Monday, May 5, 2008



Not long ago I wrote a post entitled "Where I'm From," which basically outlined where I came from, geographically and socio-economically.

This time, I thought I'd show "Where I'm From In Time," by listing items from my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s. Although old-fashioned soda fountains appear now and then, I doubt that many of these other products or customs are in use or found any longer, unless they're in a vintage shop.

35-cent movies, with 10-cent popcorn and 10-cent bottled pop.

Bags of white margarine with a color dot (you squeezed the bag until all the color was distributed).

Silver dollars in wide circulation (especially in Montana).

Black-and-white newsreels before movies.

“Two-Holers” (outdoor wooden toilets with two seats).

4-cent postage.

Rabbit ears on TV sets.

The Watkins Man – a door-to-door salesman of vanilla, nectar and other household products.


The Grit – a folksy tabloid newspaper delivered door-to-door every Saturday.

Station wagons instead of SUVs for large families.

Toni perms.

The candy: Black Jack gum, Pixy Stix, Dots, candy cigarettes, Chuckles, Necco wafers, Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies, candy buttons on paper strips, wax bottles with colored sugar water.

Water pails with dippers (everyone dipped and drank from the pail).

Wooden screen doors.

Hank Williams on the radio.

Enamel coffee pots, cups and pans with the inevitable chips.

Scrapbooking meant pasting magazine clippings into scrapbooks made with coarse buff paper.

Cigarette and liquor ads in magazines.


Stirrup pants, Capris and flip flops were in, and they were not retro wear.

Thongs were another name for flip flops, not underwear.

78-rpm records.

Granny panties for everyone.

Skippy Peanut Butter in fancy footed glasses.

Sugar-loaded cereals. (Sugar Pops, anyone?)

Scarves tied at the throat and the ends knotted at the back of the neck.

Wearing dresses to school and church.

Hair set in pin curls with bobby pins.


Pop-It Beads.

Easy Bake Ovens (how I loved the flavor of the little cakes they made).

The phrase D.A. meant a duck-tail or duck-a-- haircut for teenage boys.

Spiral notebooks with brown covers.

Five and Dime stores.

Velvet hair bows a la Rose Marie on The Dick Van Dyke Show (I had them in all colors).

Spam (the meat) was not a joke but a regular on the dinner table.

One-speed bikes.

Flypaper strips.

Rope and board swings.
Ditto machines at school.

Running boards on cars.



Lila Rostenberg said...

I think you did a fantastic job on this inventory from our childhood!

Unknown said...

Oh, this is fun! A few items may have been more regional, but I recognize most of this! I had Barbie's but didn't identify with them. They didn't resemble most of the girls I knew. And, you're right, they did look Asian at first.

An aside... I was watching a piece on TMC today. Asian actors were discussing early stereotypes having to do with Asians in film... Women were either sex objects or servants, and males were nerdy. If they did show an Asian with intelligence, it was a Caucasian made to look Asian. Remember The Good Earth? We sure have come a long way...

Thanks for the slice of life! Much of the candy I loved is still around. I still enjoy Chick-o-sticks.

Here is a site called, Candy You Ate as a Kid... Maybe you will rediscover some yummies there.

Shop girl said...

This is so good, I hate to say I remember most of this. I will try to add to it...I love that you did this, what a hooot!
Big Hugs, mary

Bimbimbie said...

I can recall seeing those Toni perm boxes my mum used them ... still remember the smell whooff strong :(
..sweet ciggies my dad thought them a bad thing for kids ... kids liked to get them of course and pretend we were grown ups *!*

Naturegirl said...

Julie how I remember the margarine bags with the red dot!! So many things that I had forgotten about you list here!!
We are from the same generation..Peace. Love. Flowers. yup
the Hippie generation! Home now..went to a small town of Jerome AZ where hippies run the town and are all grown up like us! hugs NG

gma said...

