Sunday’s smiles

Someone asked the other day, ‘What was your favourite ‘fast food’ when you were growing up?

 ‘We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up,’ I informed him.  ‘All the food was slow.’ 

‘C’mon, seriously.. Where did you eat?’ 

‘It was a place called ‘home,” I explained. ‘Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’
By this time, the lad was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how we had to wait until everyone had sat down and we’d said grace before we started to eat. Nor did I say I had to have permission to leave the table.
But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I’d figured his system could have handled it:
Most parents never wore jeans, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card.
My parents never drove me to school. I walked a mile there and a mile back from the age of five until I was seven and got a bike for my birthday. It had a bell on the handlebar, a carrier and saddle bags but only one speed -slow.
We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 14. It was black and white, and the station went off the air at 10 pm, after playing the national anthem and goodnight kiwi. It came back on the air at about 5pm and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people….
I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn’t know weren’t already using the line.
Pizzas were not delivered to our home but milk, bread and meat were.

All newspapers were delivered by children. My brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week and he had to get up a 6 every morning to do it.
We had to stand for the Naitonal Anthem before a film started. Film stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the films… There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or almost anything offensive.
Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?

How many of these do you remember? 

Headlight dip-switches on the floor of the car.

Trouser leg clips for bicycles without chain guards. 

Soldering irons you heated on a gas burner.

Using hand signals for cars without indicators.

Older Than Dirt Quiz:
 Count all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about.
 Ratings at the bottom.
 1. Sweet cigarettes
 2. Milk bars with juke boxes 
 3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles 
 4. Party lines on the telephone
 5. Newsreels before the movie 
 6. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the afternoon – and just one channel to watch.

7.  Peashooters 
 8. 33 rpm records
 9. 45 RPM records
10. Hi-fi’s
11. Metal ice trays with levers
12. Blue flashbulb
13. Cork popguns 
14. Washing machines with wringers 
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 11-14 = You’re positively ancient! 
I must be ‘positively ancient’ – I scored 12 and can remember not only 33 & 45 records, we had some 78s  too.


19 Responses to Sunday’s smiles

  1. IHStewart says:

    I scored 12, can’t remember news reels at the pictures, or metal ice trays with levers. Party lines were a laugh we had one in Arrowtown at the crib. NZ Post were forever cutting it off when we weren’t there. Party lines to broadband in 30 years. Great post Ele. for the record 43.

  2. MacDoctor says:

    Sadly, I scored 14…

    This will come as no surprise to my children who already think their father used to hunt mammoth as a boy.

  3. david winter says:

    I’m pretty sure there is still a milkbar is mosgeil, not in a retro sort of a way either…

    (We had cork popguns and I remember being allowed to stay up and see the goodnight kiwi but thankfully the rest keep me feeling young)

  4. Pdogge says:

    14 eesypeesy…milkbars, narrow bottom Trou and D A haircuts..Morris 8 sports with the roof down…tres nostagique HP

  5. Pdogge says:

    Ooops, have an l

  6. Fredinthegrass says:

    Ah! the memories,Hp. Thank you.
    I do remember my father pulling aged, but good condition, clothes from the wardrobe that had come back into fashion, and mother being most approving.

    Today I drive a computer with relative ease, and was told by the grandies the other day – “Grandad rocks”!

    Oh, I remember all 14 plus the 78’s!

  7. IHStewart says:

    Somewhat ironic

  8. JC says:

    Yeah. Got all 14. The wife added a bit on the blue flashbulbs.. they had a little disc behind them to throw the light, and there was a square of 4 flashlights that you could be later.

    We still use the metal lever icetrays.

    And, um, I’ve harrowed a field with draft horses and used them to pull out mine props on the West Coast 🙂


  9. poneke says:

    I must be ‘positively ancient’ – I scored 12 and can remember not only 33 & 45 records, we had some 78s too.

    Well, what goes around comes round, literally. My son (21 next week) recently bought a turntable. For his birthday he has given me a list of 33rpm records he would like. All are new, not from some second hand store.

