Saturday, November 13, 2010

When I was a kid

I used to think Cheerios meant cereal in general, so I was likely to point at a box of Wheaties and say, "I want some Cheerios."
The only kinds of cereal I remember having in our house were Cheerios, Wheaties (breakfast of champions), Nabisco shredded wheat, and corn flakes; Wheaties was my least favorite.  The shredded wheat biscuits were layered in the box with cardboard separating the layers, and at one time they had Lone Ranger and Tonto information on them.  I would pull the cardboard out from between all the layers before I even ate any of the shredded wheat.  
At the movies I liked Judy Canova, Martin and Lewis, Ma and Pa Kettle, Roy Rogers, and Abbot and Costello.  
I saw my first television around 1950 at somebody's house in Iowa; a little boy about my age told me that Red Skeleton (that's how he pronounced it, with three syllables) was going to be on soon, but we left before the show started.  The television screen was tiny and round.
It seemed like every time we went on a trip very far from home, we'd have a flat tire.
My mother, who did all the driving for our family, always told the gas station attendant to put in a dollar's worth of gas.
Coca-Cola tasted a lot better than it does today.  If you want to know what it used to taste like, get a Coke in Mexico.
We got wonderful cherry Cokes at the drug store across the road.  
I only knew of one person who was divorced, and people whispered about her.
I didn't know many people who had indoor bathrooms.  Even the churches had outhouses.
My mom slapped me for using the word "crap" in place of "stuff".  Daddy said it all the time, and I honestly didn't know it was a bad word.  
My mom slapped me for saying, "When I grow up I don't want to get married, but I want babies."  
I was seven years old, and nobody had told me anything about how babies got here.  I thought it happened like a miracle in the Bible:  one minute there's nothing, then magically a baby appears out of nowhere.  Poof.  
I was twelve when I got my first idea about how babies got here; I was in the barn playing with my cat and she started having kittens.  I still had no idea how they got inside her, though.  
Later, after we moved to the city, a school nurse got the sixth-grade girls together and told us some stuff.  None of it made any sense to me.  
I wanted a pony more than anything.  
I used to talk gibberish to myself and pretend I was speaking the Indian (native American) language.  
I really wanted to be an Indian.  
I hated how the Indians always lost the battles in the movies. 
Daddy listened to boxing matches on the radio and threw punches in the air right along with Joe Lewis.    
I asked my mother if I was pretty and she said, "No, you look too much like me to be pretty."  
I asked my mother if we were rich.  She laughed and laughed, and then laughed some more.   
During the Christmas season, Mother had home-made candy in dishes around the house.  I would go to every dish and eat all the brown sugar candy out of every bowl.  Mother didn't care.  She always liked to see people eat.     
I loved fruitcake.  I still do.  
Halloween was simple, innocent fun; nobody was worried that it was witchcraft, and a boy could dress up as a girl without anybody thinking something was wrong with him.  In fact, it was the funniest costume ever.  Lots of the Halloween treats were home-made goodies like cookies or popcorn balls.     
Since I'm stymied for anything to put on my blog today, I'm giving you these random memories.  


Paula said...

I used to put shredded wheat on the floor and get down and pretend it was hay and I was a horse.

Margaret said...

I love the random memories! I remember things as being no big deal either--Halloween, costumes, etc... I do NOT remember outhouses. ;) I hated wheaties too; we mainly had oatmeal and pancakes for breakfast, which were cheaper to make than breakfast cereals.

Mo Rage said...

Oh, honey, that was fabulous! What an entry. Personal, insightful, poignant--a heckuva lotta fun. (do you suppose your Mom would have slapped me, if I were her kid, for saying that?).

What a time all that was, huh?

I find that whole generation, who lived through the Depression, were fascinating. It made an impact on them they never forgot. One of these days, I'll do an entry like this on my Mom and how the Depression effected her. I think it terrific stuff.

As a matter of fact, I'll write one this weekend for next Spring, all about her, to post on her birthday. Then I'm going to do one on Thanksgiving for that day's entry and then the big one, Christmas.

Thanks for the ideas and inspiration.

I can hardly wait.

Bookncoffee said...

Thanks for sharing the memories. You know, I listened to Ma and Pa Kettle at my Grandma's house. There was an old record of them and a record player there. And I listened and laughed. The records were an odd size too. Barely remember those days.

Vicki said...

So many of your memories are similar to mine, probably because we're the same age. Wheaties had great prizes for a couple of boxtops and a quarter. My favorite was a Mary Hartline doll complete with white boots, I'm still waiting for my confederate coins. I remember getting a slap for saying "Oh Nuts". Who would have thought there were other kinds other than the kind squirrels eat. Vicki

Lindie said...

I wasn't even allowed to say "darn"! Or "gosh"! So I started saying "rats"! Still do. We had oatmeal in the winter with maple syrup or brown sugar. Summer we had shredded wheat. First time I saw a tv was at the neighboring farm when they invited us over on Saturday morning to watch a circus show. We didn't go to the movies except once when I was a pre teen and that was a John Wayne movie about the circus!

Fernan said...

Oh Lawd, How you've livened my memory. Thanks much. Your words aren't going unenjoyed.

Calfkeeper said...

Thanks for all your memories, I love reading posts like this.

I remember even in the 80s Halloween was innocent. One of the guys in high school dressed as a cheer leader. Everyone loved it! What a ham.