We're so old

I can remember getting coffee at the store that the grocery manager ground to Grandma’s satisfaction and then poured back into the one-pound bag she’d bought. That was right after the bakery manager had sliced her newly baked loaf of bread on his electric slicing machine.
For a nickel, we’d get a small bottle of Coke out of a cooler that lay on the floor like a bathtub. We had to pull the bottle through a maze to the place where it lifted out. The bottom of the bottle showed the name of the place it was first filled by a Coke distributor. I once got one from Los Angeles and won that day’s pool, around 50 cents. I was able to go to the movies twice, buy a comic and a candy bar, and still had a nickel left. Half a dollar was a lot of money, then.
I remember getting a raise when minimum wage was raised to $1.25 per hour. Shortly afterward, I enlisted in the Marines making $61 per month (but, they fed us, too).
I remember hearing Gen. MacArthur’s Farewell Address to Congress live, when he said "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."
Like all the other kids, I had a coon-skin cap with the tail still attached, and we all knew every verse of The Ballad of Davey Crockett.
I remember being vaccinated against the scourge of polio in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. Then there was no more polio. Of course, the March of Dimes is still in business. I remember taping dimes to a postcard to mail to them.
What are YOUR early memories?


I might not be old but one of my earliest memories that I’ll never forget came when I was in the second grade. I don’t remember the year but I’d say it was the early 2000’s. We were going to the school auditorium for a class assembly. Every month they had awards pretty much to build our confidence. Student of the month , Citizen of the month and recognition for prefect attendance for that month.

Anyways as we were walking to the auditorium my shoe became untied and I was in a bit of a rush to catch up to a friend so we could sit together so I started to walk fast but I ended up tripping on my shoe lace and fell right on my head.

I went to get up and thought I was fine but not known to me there was a huge bump on my head and I started to feel a little dizzy when I tried to stand. Two teachers helped me and walked me down to the nurses office where my Mom had to come get me and take me to the hospital.

At the hospital they ran a few tests. I remember having a CAT scan done and the doctor said I didn’t have a concussion. Immediately after the doctor said this I ended up throwing up in the waiting room. They still insisted I didn’t have a concussion and sent me home.

I remember staying home from school the rest of the week. When I returned to school the following week I found out I had won the Student of the month award! :slight_smile:

If I can think of any more stories from my early childhood I’ll post them! Great idea for a thread!!



LOL ,I remember goifor .25 and seeing a double feature with catoons during intermission. Going to the corner Sweet Shop and getting a bag full for a couple pennies and licorice popsicles for a nickle.
The ragman coming down the street yelling “rags for sale” and my mom telling me when I was naughty she was going to sell me to the ragman lol.I had the best childhood ever and wish kids now days could have the same,
Also we didn’t have to be afraid to go to school or play outside
…hide n seek,king of the hill and kick the can :slight_smile:


I can remember when a “penny arcade” still had amusement machines the cost 1 penny.


Fun thread! I feel like I’m in the “in between” bracket here age-wise. My earliest memories are …

  • Being able to roam around the neighborhood without anyone caring, eating honeysuckle from the bushes near the woods by my house.
  • My parents teaching me how to play Skip-Bo.
  • Playing the Pac-Man arcade tables when eating in at Pizza Hut.
  • Trying Pitfall for the first time on my friend’s Atari, then being overjoyed when I got my Nintendo.
  • Having a classroom stocked with Apple IIe’s and playing Oregon Trail, Carmen Sandiego, and Crosscountry USA, and looking up everything in the almanac.

I guess lots of mine are game themed … :video_game: :game_die:

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I could put 4 gallons of gas in my car, buy a 2 big macs, 2 fries and 2 cokes and go to the drive-in theater for a double feature for $5. Saved all week for that much extra money.

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Of course, 4 gallons of gas would only take you between 50 and 60 miles in those pre-VW Beetle days.
Game themed? Our whole lives are game themed. Some games are more fun, and some pay better, but you can look at all of life as a game. The goal is whatever you set it as (most of us move the goalposts several times over the course of a long and borderline evil life, though). Get in there and win!

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  • Three Musketeer bars were gigantic. They weren’t the best candy but they were big and you felt you got more with your nickel.
  • Sitting on the floor in the comic book store with friends, reading as much as we could before the owner kicked us out. Only to do the same thing next week when the new ones came out.
  • Going downtown with your mom to help her shop and nagging her to stop somewhere for lunch. This was before fast food was the norm. Woolworths let you pop a balloon to see what kind of discount you’d get on your meal. And if you were real good, lunch included dessert.
  • The moment you got home from school you were out the door until you got called in for dinner. If you went back out after dinner you could stay out till the street lights came on.
  • Everyone had bicycles and at least once per season you’d use a clothespin to clasp a baseball card on the bikes fork so it would rat-a-tat against the spokes as you rode.
  • Using a rock to smash caps, those little rolled up dots of gunpowder used in toy cap guns.
  • Getting my first job. Delivering newspapers after school. Got a penny per paper. 72 customers, 6 days a week. Man I was rich.

All of that except the paper route. I collect stray returnable bottles for 2 cents each.
In those days, Willie Nelson was clean-shaven, had short hair, and wore a suit with his shined shoes.
Our great comedians–who never uttered a bad word, not even “damn”–were Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Red Skelton, and that new kid, Jonathon Winters.
Air conditioning was only for the very rich, the best stores, the executive’s offices. A bank had an “automatic door” opened by stepping on a switch concealed under a doormat, no hands needed. We formed a parade so a kid was stepping on the mat about every 15 seconds; the manager threatened us with calling our parents, so we quit.

