+++++++++++++++ version date 11-24-04 ++++++++++++++++++

Remember When, Part 2
Fender Skirts and more

Remember When...

"Fender skirts!" What a great blast from the past! I hadn't thought about fender skirts in years. When I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term. Made me think of a car in a dress.

Thinking about fender skirts started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice. Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. You kids will probably have to find some elderly person to explain some of these terms to you.

Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental. When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake."

I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed." Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - "store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "worldwide" for granted. This floors me.

On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered their hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.

When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all that talk about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply "expecting."

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cackled. I guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.

It's hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper - "divorce." And no one is called a "divorcee" anymore. Certainly not a "gay divorcee." Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too.

Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!

Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffeemaker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, we can blame you for this.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "ElectraLuxe." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

Food for thought: Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most - "supper." Save a great word - invite someone to supper - discuss fender skirts!

Some Mt. Brook Memories from Allen Hill:


Tackle football played between the two 8th grade classes with all players in mismatched jerseys and helmets, and some in football pants while others wore jeans. The two hardly used tennis courts. Safety patrol. Trying to control the floor buffing machine. A guy in a grade ahead of us bringing a pistol to school. Dodge ball. Red Rover. "The Weekly Reader" Standing in the hall for misbehaving. The humor of Guy Youell. Straight A's for Cathy Walker, Marilyn Browdy, Charles Madanick, Roy knight, Julius Lynn and Kathy Dunwoody to name a few.

If you were left out, please send in a memory. The cut-up antics of Mitzi Hodo. The height and basketball ability of Bobby Smith. Burma Shave road signs. Beamon Cooley getting put up a grade for being too smart and too physically mature for our class. The fear that little 4'11" Ms. Poor could evoke. Trembling when being stared down by Ms. Cumbee. "Boy's Life" The lovely figure of Ms. Rush. The boiler room. Lunch tickets. Little milk bottles with cream at the top that had to be shaken down. They were always too warm.

Bicycles with Bendix brakes. Playing cards on spokes. P.T.A. The pencil holder groove on our desks. No. 2 pencils only. Books kept under our seats. Gorgeous George. The Harry Gilmer pass. One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Salt tablets at football practice. Fountain pens. Book satchels. Caster oil. ID bracelets. TV test pattern.

The size of Jeppy Tackett. Lash LaRue. Pink shirts and black pants. The little belt with the buckle that was on the backs of boy's pants. Hoods with ducktail haircuts and turned up collars. Topps baseball cards, 5 in a pack for a penny, and pink flat bubble gum pieces to boot. Cokes fom a machine for 6 cents. "Frankly Scarlett, I don't give a damn."

+++++++++++++++[memory quiz]+++++++++++++++++++

Can you remember???

01. After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, "Who was that masked man?" Invariably, someone would answer, "I don't know, but he left this behind." "What did he leave behind?_______________________.

02. When the Beatles first came to the U.S. in early 1964, we all watched them on the, ______________________show.

03. Get your kicks, _______________.

04. The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed____________________.

05. In the jungle, the mighty jungle,_________________________.

06. After the twist, the mashed potatoes, and the watusi, we "danced" under a stick that was lowered as low as we could go in a dance called the_________________________.

07. N_E_S_T_L_E_S, Nestl's makes the very best, _______________.

08. Satchmo was America's "ambassador of goodwill." Our parents shared this great jazz trumpet player with us. His name was, ____________________.

09. What takes a licking and keeps on ticking?__________________.

10. Red Skeltons hobo character was ________________________, and he always ended his television show by saying, "Good night, and_____________________________."

11. Some Americans who protested the Vietnam war did so by burning their_________________.

12. The cute little car with the engine in the back and the trunk in the front was called the VW. What other names did it go by? __________________________&_______________________.

13. I n 1971, singer Don MacLean sang a song about," the day the music died." This was a tribute to__________________________.

14. We can remember the first satellite placed into orbit. The Russians did it; it was called _____________.

15. One of the big fads of the late 50's and 60's was a large plastic ring that we twirled around our waist; it was called the ___________.


01. The Lone Ranger left behind a silver bullet

02. The Ed Sullivan show

03. Route 66

04. To protect the innocent

05 The Lion sleeps tonight

06. The limbo

07. Chocolate

08. Louis Armstrong

09. The Timex watch

10. Freddy the freeloader, and "Good night, and "May God Bless"

11. Draft cards (the bra was also burned)

12. Beetle or Bug or Punch Buggy

13. Buddy Holly

14. Sputnik

15. Hoola-hoop

[funny story submitted from email and modified by Nancy Guthrie (Don Guthrie's wife)]


Have you been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking... surely I cannot look that old? You may enjoy this short story.

While waiting for my first appointment in the reception room of a new dentist, I noticed his certificate, which bore his full name. Suddenly, I remembered that a tall, handsome boy with the same name had been in my Mountain Brook Elementary School class some 50 years ago.

Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate.

After he had examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Mountain Brook Elementary School.

"Yes," he replied.

"When did you graduate?" I asked.

He answered, "In 1955. Why?"

"You were in my class!" I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely, and then the sorry rat asked, "What did you teach?"

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