I know that I am old now. I suppose people want to remember the good and forget the bad. I look back and think how things were so so much better when I was young.
I remember shopping with my aunt in one of the first supermarkets over sixty years ago. The meat was visible in the meat locker awaiting the butcher to custom cut on the spot. The produce was usually seasonal, fresh and firm. What was there was always ripe and tasty. OJ was fresh squeezed at home.
I don’t remember much frozen foods then or convenience food either. There were fewer brands and fewer choices. The big companies hadn’t thought of buying up the competition yet. Of course there were tins, called that because that was what they were then made of, and glass jars. Sodas were in glass bottles with deposits levied. Cans and plastic would come years later as would no-deposit ones. . Oh, the drinks in those cold bottles tasted real good!
There were no Dunking Donut franchises. Donuts and most baked goods came from the bakery. Penny candy was a treat and reward to be bought at the candy store. The soda shoppe had fresh dipped ice cream. Yummy. I remember trucks going down the streets with their drivers hawking watermelons. Sometimes there was even an organ grinder with a monkey. Now and then a bell rang and people looked out the window to see a truck with a little kids’ amusement like a carousel or Ferris wheel going down the street..
It was not a disposable society. People carried cash in their pockets instead of credit and debit cards. Clothes were mended. Appliances were repaired. Christmas toys did not have instructions because they were bought ready for play. They ran forever without batteries. All child needed was a little imagination and some energy.
Televisions were bulky and heavy, black and white, initially with six or seven inch screens. Channels were limited to the local broadcasting area. I remember watching 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. That’s all. I remember the test patterns for the time the stations were off the air. Shows were aired live. Censorship of words and behavior was the accepted practice. Married people were shown sleeping in twin beds. Much skin definitely was not shown.
Families were still together then. Divorce was not prevalent. The decades that followed would bring women out of their homes into the workforce. Most people still shopped in their downtown stores. The mega-malls would come later. People walked a lot.
Those who I loved are long gone. Memories remain. I wonder what today’s generations will have when they are old and gray or bald. Extended family is out of fashion; it has been supplanted by friends. I’m glad I have for me the trips to the playground, the journeys to the beach, the visits to the amusement part, and double feature movies to look back on.
What will you give your children? What they need most is you. I cherish every one mine. I love them all differently I admit, not more or less. I thank God for each of them. I may not have always liked them or rather the things they did; however, I always loved them with all my heart. When I am gone, they can always hold on to that.
Use your time and life wisely and you will be remembered accordingly.