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Author Topic: Innacurate Nostalgia Again.
ZOIDRubashov
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I'm kind of glad there's no attribution on this one. I wrote a reply to it. I wish people would
remember their history.

*************************************************

"Hey Dad," one of my kids asked the other day,
"what was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?"

"We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,"
I informed him. "All the food was slow."

"C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?"

"It was a place called 'at home,' " I explained. Grandma Stewart cooked every day and when Grandpa Stewart got home from work, we sat
down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it: My parents never owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf
course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card.
The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears AND Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer. But also because we didn't have a car.
We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day.

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza. It was a Luigi's Pizza on the west side of Cleveland and my friend, Ronnie, took me there to try what he said was "pizza pie." When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still
the best pizza I ever had. We didn't have a car until I was 15. Before that, the only car in our family was my grandfather's Plymouth. He called it a "machine." I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the
living room and it was on a party line.

Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line. Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was. All newspapers were
delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. I delivered the Cleveland "News" six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers. My favorite customers were the ones who gave me 50 cents and told me to keep the change.
My least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day. Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut.

At least, they did in the movies Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing andthey didn't do that in movies. I don't know what they did in French movies.
French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want
to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren.
Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Eileen H. Kramer/ZOIDRubashov

Posts: 201 | From: Columbus, GA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ZOIDRubashov
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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My reply to the above post:

OK, I read the "Before Fast Food" piece and I wondered when was this man born and where did he live. I read it closely and it turns out to be about 1940 in rural Ohio.

If you posed the same question to my father, you'd get very different answers. My father was born June 8, 1934. He grew up in New York City, mainly Brooklyn though his parents moved to Long Island in the 1950's.

EHK: OK, Dad what fast food did you eat when you were a kid?

Dad: We had Nathan's Famous, the Automat, Dubrow's Cafeteria, and Chock Full O' Nuts. We usually did not eat fast food during the week, but it was a treat for lunch or dinner on Saturday. Sometimes my father or mother would bring home delicatessen (dairy) for
breakfast on Saturday or Sunday morning. Usually this included smoked fish and pickled or chopped herring.

Note: I'm not sure what my father's favorite restaurant food was. He was not that fond of his mother's cooking, though I ate Grandma Kramer's
food and remember her as a decent cook. She made spinach with potatoes (Spinach in the olden days was bitter and the potatoes were a good compliment. I make bitter greens with frozen mixed veggies or carrots in much the same way). My father grew up eating rye bread
and munster cheese for breakfast and he could polish off a whole bowl of fresh fruit in an evening.

Yes, his parents made him eat foods he detested. My own mother DID NOT because she believed it would cause adult obesity. My mother has fought the battle of the bulge all her life. My father did indeed become obese and lost the weight and
gained it back several times. My brother and I are not obese so my mother's theory apparently worked.

EHK: what about getting driven to soccer practice?

Dad: I didn't go out for any sports in high school. For some of my childhood schools were on double session and then I went to Stuyvesent (an
entrance exam high school in Manhattan). I couldn't go out for any extracurriculars because I had a long commute on the subway. We did play
baseball and stick ball. A boy had to know how to play baseball or he would be ostracized. My brother Henry refused to play beccause
he wasn't good at it. Henry played chess and was in the chess club in high school on Long Island.

Note: Uncle Henry is seven years younger than my father.

EHK: What about credit cards, blue jeans, travelling out of the country or playing golf?

Dad: Sure my parents had credit cards. They paid them off but they had them. They had good credit. They were very frugal people.

My parents went to Israel in the 1970's, and to Canada and to various spots around the US.

My father was a roofer so I'm sure he wore either
blue jeans or some other kind of work pants.

Note: I remember that Grandma Kramer was VERY IMPRESSED with Masada. Who wouldn't be.

I also know my grandparents were on Lond Island by then got a TV some time in the 1950's. Because they were in the New York metro area they had at least five channels (maybe up to ten) of VHS
broadcast to choose from. I don't think they put a color plastic screen over their TV.

They also didn't play golf but they did play all kinds of card games including one they called, tinkle. Also my grandparents owned the buillding where they lived in the 1930's and 1940's. It was
an apartment building and my grandparents apartment was the only one with heat because none of the other tennants were willing
to pay for central heating. The other tennants must have heated using gas stoves and what not. I know my dad spent a summer pushing racks in
the garment district. I'm not sure if this was in high school or college. I don't think he delivered papers.

Well that's about it. I guess my dad and even his dad are not from the generation before fast food. Of course if you go back pre 1900 in my family, you are in either the Baltic Contries or
the Ukraine.

ZOIDRubashov/Eileen H. Kramer

Posts: 201 | From: Columbus, GA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
homemade hippie priestess ice cream
The Red and the Green Stamps


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And these were *good* things???

My parents never owned their own house...

