Darn, I’m older than dirt

Published 11:46 am Tuesday, October 31, 2017

This was sent to me last week by my good buddy Bobby “Keys” Eure. It’s too funny, and all too true, not to share.

Someone asked the other day what was my favorite fast food when growing up?

I didn’t have fast food when I was growing up, as all the food was “slow.”

“C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat,” I was asked.

It was a place called home. Mom 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 kid 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 I had to have permission to leave the table.

Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood, if I figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents never wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card.

My parents never drove me to school. You either rode the bus or, for those living close to school, you used your bicycle for transportation. That bike weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).

We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 10. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at 11 pm, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. It came back on the air at about 6 am. And there was usually a locally produced news and farm show featuring local people.

I never had a telephone in my room. Our 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 was and so was bread.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. My brother delivered a newspaper six days a week. He had to get up at 5 every morning.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies! There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Don’t blame me if they bust their gut laughing.

Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it. Here are some memories to prove that.

My Dad was cleaning out my grandmother’s house after she passed away and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to “sprinkle” clothes with water because we didn’t have steam irons.

How many of these do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.

Ignition switches on the dashboard.

Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.

Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.

Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Here is the “Older Than Dirt” quiz. Count all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about. Ratings are at the bottom.

Candy cigarettes

Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes

Home milk delivery in glass bottles

Party lines on the telephones

Newsreels before the movie

TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (Only three channels if you had a TV!)


Howdy Doody

45 RPM records

78 rpm records

Hi-fi records 33 1/3 rpm

Metal ice trays with lever

Blue flashbulbs

Cork popguns


Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-3 you are still young.

If you remembered 3-6 you are getting older.

If you remembered 7-10 don’t tell your age

If you remembered 11-16 you are older than dirt…and that includes me.

I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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