Things I remember from childhood

I don’t know what triggered this trip down memory lane, but a few days ago I started jotting down snippets of childhood memories.  Then I found out via Cindy that Monday was Childhood Memories Day.

I was born in the late 50s. so I would have had most of my growing up years in the 60s.

— Record players for kids that came in a box that latched and had a handle. My aunt gave me a whole collection of 45 rpm records of children’s songs that I loved.

— Little Golden Books. And they are still around — I read them to my kids, too.

— Families bringing lawn chairs out into the front yard to talk with the neighbors while the children played together in each other’s yards in the evenings after dinner.

— My dad taking neighborhood kids for rides on his motor scooter up and down the street.

— Riding bicycles everywhere.

— Collecting glass bottles to get a refund for turning them in at the store. I don’t remember how much we got for them, though — does anyone?

— Nehi Cola in grape, orange, and strawberry. Fruit-flavored soft drinks don’t appeal to me now except just every once in a great while, but we loved them then.

— The bugs of summer: mosquitoes and calamine lotion, fireflies, noisy June bugs getting caught in the screen doors.

— Oscillating fans at bed time and nap time. I thought my aunt lived in the height of luxury because she had central air conditioning. I loved taking naps at her house.

— Having one of the first Barbie dolls with the black and white striped swim suit and pony tail on the crown of her head. I wish I still had her, but I passed her on to four younger sisters…

— Cars like this:

Classic car

— Traveling with my grandmother. Her kids were scattered in Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, and she drove to visit each of them and took me with her a couple of times. We called her the “galloping Grandma.”

— Spending the night with my grandmother and both of us staying up late reading.

— My grandfather’s teasing and distinctive laugh.

— A collie named Sam.

— Putting a note in the offering at church because I didn’t have any money and my cousin’s grandmother taking it out. 😦 I don’t remember what the note said, though.

— We lived near Padre Island in southern Texas, and nearly every celebration, party, get-together involved the beach. I had forgotten how much I loved and missed the water til we went back for a family reunion years ago. I saw then, too, why every beach I had seen since then seemed inadequate: I guess because it was an island, there were sand dunes as far as the eye could see in one direction and water in the other direction. Little strips of beach along a highway that we had seen in other places didn’t seem like a beach at all.

— The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights, The Ed Sullivan Show, the Andy Williams Show.

— Tether ball and four-square on the playground at school as well as my friends and I pretending we were a singing group singing “Downtown” at recess.

Commercials: Mr, Whipple, Brylcream, the Frito Bandito, “Mikey Likes It!”

— Going to eat at a drive-in restaurant every Friday night after getting groceries and eating steak fingers and the BEST milkshakes. I tried steak fingers at a restaurant as an adult, but they just didn’t live up to my memory.

— Going to see movies at the drive-inn theater in our pajamas.

Some of these might sound idyllic…there were unpleasant memories here and there, too, but why focus on those?

Anyone else remember any of these? What are some of your childhood memories?

16 thoughts on “Things I remember from childhood

  1. And roller skates that were all steel and had a key to lock them. Putting cards in the spokes of your bicycle wheels with a clothes pin to make noise. The Palmolive commercial. Cartoons that were simple and not graphic. Playing tag. What a wonderful listy friend. Such memories of days gone by when simple things mattered 🙂

  2. And roller skates that were all steel and had a key to lock them. Putting cards in the spokes of your bicycle wheels with a clothes pin to make noise. The Palmolive commercial. Cartoons that were simple and not graphic. Playing tag. What a wonderful list my friend. Such memories of days gone by when simple things mattered 🙂

