Sunday, December 5, 2010

Remember When...

I had a very long day in East Lansing on Friday.  While driving home in the late Friday afternoon traffic, my mind somehow wandered to my old phone number.  Back when I was growing up in the 50's.  Go figure.  It got me thinking about how my life growing up was so different from what it is like today.  So, here is a simple 'remember when' from my youth:

Remember when...

Everyone's phone number began with a name - Prescott, Slocum, Lakeview, Venice, Toledo, etc.  Even when I moved to West Bloomfield in 1972 I had a 'Mayfair' exchange.

Everyone you knew who had a phone had a party line.  Only folks who were wealthy could afford a private phone line.

Answering machines were non-existent.  No messages were left and you had no idea who called while you were gone.

No one had to remember a 'zip code'.  And mail came twice a day during the holidays. 

The local dry cleaner picked up and delivered your clothes to your home.  

The Twin Pines milkman delivered milk in glass bottles, which we rinsed and gave back to him.  Hey, we were recycling before it was fashionable.

And the coal company and ice truck also made home delivery if it was needed.

There was a fruit and vegetable man who came down the street with his cart, not just the 'Good Humor' man.

We were not allowed to play outside and run in the sprinkler hose in the hot summer, lest we catch polio.

Speaking of summer, we left the house in the morning and played with our friends all day making sure we were home when the street lights came on.  We ate at whichever house we were at.

During the holidays, we went downtown to the JL Hudson Company to see the decorated store windows and visit the 12th floor with myriad decorations.  We rode up on an elevator manned, or womaned, by elevator operators.

The best pizza was found at the local bowling alleys and small Italian bakeries.  I still remember when Little Caesars became popular in the 60's.  Who knew.

All of these thoughts ran through my head as I made my way home.  I am sure if you start thinking about it, you too can come up with many 'somewhat trivial' things that have changed.

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