Wednesday, September 8, 2021


Recently a question was asked on Facebook, "What do YOU remember from your childhood that children today would not?"


It was very interesting to see some of the answers, which included: The Flintstones TV Show; Lite-Brite; 45rpm records inside books; rotary telephones; The Andy Griffith Show; Howdy-Doody; Captain Kangaroo; Tinker Toys; Slinky; and several more.


I remember the metal TV Dinner trays (this was WELL BEFORE microwave ovens). In my house my parents would allow us to pick our favorites and once a week or so we were allowed to eat our TV dinners in front of the television (well, they WERE TV dinners!). My mom called it our "Dining at the Movies Night". My dad's favorite was either the meatloaf or turkey and stuffing, mommy liked the Southern Fried Chicken. My sister and I always tried to choose something "exotic and different" than our normal fare… after all, it was like a night of dining out and watching (mostly) comedies. Nowadays there are so many choices of quick, easy, pop-in-the-microwave meals, it has lost its novelty.


Drive-in movies! Yes, that was always special — especially since my folks rarely got babysitters even when they wanted to go out. My dad would put a board across the back seat and pad it with a big sleeping bag, then my sister and I would bring our pillows, blankets and favorite stuffed animal and we would go to sleep in the back while our parents had their "date night". (I got into trouble when my mom found out I was often peeking at the big screen instead of actually sleeping, LOL). I remember the particular drive-in theatre my folks went to the most, there was a playground and my folks always managed to buy us hot dogs for dinner and then let us play on the swing sets until we changed into our PJs and bunked down in the back seat.


My dad worked hard to make a living and when they could afford it, we always went to a motel called the Jolly Roger outside of Atlantic City, LONG BEFORE it was a casino mecca. His vacation was always the last two weeks of August and I remember many, many summers where we spent a week meeting the same group of friends and going to the boardwalk, swimming in the ocean and playing at the motel's mini-playground and pool. That was where I learned to swim, it was unintentional… I FELL into the pool. My dad had been relaxing on a lounger and my sister and I weren't allowed in the water without him, I still used a swimming tube. But I saw him peeking at us as we played, and I decided to tease him by running to the diving board and jumping on it. He sternly told me to get off and I realized he was serious, but when I jumped off the board I tripped and fell into the deep end of the pool. Desperately trying not to sink, I managed to swim underwater towards the nearest ladder. My dad was pretty quick, he was in the pool and swimming towards me and pulled me up just before I actually reached the ladder — he was both relieved and angry. I was just happy to hold onto him.


What are the things you remember from your childhood? When I spoke to my own offspring about some of my memories, they had NO IDEA what I was talking about. Maybe one day they'll get the same quizzical looks from their own offspring when they talk about their recollections.

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