Ten cents a bottle, and a nickel for the Moon Pie… That was eight coke bottles in trade and an penny back…

I grew up in a little town called Texarkana during the 50s and 60s when most everyone treated each other with respect. We didn’t eat a lot of fast food because it was considered a treat, not a food group. We drank Kool-Aid and ice tea made from water that came from our kitchen sink. We ate bologna sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, pot pies, but mostly home made meals consisting of mainly meat, potatoes, beans, home grown vegetables, bread and butter, and homemade dessert. School lunches were delicious. Sometimes, for a special treat, we got to take our lunches to school in a brown paper bag or a lunch box.
We grew up during a time when we would gather glass bottles to take to the store and use the deposit money to buy penny candy. (We even got a brown paper bag to put the candy in). You could get a lot for just 25 cents. We also mowed lawns, helped neighbors with chores, and worked in the garden in the summer. We went outside to play games, ride bikes, run with siblings, cousins, and friends. We played hide and seek,baseball, kickball, basketball, football and dodge ball. We drank tap water from the hose outside… bottled water was unheard of.
We ate a hot breakfast or cold cereal at the breakfast table before going to school. We had no cable TV, just a couple channels, no microwave, or cell phones. We watched TV as a family: Gunsmoke, Gilligan’s Island, Wonderful World of Disney, Bonanza, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Red Skelton, and Ed Sullivan. After school, we came home and did homework and chores and watched some cartoons on Saturday morning.
If we were bad in school, we got in trouble there. When we got home, we got in trouble again (because your parents already knew). Paddling was allowed in school and you behaved yourself or else.
We would ride our bikes for hours, and talk and play outside until the lightning bugs came out, or the street lights came on. We would catch bugs in mason jars, make mud pies, play in the water sprinklers, and pick wildflowers and four-leaf clovers.
We LEARNED FROM our parents and grandparents instead of disrespecting them and treating them as if they knew nothing. What they said was the gospel.
If someone had a fight, that’s what it was – a fist fight and you were back to being friends afterwards and the bullying pretty much ceased. We grew up around guns, were taught how to properly use them, and to respect them and never thought of taking a life.
We had to be close enough to home to hear Mom yelling or Dad whistling to tell you it’s time to come home for dinner. We ate around the dinner table and talked to each other as a family unit. We said the Pledge of Allegiance, stood for the National Anthem and listened to our teachers.
We watched what we said around our elders because we knew If we DISRESPECTED any grown up we would get our behinds whipped. It wasn’t called abuse. It was called discipline! We held doors for others, carried groceries, and gave up our seat to someone else without being asked.
We didn’t hear curse words on the radio in songs or TV. If you cursed and got caught, you had a bar of soap stuck in your mouth and had to stand in the corner for quite some time. “Please, Thank you, Yes Ma’am and Yes, Sir” were part of our daily vocabulary!
We grew up with good, God-loving families. If we missed school or church, we had to stay inside all day. We couldn’t leave the house or watch TV.
h/t Wayne for the words…


TBT… — 29 Comments

  1. That pretty well describes my youth. Society was shaped by those that endured WW1, the Great Depression, WW2 and the Korean War. Many things were understood, but little taken for granted. Politeness, respect, dignity and integrity were branded on those that suffered before, and demanded. They saw the effects, and some died to protect us from the ruthless evils of tyranny.

  2. Opelousas and Algiers, Louisiana, same experiences here almost to exact points. Add several serial westerns on TV, suspended in what we would call middle school today and learned a hard lesson at home from that one, have original Red Skelton art here today, every mother knew every other’s phone numbers when the whiste didn’t work or when correction was needed, Band-Aids were available at everyone’s home along with motherly advice, got up off the curb and stood respectfully when the flag passed, got up off whatever when a visiting lady entered the room, doctor parked the black Packard out front to see me in my sick/bed room, out late meant witin 15 minutes of street lights better be inside, “stereophonic” meant 2 speakers, phone not for us — wrong rings, milk delivery in tin box on front porch – get it fast in summertime, don’t think of shorting the paperboy — mothers all know each other, Merita bread was best because the Lone Ranger said it was, and on and on and on…

    And today my grandkids have no idea of what the word “wholesome” means.

    Oh. And don’t make a canned pineapple slices and cheese sandwich for the school lunchbox. Makes one hell of a soggy mess by opening time. One of my early forays into “cooking.”

  3. School lunch dessert – peach cobbler. Oh man, wasn’t that good !! Just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon.

    We had only three TV channels and the movie of the week was on about twice. TV shows were comedy variety (Carol Burnett and Red Skeleton were the best), medical and Old West dramas. 60 Minutes, Hee Haw and Lawerence Welk were Sunday staples.

    Your outside activities sound just like mine. Older teenage years had a lot more fishing (bass – channel cats – bluegill) in the afternoons and weekends. Rabbit hunting in citrus orchards.

    I thought everyone had this experience. I wish my kids had the same opportunities I had. Completely different now, even at same locale

  4. “Little Davy, he was killed outright. But ‘Miss Babe’… she was okay ’til we turned her head around.”
    Obscure, I know. If you know where this comes from you grew up at a time when comedy was wonderful.

