Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Older Than Dirt

A friend sent me this Older Than Dirt Quiz in an email. I’ve already blogged about some of these (see Geezer Test entry on Nov. 16), but here goes! Count all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about. Ratings at the bottom.

1. Candy cigarettes
I remember these well. They didn’t taste very good—kind of like Necco Wafers (which I didn’t much like either), but it was fun to play “grown-up” and pretend to puff them. They were 5¢ a box. You can still get them online, but they’re more expensive now.

2. Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes
I remember some restaurants—the precursors to fast food joints—that had them. Gill’s on Williamson Road in Roanoke was one. I don’t remember any “coffee shops” when I was a kid, though. Coffee shops appeared when I was already an adult, unless you count “coffee houses” that appeared during my teens—but those usually featured live folk music.

3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles
When I was a kid, the milkman always left us a bottle or two of milk, but I can’t remember if ours came from Clover Creamery or Garst Brothers Dairy. I remember the cardboard tops that had to be removed and how real cream was at the top of the milk. To distribute the cream, you had to shake the bottle—before you messed with the cardboard top.

4. Party lines on the telephone
We had one, back in the day when we had five-digit phone numbers. All the phones had rotary dials, so we really did dial a number—after we’d waited for the other person to get off the line.

5. Newsreels before the movie
. . . and at least one cartoon with the movie and maybe a serial, too. I remember seeing President Truman in a newsreel at one of the theaters in downtown Roanoke.

6. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (There were only 3 channels—if you were fortunate)
I mentioned this on the “Geezer Test” about entry. I can remember when we only had one channel—Channel 10, WSLS.

7. Peashooters
Yep. Every kid had a peashooter at one time or another. A wide paper straw could be used for one in a pinch. And spitballs were more readily available than peas. But kids also had slingshots. Most were homemade. Slingshots had a longer range than peashooters and could do more damage.

8. Howdy Doody
This is the first show I remember watching. Before we had a TV, I went two houses up the hill to watch what must have been the only TV on our section of Floraland Drive at the time. Soon we got our own set. I can remember discussing the show with friends in my class at Huff Lane School.

9. 45 RPM records
Heck, I remember 78 RPM records. 45s came along about the time I was in the 6th or 7th grade. I remember having to get those little plastic thingies to put in the 45s so they’d fit the record player’s spindle.

10. Hi-fi's
High fidelity. That’s what you wanted in your high-end record playing system. I can remember during the 70s that a hi-fi was a major piece of living room furniture.

11. Metal ice trays with lever
I still have some. Haven’t used them for years, though.

12. Blue flashbulbs
Yep. Used some of those—in the second camera I had when I was a kid. Finally could take pictures indoors! What a technological milestone! The blue was an improvement over the plain ones.

13. Cork popguns
I remember them, but didn’t have one. I had some fancy cap pistols though.

14. Studebakers
Not only can I remember Studebakers, I've actually ridden in one. They looked so sporty—at least compared to a lot of other cars in the early 50s.

15. Wash tub wringers
This was how Mama did our laundry ever since I can remember—all through my childhood and college years she used the same wringer washing machine. In the 70s, though, she switched to an automatic washer.

If you remembered 0-3=You're still young.
If you remembered 3-6=You are getting older.
If you remembered 7-10=Don't tell your age.
If you remembered 11-15=You're older than dirt!

Looks like I’m older than dirt.

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Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

You're not alone - I'm older than dirt too.

I love that Howdy Doody video. It was one of my favorite programs along with Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy.

12:16 PM  
Blogger R.M. said...

I'm dirt, right along with you. Roy Rogers is the reason I now have a horse. He's also the reason I don't care for country music. I got spoiled listening to 'Sons of the Pioneers,' which was real country music.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

I liked the taste of candy cigarettes! And Necco wafers. Especially the brown ones.

Do you remember egg creams? Did they have them down in Virginia at the soda fountains?

I remember when the first color TVs came out in the sixties. One family in our apartment building in Jersey City got one (the rich people, lol) and we'd all swarm around their door and wait for it to open so we could peek in and get a glimpse!

9:34 PM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

I am not telling my age. But I wanted to tell you can still buy candy cigarettes at the dollar stores in some places. I buy them in Fincastle and eat them because something in them settles my stomach. Not sure what but it does. It's a trick I learned whilst reporting; I was out in Craig County and had an upset tummy and someone gave me a box and said to eat them, and they worked.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

I never heard of egg creams until I was grown. I don't think we had them in Roanoke when I was a kid.

8:42 AM  

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