Finally found a pic of an actual Woolworth’s lunch counter, circa late 1950s!!! That was a real treat for me as a little kid. 🙂

And who spent more time swimming like this than they did in ANY pool?

And who remembers this image???

Now the question is, was it butter or margarine???


TBT… — 26 Comments

  1. Parkay margarine is what my feeble old brain tells me. When I look on net, its Blue Bonnet.

    Missed it by that much !

    • FW – a high school buddy always said ‘ please pass the colored fat’ at the dinner table – he was brought up to be very polite.

  2. We ate margarine because it was cheaper and we couldn’t afford butter. Except for my mother, for whom a stick of butter was kept in the fridge because she hated margarine. I suppose nowadays CPS would be called because we were being treated unequally or something.

  3. In the fifties, our neighbor was the manager of the local Woolworth’s. His wife ran the lunch counter. This was downtown in a small city. No malls at that time. No local swimming holes, the (small) river running through town was too polluted to safely swim in.

  4. Except that my memory of the lunch counter is being stuck between my cigarette smoking parents, and I’ve hated smoking from my earliest memories.

    I don’t remember my family using margarine.

  5. Went to a lunch counter quite frequently when growing up in Dallas – but the two I frequented were in pharmacies. The one down from the Texaco station where I worked had great sausage and egg sandwiches in the morning.And I haven’t eaten margarine in a very long time, starting along the time I took chemistry classes and learned what polymers are… Been a big fan of swimming holes, lakes, ponds and walks in the creeks and rivers

    • Same here Tom, but it was an ESSO station and the sandwich was grilled ham and cheese. Sure didn’t see any bikinis like that at our swimming hole on the Elm Fork Trinity river back then.

      • Funny, my second job was an ESSO station a block the other side of the pharmacy – on Preston Road just south of Lovers Lane.

  6. Since we had milk cows, we had real undiluted butter. There is a bit of labor making it and putting it into molds. The buttermilk was saved for baking – added to the sourdough bread mix.

    Today I don’t eat margarine. Put some on a saucer and leave it out. Days later there still won’t be any mold on it. Some sources claim it is one molecule off plastic.

  7. All- Thanks, and yes, it’s…plastic…or close enough for government work. And it used to be gray!!!

    Posted from my iPhone.

  8. The town where I grew up. Yes, those MANY years ago, had a Woolworth’s store with a lunch counter. Never ate there.

  9. I wonder where and when that top picture was taken. We had swimming holes back when I was a kid, but no girls in bikinis.

  10. Tuna on white bread, please. And on Friday in New Orleans that was about all you could order other than a cheese sandwich. BB was pretty much all there was in the fridge. No swim hole — too suburban. But we had a square city block of a playground just down the street; the Mississippi River was 100 yards or so beyond it, but only a suicide-by-swim would have been available there.

  11. If you want to find out the evolution of margarine get, read, and live by this book by Dr. Joseph Mercola.” FAT for FUEL. Will make you wonder how we have all survived eating all the crap the big conglomerates have pushed on us!! I know it has finally caught up with me!!

    • No diner where I grew up.
      No idea if I was raised on butter or margarine.
      I believe Mercola had his license revoked.

  12. I’m going with early ’60s, unless you can prove bona fides.
    No self-respecting woman would have been out in public in a pantsuit in the 1950s. Dresses only.
    The pantsuit makes it early ’60s, after MTM hit the airwaves in one on The Dick Van Dyke Show (’61-’66).
    Second piece of evidence: No hat for the gentleman in the suit is in evidence, i.e. on the counter, etc.
    Once again, more likely 1960s than 1950s.
    Photo interpretation FTW!

    Grilled cheese sammich @ Woolworth’s on a Saturday after being dragged along shopping with mom was the best.
    And on Sunday, J.C. Penney’s was closed.

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