Hi Julie
Thanks for many things I'd forgotten about the old days.
Maybe cuz I'm old heh heh
MMMMM Sugar Babies!!!!
Yep I've worn granny panties all my life!lol

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

Do you remember the Prell Shampoo commercial with the pear they dropped and it slowly went down? And the Breck Girls?
Thanks for the walk down memory lane! I did want a Barbie however, I remember she was $3.95 - WAY too much for our family! I did, however, get a Pollyanna doll!

Sheila said...

Well done Julie, you certainly jogged my memory. I don't think I could have come up with half of these.
Some of the things you mention were not available in the UK, but we had an equivalent item.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Sometimes It's Good said...

Hi, Julie,

My mom bought me a different fashion doll because she thought Barbie was ugly. I was so disappointed because Barbie was the "IN" doll. My doll was prettier...more like the Barbies of today.

I also loved the candy cigarettes. I thought it was so cool to pretend to smoke. I never did really smoke. I read in high school that it caused wrinkles. Did not want those at all...still don't!

Fun Post!

Annie Jeffries said...

Omigosh! I REMEMBER every single thing you have posted here. AND, DH subscribes to The Grit. Yes, they are still in circulation from time to time.

Laurie said...

Oh my, a lot of these things brought back memories. I remember wearing swimcaps to the beach!
Once and awhile I get a catalog from the Vermont Country Store which has many items from "them good ole days!"

Maggie said...

WOW Julie this post sure brings back some good memories....I remember the wooden screen doors and the fact that when we went to be at night in the summer with them unlocked. Those were the days.

Patty said...

Oh my goodness, you made me feel old. I remember all of that. I feel a bit sad that the generation of today never got to experience that wonderful time in history.

Janet said...

You came up with so many goodies for this list....and I remember them all!! Thanks for taking me down Memory Lane.

AutumnZ said...

Have you ever seen "Reminisce" magazine? I absolutely love it. I have found back issues at my local library for free! I get all kinds of warm fuzzies when I read it, just like I did when I read this post :-)

AutumnZ said...

PS, the Toni home perm always cracked me up. When I was a little girl and saw the commercials, I thought they named it that because of me and my own curly hair.

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

I have seen some of those things, specially the bonanza show and I never had a real barbie, only a fake one when I was already a young lad and just because I wanted to get that out of my system, LOL

Shop girl said...

Frizzy dear mother had a horrible habbit of giving me perms and yes, they were Tony's. To add to this mess, she loved Henna. I was born with and continue to have red hair. But Mama would get this long look at me and I knew....she was going to put this green junk on my hair..It was now beyond red, and she was so happy. I washed my hair over and over trying to lighten it just alittle...the good old, bad old days.

Shop girl said...

My sister got the Barbie doll, and a cardboard house thing. She was ugly, but the cloths were great.
My daughter had them and then my Granddaughters...they are here to stay. My sister probably wishes my brother hadn't been so hard on her dolls. Life was never the same after Ken came into the world...down hill ever since....TEE-HEE

nonizamboni said...

Julie--you're the best! Did we live in the same town and not know it?! I didn't think my hair would ever be itself after a Tonette, rabbit ears, thongs--the real deal, ditto machines, wooden screen doors. Wow! I have to go have a bowl of Cocoa-Puffs now. See you later, Alligator.

Mary said...

Fabulous list and many memories for me even though I grew up in England! I must do something similar - England in the '50's - and we can compare those wonderful post-war years when being a child was so awesome.

a Pocket Angel said...

Julie, What a fun post...
I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow..
Blesings ~Mary~ :-}

Mary said...

Happy Mother's Day dear Julie - hope it's a beautiful day for you.
Hugs - Mary.

Lena said...

This was a very fun post to read Julie. I loved Hoss on Bonanza when I was a little girl. He seemed so nice,and was always doing funny things. Watkins vanilla is still my favorite. It's sometimes hard to find here, but my "Granny" brings it back from NC when she goes there to visit her relatives.

Thank you for your kind welcome back.