I’ve been tagged with a meme. It’s called “Those were the days” and it began over at the Books, Bytes, and Grocery Store Feet Blog. I’m not sure my childhood memories are quite as good as Shannon’s but I’m sure if you could sit me with all my brothers and sisters you’d have a memorable and entertaining walk to remember.
1) Cigars and Chewing Tobacco
Going into the store with some change to purchase chewing tobacco or cigars for my paw-paw was an annual Christmas time event! My Grandpa chewed tobacco and smoked cigars, and because these substances were cheap, it was something the grandkids could easily afford and buy. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t old enough, though I’m not sure of it being illegal back then. But Papa got many a boxes and pouches of chewing tobacco and cigars.
2) The movie theater marathon
Growing up in a town with a theater was special. But when you have six other brothers and sisters, you don’t get to partake of its air conditioned luxury and life size screens too often. So when my brothers and sisters were lucky enough to be allowed to go to the movies, we always made sure to get our monies worth by staying to see both movies, or at least a double showing of the same movie. We would just walk around until time for the next show, then slip right in. We were already in the theater. There did not seem to be a system (as there does now) to determine the difference between the exiting and new patrons, so we always managed either to return for the same movie or choose the other show. Worked everytime, at least all the way through high school.
3) New home tours
My Grandpa owned a lot of land, and my brothers, sisters, and our friends new just about every square mile of the land. My grandpa let us even drive old cars he fixed up on his farm, none of us with drivers’ licenses. My brothers were the daredevils for sure, and it’s a wonder any of us ever lived through some of those joy rides, but one of those joy rides allowed us to discover a new community development under construction. We would ride out to the area, and then watch with glee and joy as the new houses went up. It was to be a grand neighborhood with huge sprawling expensive houses. And it was butted up against my grandpa’s land. The construction folks did not take many days off, but on the days they did not work, we would wonder through the nice neighborhood, and checkout the fancy houses. None were locked, and all were in various stages of construction. It was with great anticipation that the power and running water became available. We, as any curious kids would do, played house in real homes. The last time I remember doing this it had rained for days (which is probably why the construction folks had the day off.) We had a field day running muddy feet and all through the homes, leaving a nightmare of red clay tracks all through the houses that at that point had freshly laid new carpeted floors. The houses with power and running water offered a respite from the rain too that day for bored preteens. (Of course my papa broke the news to my Mom and Dad police had been by asking if he knew of the kids that had “broken” into those new construction houses and damaged them extensively, and the police were out looking for kids in the area.) Scared the be-jesus out of us enough never to go back. I suspect now they knew it was us, but because at the time the houses were open, unlocked, and available, and we were were not caught red handed (nor red clay mud encrusted shoes either) all that could be done was to scare the you know what out of us. It worked for me that’s for sure. I don’t think any of us ever went back, even when we had friends to later move in and live in that neighborhood.
These are the only ones that come to mind approaching something most definitely frowned on and eventually illegal. My how times have changed.
Image: ‘the strand‘
Image: ‘Modern West Coast House‘