This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer.

The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers.

French movies were dirty and we weren't allowed to see them.

Um, so let's see... People were better off before they owned their own homes? I can't follow the logic there. Or is that one of those things were 'poorer in the old days' is better than 'just credit card poor nowadays'?

Isn't sports for children a great way to socialize them for interaction with other kids, sharing, being a good sport and learning about fair play? Or was it better before we had 'new fangled' stuff like soccer and instead were only allowed to play baseball?

Having only one phone in the house, like not owning a car, could lead to dire emergencies, right? I mean, technology advancing to the point that you don't have to boot your neighbor from 5 miles away off to call an ambulance is a good idea, IMHO.

I feel for the poor girl who might have wanted or needed to deliver papers. Glad to know that sexism thing only goes back so far or is lauding a time when it thrived almost the same thing? [Roll Eyes]

Yep, now let's extend that to being xenophobic as well. Insert any group of foreigners here and the glurge has no problem making the assertion that they were apparently bad. Shucks, I thought kids figured out on their own (at the appropriate time) about such lofty concepts as French kissing and didn't need to be told how skanky the origination was. What a concept!

Kemi "personally, I like the French just fine, thank you" B.

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LizzyJingleBells
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza.
Big deal. My grandfather, if he were still alive, is older than the fellow who's telling this story. He didn't have his first piece of pizza until he was in his eighties! Not because it wasn't available, but because he'd never bothered to try it. We were at Marine Wolrd in Vallejo, CA, and my grandpa had his first piece. That's one of my favorite memories.

Lizzy "now I sound like a glurge" Bean

--------------------
Come on, come on, we were once upon a time in love
If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would suffice. - Meister Eckhart My Blog

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bruce in france
Deck the Malls


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Right. So we're supposed to be nostalgic for growing up in a provincial, blue-collar, segregated, sexist, economically-depressed urban area?

Come to think of it, that could also describe the Cleveland area in '78 - '83, when I lived there...

-b

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by homemade hippie priestess ice cream:
And these were *good* things???

He never said they were. Methinks some snopesters are just like the posters to We've Got Mail as to reading comprehension. [Big Grin]

Jaime

--------------------
"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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davy1031
The Red and the Green Stamps


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My Mom was born in NYC, Queens, in the late 40's early 50's and even she had a fast food restaurant by her when she was young - sure it wasn't a Wendy's or McDonalds, or Burger King, or another other brand name around today, but it was fast food.
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Kiwibird
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by davy1031:
My Mom was born in NYC, Queens, in the late 40's early 50's and even she had a fast food restaurant by her when she was young - sure it wasn't a Wendy's or McDonalds, or Burger King, or another other brand name around today, but it was fast food.

Um, er, um...Fast food was quite a going concern by the early 50's. The Steak n Shake chain originated in 1934, in Normal, Illinois, and was in quite a few cities by then. And then there's White Castle, the oldest hamburger chain in the US, which was founded in 1921.

McDeath wasn't founded until 1955. Ray Kroc is a comparative parvenu.

The 50's may seem like a long, long time ago to some of y'all, but wasn't the Neolithic or anything.

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Gold-Toes, Barefooted
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The thing that strikes me as funny is that these nostalgia pieces all come across as saying "what's wrong with kids these days??" But in reality, if kids are disrespectful or don't eat right, it goes back to grandma and grandpa, doesn't it? They're the ones who raised their kids with low parenting skills, right?
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homemade hippie priestess ice cream
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Vargas Sanchez:

He never said they were. Methinks some snopesters are just like the posters to We've Got Mail as to reading comprehension. [Big Grin]

No Mr. Vargas Sanches, he did NOT say it overtly, but implied it. Gotta get a grasp of that reading-between-the-lines thingy. [Big Grin] That's why it's mentioned in the first place is because of the easier, simpler life we all (well, the writers of glurge anyway) must have led back then. Ug, just like that magazine Reminiscence... makes me wanna puke from the saccharine overload.

Kemi "and my reading comprehension is fine, thankyouverymuch... but I *was* feeling cranky yesterday -- sorry" B.

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Tom-Tzu
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Um, actually, I think Jaime's right here. We may be especially predisposed to read this as nostalgic and "things were so much better then", but that's simply because it was posted to the Glurge Gallery. The only thing I get from the whole article is the idea that things must have changed a lot, because the kid keeps laughing at the description. But I don't really see any serious implication that things were BETTER, just different.

Likewise, the remark about French kissing and French movies doesn't seem to be necessarily that xenophobic. I don't recall ever hearing anything in particular about "French movies" being a synonym for "blue movies", but it could have been such an expression at one time. More likely, I think the author may have derived it from "French postcards", which WAS an idiom for risque photographs, not necessarily from France.

