood!
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Old 02-27-2014, 23:51   #10
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I think I'm going to love this thread!

I'm so fascinated by ordinary peoples extraordinary lives.

As a small child I lived with my parents in a rented late 19thC mansion converted into apartments in St Kilda, a very trendy inner suburb that attracts artists, actors and 'working girls' (Freya and Sandra will know this area). Once the other girls arrived, there are 4 girls in total, we moved to the other side of Melbourne where new and very cheap houses were being built. We had no sewage connection for years so the toilet was a 'dunny can' in the back yard. My biggest nightmare was sitting on the 'can' and having to deal with red back spiders and the 'dunny man' who came to empty the can while you were sitting on it.

At school we used nib pens and ink for years before we were allowed to graduate to a biro pen. An ink well on each desk that we had to fill by taking out the big ink carton in the cupboard and suck the ink up through a straw, place your finger over the straw then let it drop into the ink well. Many a child sucked up the ink too hard and ended up swallowing a mouthful. You'd think the school would have had a more efficient way of transferring the ink .. but I guess there was no Occupational Health and Safety procedures back then!

I used to come home from school with ink down my school uniform, ink around my mouth and inky hands. We'd soak our uniforms in milk to get the ink stains out. I was SO happy when I was finally allowed to use a biro!

I remember hearing the sound of the heavy hoofed horse and cart delivering bread and milk in the wee hours of the morning. I found the slow clip clop clip clop very comforting.

I would have loved to have had a mobile phone as a teenager! I was always getting into trouble for talking for literally hours on the landline phone or I'd have to scrounge a coin and run to the phone box.

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