Herald Journal Columns
May 27, 2002 Journal
var sid = 454; var aid = 3;

Before pantyhose, McDonald's

By LYNDA JENSEN

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events.

He asked what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.

The granddad replied, "Well, let me think a minute . . . I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees, and the pill.

There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens.

People had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, well the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and no one had yet walked on the moon.

Your grandmother and I got married first ­ and then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother, and every boy over 14 had a rifle that his dad taught him how to use and respect.

And they went hunting and fishing together.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, 'Sir,' and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.'

Sundays were set aside for going to church as family, helping those in need, and visiting with family or neighbors.

There was no computer-dating, dual careers, day care centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living here was a bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends ­ not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriter, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the president's speeches on our radios.

And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk. The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5 and 10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.

Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one?

Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon. In my day, 'grass' was mowed, 'coke' was a cold drink, 'pot' was something your mother cooked in, and 'rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby.

'Aids' were helpers in the principal's office, 'chip' meant a piece of wood, 'hardware' was found in a hardware store, and 'software' wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap. How old do you think I am?"

ANSWER: Grandpaw would be only 59 years old!


Back to Lynda Jensen Menu | Back to Columns Menu

Howard Lake-Waverly Herald & Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries
Community Guides | Special Topics | Cool Stuff | Search | Home Page