As for the plausibility of the account, I don't find it all that unlikely at all. My mom grew up in Massachusetts, and my dad's from Michigan, and they had very different experiences with respect to fast food, TV and popular culture. Not because my mother's family didn't have access to such things, but just her parents had different preferences. So I have no difficulty imagining my mother saying something like "We didn't really have fast food," when in fact it was available and popular at the time.

(To be sure, I suspect that fast food is faster now than it was then...)

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Hot Sparverius in the Summertime
The Red and the Green Stamps


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C'mon, you have to love this part...

quote:
We didn't have a television in our house until I was 11, but my grandparents had one before that. It was, of course, black and white, but they bought a piece of colored plastic to cover the screen. The top third was blue, like the sky, and the bottom third was green, like grass. The middle third was red. It was perfect for programs that had scenes of fire trucks riding across someone's lawn on a sunny day.
Let's face it, I can remember the incredible excitement when someone in the neighborhood got the first COLOUR TV! Wow! Look at that NBC peacock spread its tail in rainbow colour!

Unfortunately, most of the shows were still in black and white.

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homemade hippie priestess ice cream
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ah, then I stand corrected and humbly apologize to Jaime. SORRY JAIME!!! However, in my limited experience dealing with just my family, they usually make observations like the above mentioned in the original piece posted and sadly, they DO mean them that way. Like not being able to have one without the other (if having a credit card now is bad, by extension, not owning your own home then was better than the over-inflated prices we pay now), the people I grew up around simply believed that way. Anything from 'before now' was simply in improvement to how horrible things are currently.

God, I hope that made any sense but in my fevered ramblings, it struck me just that way (and akin to that icky glurge-fest magazine I mentioned.) Those kinds of folks that are hugely in abundance around here, usually feel that even when it wasn't *good* compared to now (ie: racism, etc.), that it was still preferable somehow. [Razz] Again, maybe I just got up on the wrong side of the keyboard when I wrote my reply. I think I'll go thwack myself with a fish now. [Thwack]

Kemi "needn't post when grouchy or not seeing things clearly" B.

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by homemade hippie priestess ice cream:
Ah, then I stand corrected and humbly apologize to Jaime. SORRY JAIME!!!

No apologies needed. In fact I also apologize for perhaps being a tad too sarcastic.

Jaime

--------------------
"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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bruce in france
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Tom-Tzu:
[snip]
I don't recall ever hearing anything in particular about "French movies" being a synonym for "blue movies", but it could have been such an expression at one time. [/snip]

French movies seem to have had a long reputation for being shall we say less restrained than US/UK movies. In one of the Marx Brothers' movies from the '30s (someone will undoubtedly be able to identify it), there is the following exchange:

Groucho: Did you ...?
Margaret Dumont: Search me! [1]
Groucho: If this were a French movie, I could!

[1] This is an old US expression for "I don't know".

-b

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Papa Bear
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
"It was a place called 'at home,' " I explained. Grandma Stewart cooked every day and when Grandpa Stewart got home from work, we sat
down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it."

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

Well, dude, if it was so great, then why didn't you instill this sense into your own kid?

I actually happen to agree with the sentiment of eating together as a family and the children not being able to leave the table without permission. Just wondering why, if this guy remembers it with such great nostalgia, he didn't continue the tradition with his own offspring... hypocrite...

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noreen
We Three Blings


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At least, they did in the movies Touching someone else's tongue with yours was called French kissing andthey didn't do that in movies.

Early in the movie "Casablanca" it shows Rick and Ilsa in Paris before the Germans arrive. That was a 'French kiss'. [Eek!]

--------------------
"No matter what kind of a twisted sexual mutant you happen to be, you've got millions of pals out there. Type in 'Find people that have sex with goats that are on fire' and the computer will say, 'Specify type of goat.'"

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by noreen:


Early in the movie "Casablanca" it shows Rick and Ilsa in Paris before the Germans arrive. That was a 'French kiss'. [Eek!]

Ah, yes, the infamous "cut scene" from Casablanca.

Rick and Ilsa kiss, lingeringly. Then she stares at him.

Ilsa: Why are you looking at me like that?

Rick: Forgive me. I've never been kissed just like that before.

Ilsa: Just like how?

Rick: Well, put it this way--I seem to have three tonsils now.

Ilsa (touches her throat) : Oh--one's mine.

Rick: Better take it back.

They kiss.

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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DrFraud
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Papa Bear:
I actually happen to agree with the sentiment of eating together as a family and the children not being able to leave the table without permission.

I don't. I was usually finished eating long before the grownups, unless we were having steak or something else yucky, in which case I wanted to leave so I wouldn't have to sit there staring at the uneaten portion.

--------------------
"Danger is a good teacher, and makes apt scholars. So are disgrace, defeat, exposure to immediate scorn and laughter."
- William Hazlitt; _Table-Talk: Essays On Men And Manners_

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