    Yes, real records on vinyl of the latest music are back, big time, and it is people my son’s age who are driving this. He says (and I agree) the sound from vinyl is far better than any of the “modern” electronic methods.

    A whole new generation will know what the phrases “broken record” and “stuck in the groove” mean.

  10. alex Masterley says:

    I remember all that stuff.
    Grew up in Christchurch in the ’60’s and early ’70’s when we shifted to Dunedin.
    Because our TV was black & White my memories are monochrome.

    I worked out the distance (using google earth of course) that I walked to school from primmer 1. It was 3 k’s there and 3k’s back- extraordinary.
    School milk and then in the winter coca!

    It all came back again when I read Peter Fitzimmons “A Simpler Time” last week.
    Well worth the effort.

  11. adam2314 says:

    14 ++++++.
    No electricity .. At my grandfathers thatched roof house. Po under the bed. Bowl with jug of water in it on the side board thingy in the bedroom.. Brass knobs on the bed ends.. The emptiness of the streets and the wearing of those Mickey Mous gas masks at school on D Day.. Gas light in the house we move into in the city ( Exeter ).

    The unbelief at having to use a phone where one had to say ” Working ” ???.. when first arriving ( 1959 )in NZ. Plus remembering your morse code ring before one answered it.

    I honestly think that all of your and many others rememberances gave us all a rounded education of plain common sense..

    Sadly missing today in many respects.

    But there again .. Many people in 50 years time will be saying ” my first computor was a COMMODORE !!..

  12. pdm says:

    14 for me – plus some.

    I was 7 or 8 before we got electicity.
    My mother cooked every meal before then on a coal or wood range.
    Our radio was battery powered.
    I was 17 before we had our own phone.
    I was 18 before we got a TV.
    We got mail and papers delivered 3 days a week.
    Groceries came once a month from town – about 40 miles away.
    We only went to town every four to six weeks – it was a full days return trip.
    Milk came from a cow which my father milked twice a day. When I was older i regularly milked it at night.
    Docking gear was taken out on a sledge pulled by a draught horse.
    I was 12 when I got my first bike – 52 years on I still have and ride it occasionally. It is affectionately known now as Hercules – which is its make. No gears and ridden initially only on metal roads and in farm paddocks.

    There are more if I could think of them.

  13. adam2314 says:

    Aaahh !.. pdm.. another recollection.. Your radio.. My grandfather had to go the local Blacksmith/garage at NEWTON POPPLEFORD to recharge his ” Accummlerator ” or some such word. a glass battery.. For war news only.. I waited and watched the Blacksmith.. Whilst Grandfather caught up with the friends at the local pub. :-))

    Could shoe a horse if needed :-))

  14. pdm says:

    Adam – I thought afterwards I should have said the radio ran off batteries which were (as I recall) similar to car batteries. I do recall that there was something about the radio valves but not the detail.

    I have seen a fair number of horses shoed but would not be game to take on the task. A few times when in my early teens I rode one of the horses we took to the farriers.

  15. Fredinthegrass says:

    As a youngster, I remember walking behind the draft horses with the man who worked them.
    We also had a small sled they pulled called a ‘konake’ – a fiend of a thing to ride as you swayed behind the horses. It had 2 wooden wheels near the rear and a swivel on the front.
    When dad got the first tractor – a TEA Fergusson we thought we were the most modern of farmers.

  16. Richard says:

    No mention of the pea pie and pud? Tinned peas. My favorite takeaway-still is

  17. Robyn B says:

    Thank you!!!! God help me I remember all of them. I will now go and oil my walking frame……

  18. Paul Tremewan says:

    Sorry, I only remember about 8 of these phenomena.
    Must be a bit too young I guess.
    The crystal set never gave me an insight into those other things!!!

    Actually… I lie…
    I remember all of them and also learned how to milk by hand in the Coromandel before power went thru…
    So indeed I must be a geriatric groover as well!!

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