  3. Wow….what memories you’ve conjured up for me, Barbara! And as you said, good ones. Why dwell on the unpleasant ones?
    Our family would gather around the TV on Sunday evenings at 7:30pm to watch the Wonderful World of Disney, without fail! The only time we ever got to watch Ed Sullivan was when the Beatles came to America for the first time and we girls begged Dad to let us watch them and he relented. *smile*
    And would you believe that neither I nor my two older sisters ever had a Barbie doll? We had dolls but not a Barbie. AND we grew up to be normal! LOL
    And we had a record player just like you described!
    We went to the drive-in almost every weekend without fail! My sister and I were talking of that the other day. Mom and Dad would take bread and lunchmeat, popcorn they had fixed at home and brought in a big paper bag. I can’t remember what we drank but I’m sure we five kids had SOMETHING! *smile*
    Wonderful memories!! Thanks, Barbara!
    And I remember each of the memories you mentioned, too, Thom! 🙂

  4. Remember also going to the dime store and getting candy for an actual dime? Gosh Barbara and Jewel…we could go on and on with this. I just love this post. Remember making home made Halloween costumes? I was cousin it and taped cut newspaper together for the hair and stapled it to a sailors hat…was perfect and so much fun

  5. I grew up more in the ’70s (born in 1965), but I remember several of the same things:

    the record player – my uncle gave me his old one along with some records – wish I still had them!

    the lightning bugs and mosquitos!

    spending the night with grandmothers – one of them always had ice cream in the freezer (fudge ripple, anyone?) that we would eat every night before bed – I still like to do that now!

    commercials – anyone remember Janitor in a Drum? That one always puzzled me! LOL

    riding bikes – I used to ride or walk to my friend’s house in another neighborhood by myself – my 16-year-old daughter has NEVER walked anywhere by herself! Times have changed.

    I may have to do a post like this; I keep thinking of more and more things! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  6. Most of your stuff, everything Thom said, plus:
    BIG candy bars for a nickle.
    Summer sleep outs in the yard with a bunch of neighborhood kids.
    Running through the sprinkler.
    Rope swings.
    Homemade stilts
    Troll dolls
    Fruit Stripe Gum

    The Oscar Meyer commercial:
    My bologna has a first name, it’s Oscar.
    My bologna has a second name, it’s Mayer.
    I love to eat it every day and if you ask me why I’ll say,
    ‘Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with bologna!

    And the Armor Hot Dog commercial:
    Hot dogs. Armor hot dogs.
    What kind of kids eats Armor hot dogs?
    Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks;
    Tough kids, Sissy kids, even kids with Chicken Pox
    Love hot dogs, Armor hot dogs —
    The dogs kids love to bite!

  7. Thank you for sharing with us, Barbara!

    One of my most distinct childhood memories is sitting on my grandpa’s lap sipping his Guinness Stout. There are many more but mostly about my naughtiness. Hehe…

  8. Oh, Sally made out better than we did on the bottles! We only got a nickel for the BIG bottles! 2 cents for the regular Coca-cola bottles. And WE didn’t buy soda’s so the kids in my family really had to scour the neighborhood to come up with enough nickels for us to all get a popsicle when the Good Humor man came!

    Is that the Galloping Grandma wearing those short-shorts? Sounds like you really had some good times! I ENVY you having grown up near South Padre! I LOOOOOVE that Island!

  9. Oh! I do share most of your memories too… but another commercial I used to laugh and laugh at was the Ty-D-Bowl man! The idea of a little man sailing around in the toilet just tickled me silly!

  10. As a child of the 70’s and 80’s (born 1969) we had some of these too! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. It was fun. I feel like my kids are missing some of these simple things. It’s too much TV and video games now a days. It makes me sad:(

  11. I had forgotten how much we used to get for those bottles, but my little sister grabbed a bottle one time and took off down the street toward the station to get a Coke. She didn’t know that she needed a few other coins to get the Coke; she was just going to swap bottles, empty for full, at the station. Ditzy kid!!! haha But, there were Pez dispensers, Dell comics (older brother had a slew of ’em); the skates I remember with a key to fasten them; mini jukeboxes on the table at the Kickapoo restaurant in Bossier City, LA. Wow. The good old days. Edsels. Oldsmobiles. Studebakers. All these are cars, y’all.

  12. Pingback: Blog year in review: « Stray Thoughts

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