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Tuesday, September 6, 2016


This re-run is from September 2011

As a cranky old man I am guilty looking back and thinking “Those were the good old days.”  The days where we didn’t worry about bullying, self-esteem, AIDS, terrorists, Bernie Madoff, gay marriage, peanut butter, gluten, cults, illegal drugs, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the good old days you could buy a cheeseburger for thirty cents.  Bowling costs thirty-five cents a game.  You could watch the NY Knicks play at Madison Square Garden for fifty cents if you had a student GO card.  A 45 record costs fifty cents, an LP costs $1.99.  Those were the good old days.  Stuff was cheap and we didn’t have a worry in the world.


Everyone had a friend or family member that was affected by polio.  We didn’t need a vaccine for measles, mumps, chickenpox, or rubella; when a neighbor child was sick, moms would bring their children over to get infected also.  It was best to get these diseases over early, as they were more dangerous at an older age.  Oh, the “good old days.”

Medical care was inexpensive, but often all the doctor could tell you was how long you had to live.

A TV cost as much as it does today.  The largest set was 21 inches.  You could get seven channels all in black and white.  I could not wait for the latest episode of “My Mother the Car.”

If you wanted air conditioning you went to the movies or the grocery store.  How I miss the “good old days.”  

Telephones were big, clunky, and attached to a cord.  A ten minute long distance call from NY to LA could cost $20.  There was no call waiting, no voice mail, or texting.

Credit cards, took ten to fifteen minutes to process a purchase; the clerk had to call and verify that each card was valid.

We didn’t have to worry about terrorists, but as a child we had weekly air-raid drills (under the desk, get in a ball, and cover your neck with intertwined fingers.)  Every student knew where the “Fall-out” shelters were located in the school.  The wealthy families had “Fall-out” shelters in their basement stocked with can goods, water and a shotgun to keep out the riff-raff.  The riff-raff had to hope that if the A-bomb was dropped it would be during school hours when the shelters were open.

We had our own lovely war, Vietnam.  Thank God we fought that one.  Over fifty thousand killed, but we could still play dominoes….or something….I remember there was some kind of a good reason for that war.

The good old days were especially fun if you were not white.  You had your own second rate schools, your own drinking fountains and your own restrooms.  You had your own section of the bus and you never had to bother voting.

Some “coloreds” didn’t like these private facilities so they had to be hosed, beaten with batons, shocked with cattle prods, shot or hung.  Ah the “good old days.”

Women were also treated special.  They could be nurses, secretaries, teachers, mothers or spinsters.  It was great having choices in the “good old days.”

We never worried about pollution, we just polluted.  There was plenty of room on the highways, rivers or oceans for those bottles, tin cans, and assorted refuse.  There was plenty of air, so we burned everything without worry about all that smoke.  If we needed heat we just burned stuff: coal, wood, whatever, and no need for any expensive processes to remove the smoke, just burn baby burn.  Leaves in the fall?  Just burn them.  Oh how they smelled good.

Everything smelled good; in “The Good Old Days.”


  1. Ah yes I remember my mom sending me to my friend's house to get chicken pox. Luckily being a child of the 80s no one I knew had polio.

  2. There was some good, but there was some bad too. We've traded off one bunch of bad for a whole new set of bad.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  3. I hated the good old days a whole lot less than these new days ...

  4. My brother caught almost every childhood disease known to man. My mom put me in bed with him so I could get them over with. I think I may have gotten mumps; I'm not sure. No others!!

  5. Good lead off, with polio. I wonder how many remember, or even realized, the terror it cause our parents.

  6. Good post, esp. the ironic bit about Vietnam.

  7. My brother told me there were secret channels between the knob settings on the TV and I tried hard to find them. Of course he was lying to me.

  8. When the bus didn't pick up closer than a mile from school, and kids would walk there and back down the alleys. (Not sure about the city alleys, but in the rural towns, kids were exercising without knowing it!)

    Also, the school lunch was real food cooked by little old grandma lunch ladies, not processed, reheated, sodium-filled junk.

    Of course, teachers could also paddle the bejeebers out of us, and the playground surface was chipped, gravel-strewn blacktop...

  9. Every generation has had a mix of good and bad.

  10. People tend to forget the bad. I guess it's the way of survival. Actually, people in the good old days were probably better environmentalists than today. They never threw anything away and had very few clothes that they just repaired or handed down. No materialism back then.

  11. I remember the good old days before carbon monoxide detectors...and a baby, just a newborn little boy, died a few houses down the street from where I grew up.

    And the good old days without any kind of safety measures on farm tractors, when a mother put her toddler on the seat next to her, and he fell off and she rolled over him. She hanged herself a few days after his funeral.

    And kids were abducted and killed long before they appeared on milk cartons - Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood were just two of many stories warning kids about dangers in the world.

    As messymimi said, there's always a mix of good and bad.

  12. Oh the good old days of being the remote control before they invented the remote control. I still wonder if being forced to sit beside the TV to change the channel and adjust the volume has adversely affected my vision.

  13. The good old days are just like the present days. Some things good, some average, some not so good.

  14. I recently thought about the 'good old days' of my childhood and I think I'm happier now than I was then. Or at least as happy.

  15. Yep, my brothers provided my vaccinations by association. It was effective if brutal. After one spell of 3 different diseases, we looked like children from a concentration camp.
    Probably the good ole days are right now.

  16. I think we forget that during the "good old days" really things are not all that good. We remember what we want to remember and not what actually happened.


  17. I miss a lot of those good old days..