  5. Sounds a lot like my childhood. Few helicopter parents in those days. I had an established area I was permitted to roam. If I wanted to go beyond it, I had to gain permission, which was usually granted. My parents simply wanted to know where I was. No yelling or whistling for dinner. That happened every evening at 6:00 sharp, and I had better be on time and not five minutes late. It was a different time.

  6. Reminds me of the story about when the doctor’s nurse asks “Has the child had a BM today?” The mom replies “No but he did have an RC and Moon Pie this morning.”

    Pretty much my childhood except for the TV. We didn’t have one until I was in high school. For me it was “No School Today with Big John & Sparky” on the Saturday morning radio.

    We lived in Texarkana around ’45-’46 when my Dad was stationed at the Red River facility post WWII.

    • I don’t know, listening to teachers these days is the surest way to be turned into a Marxist zombie. Likewise, listening to and obeying a lot of authority figures.

  7. Sure wish I could raise my kids in that environment…

    Instead we homeschool and try our best to shelter them from the evils of this world… and socializing them is a scary idea, but we still do our best. There’s only so much a big family can do!

    I also noticed a lack of activities like soccer, dance, tumbling, football, baseball, bad mitten, hockey, gymnastics… and the list goes on… of activities that suck the life out of our culture! What used to be Jr High or high school sports are now available the life of preschoolers.

    Need I delve into social media, sexting, cell phone’s… oh, and drugs!

    The dangers for my kids are easier to find and more dangerous to dabble in. I’m jealous of all you who could trust the neighbors to watch your kids, the thought of them molesting your kids never crossing your mind.

    The depravity of mankind continues to amaze me… Jesus, come quick!

  8. My father and his brothers were accomplished poachers. Subsistence hunters but the law didn’t see it that way. Lots of venison. Unlocked pickups with gun racks at the high school. Milking cows and stacking hay. In my twilight years I will admit I don’t miss it, not at all.

  9. And that bologna or ham sandwich, with mayonaise, or an egg-salad sandwich, lived in your locker and you ate it at lunchtime.

    Can you imagine some kid showing up with a sandwich with meat and mayo on it that hasn’t been constantly refrigerated since leaving home in this fallen world.

    A meat sandwich that’s been sitting in a sun-heated locker? And yet we survived. Though there were days when lunch did kind of seem ‘funky’ but we ate it anyways.

    Things like that. ‘Looking’ a bag of beans for dirt and stones and other not-bean thingies before making beans. Today, the beans are so clean as to not need looking. Weird.

    And oranges for Christmas. Along with nuts in the shell. Why? Because citrus was seasonal and expensive. Now? Citrus or any fruit at any time of the year you want. Whodathunk? And not all non-seasonal fruit comes from overseas either, some of it is grown in hothouses or are alternate-weather varieties.

    Peanut butter sandwiches at school. Now a lot of districts have banned them.

    I could go on, but I can feel the arthritis setting into my fingers as I type.

    • I search through the beans. I get the low-end brands that still have rocks and other treasures in them. I don’t want to have to replace any more of my teeth! 🙂

  10. I really do feel like a prehistoric mammal among dinosaurs. 🙂

    But I remember roaming the neighborhood, on foot or on bicycle, extensively, with no leashes. Exploring the ancient graveyard hidden away in a section of woods adjacent to the property, and daring each other to climb down into the grave that had fallen in. Drinking from the outside water hose (even if the water was warm). Cookouts and neighborhood block parties, watching the adults set off fireworks.

    • That’s me. We roamed a bunch of semi-wild backyards and gullies (turned out to be a long-forgotten city park and floodway) and our Moms had a phone network when they needed to track us down. Stayed out until streetlights came on, then shifted into someone’s backyard until a Dad came and got us. Rode bikes all over, including a gas-station with candy. There’s be a cookout about once a month or so, either in the neighborhood or at a church family’s house. Lots of lemonade and any pop was store-brand.

  11. Grew up as a young lad in the California Gold Rush country, about four miles above Fiddletown. I still remember the name of the head cook in my grade school cafeteria–Angie. Short and wide dark haired Italian dynamo. She knew the first name of every kid in that school. One day a week, the dessert would be Apple Crisp with a topping of whipped cream. Seconds if you wanted. Heaven.

    These days, I go to YooToob to watch “Have Gun Will Travel”. Also “The Lieutenant” produced by Gene Roddenberry before Star Trek.

  12. I remember summers in West Virginia. Fishing with my grandmother and grandfather. You got thirsty, you stuck your face in the river and drank. Perfectly good water, the town took it, ran it through a sand filter and piped it into the houses.

    Now, every body of water has giardia and even less appetizing bugs swimming in it.

  13. Mr Greybeard, Wasn’t that where the cop car pulled up while the Long antenna going swish, swish, swish? Justin Wilson?? or Dave Gardner? I’m a Yankee who listened to the radio a lot! Which one was it tha wanted some alligator shoes, but couldn’t find one wearing any? Funny stuff!

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