45 cents for a pack of cigs, $1.65 for a six-pack, $2/ 4-way Windowpane(sometimes FREE!!!) and nickel pinball. Life was grand.

I very well remember nickel cokes, day old doughnuts at 2 for a nickel, 19 cent whiz-burgers (Portland Oregon) gas during price wars was 17 cents a gallon, domino cigarettes or camel cigarettes were 15 cents a pack, milk shakes at 25 cents. A Saturday Matinee was 30 cents for a “double feature”, which also would include cartoons,YEAH!. Saturday morning’s were for cartoons, the woods out behind our houses were a place for fun and exploration, NOT a place to FEAR! Our neighbors looked out for one another, and there was no need to lock your homes or close your windows at night, because there was no need to.

I also remember sitting in my room studying and listening to “The Cinnamon Bear” tales. Everyone so excited to be able to help decorate the Christmas Tree, and then sad when we had to take it down, and strand by strand pull the “rain” (tinsel) of each and every branch to reuse again next year.

Great times, good clean fun and neighbors helping neighbors.

Also way back when, you could buy “Baseball” cards for a nickel a pack which also included gum. Whished I would have bought boxes of them then, and saved them for today,worth a fortune you think? LOL


I remember The TV shows: Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Howdy Doody, Captain Video, Dinah Shore, Perry Como, Boston Blackie, and Nat King Cole.

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OMG! You and I might be the only ones who remember Captain Video. Those were 20 minute shows, before the TV stations agreed on 30 minute and 60 minute programs. Were you in the NYC market then? I was in north NJ, near Morristown in the early 50s. The TV was “huge”–13", a Zenith with rabbit ears that we had to shift if we changed channels–and I have it in my cellar. I haven’t tried turning it on in decades, but it’s there.

I grew up on a military base till I got out of high school - gas was 25 cents - on Saturdays we could go to the theater for free and watch cartoons (which our parents loved) and the weekly mystery or sci-fi episode serial of which I always liked RocketMan - my buddies and I would go around to all the barracks and jump in the dumpsters to collect the glass coke bottles & sometimes we’d hit the jackpot with the larger ones that were 10 cent refund instead of just 5 - we would mow the lawns of the officers ( in the military you get a months vacation) for $5 - that was mowing, weeding & raking and for a month we’d make $20 - comics were 10 cents (oh, if only I had saved a few) - we could travel the entire base on our bikes without the fear of anyone trying to hurt us - in summer it was the base pool were all the girls would go and we would get our masks & fins so we could swim under them & check them out! - most of our families were poor (this was the 50’s early 60’s) we could pick a toy out of the Sears catalog as long as it was under $5 - my buddies and I never got new bikes so we would take old, used 10 spds and put butterfly handle bars and banana seats on them with long L brackets on the rear wheel nut so a buddy could put his feet there & ride along - in the early 60’s it was Honda 50’s - (an officer who was a pilot bought one back from Japan for his son) - then everyone wanted one and eventually they would filter down to us as they got bigger ones and we’d learn how to fix them in auto theory class - we also tuned-up the teachers cars & we’d get to take them for a short run to make sure everything was cool - of course if they had a GTO or Vette that ride took a little bit longer


When the whole point of condoms was birth control.

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Gee, I almost forgot S&H GREEN STAMPS as well. Drive all over town and shop where they gave you S&H Green Stamps with your purchase. Many a birthday or Christmas would have gone with out presents if it were not for good old S&H Green Stamps. I still remember my mother having me lick those horrible tasting stamps, book after book. But loved the presents!


My Mom got fired from her job at the bank for being pregnant with me. It was considered unseemly.

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My cousin and I would get a nickel once a month. Mrs. Johnson had a little corner store we went to. there were penny caramel candies 5 inches long and about as big around as a pencil. If you broke it half in two you got a free one. So all lottery winners have nothing on me I won the lottery a 8 years old.

And we walked to the store by ourselves imagine that.

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I can remember those days. It wasn’t quite as bad for married women who were stay-at-home moms, but nobody wanted to admit sex happened… Almost every town had–or at least, was near–a “home for expectant unwed mothers.” Some were religiously based, others were “for profit.” All helped placed the adoptable children. Sometimes, girls dropped out of school for a few months “for illness,” then returned. Everybody knew, but it was only mentioned in whispers. Sad, but true. That’s one of the things I DON’T miss about those days.

Remember gas wars. All the stations in a town would lower their gas prices trying to entice buyers. Ada, Oklahoma in 1971 gas was 19 cents a gallon and the last time I remember a town having a gas war. Cigarettes were 35 cents a pack. A milkshake was 30 cents. You watched the evening news with a dignified person reading the news, no comments rep/dem, Our teacher would ask on Monday how many students attended Sunday School the day before. If you backsassed a teacher or were disruptive in class, YOU were in trouble, not the teacher. People paid by cash or check, not with a plastic card. Cash registers didn’t beep, the swift fingers of the checker accurately entered each items price individually. Change was counted back correctly, up to the denomination you gave the checker, not just thrust in your hand. Oil cans were actual cans not bottles. If you had a wreck, you hoped the other driver had insurance as in many places it wasn’t required by law as I remember. Babysitters made 50 cents an hour, no matter how many kids you sat for.

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