Published on November 6th, 2015 | by Linda Thorn0
Nostalgia for Oldies
What was your highest count for keeping a hula hoop swinging around your waist during that 50’s craze? Can you remember the flippity-flap sound of bubble gum cards snapping on the spokes of your bike wheels turning? As youngsters born after the war, our generation of kids in the States and Canada had idyllic lives. Television was a new medium that sold products directly to the mass market of kids for an advertiser’s dream demographic. We were the first impressionable children of visual TV ads with recognizable cartoon characters and catchy jingles. I bet you can still sing a few songs for old cereal ads, chocolate drinks and Brylcreem. Even if lyrics fail you now, you can probably hum the themes from old favourite TV westerns such as Bonanza or Davey Crocket. We all loved hearing Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy with his hands on hips, admonishing a guilty Lucy with, “Loosy, you got sum splainin’ to do!”
My family were Fad Fanatics! Our house was packed with the newest gadgets, clothes, records and food from shopping forays to Buffalo. With Spoolies in my hair, I sat and squeezed the clear plastic bag of white goop until the little orange coloured capsule had transformed into a new product …a bag of yellow margarine! Once, I received a life sized doll with elastic straps for under my shoes. When I danced (with my Davey Crocket hat on) around the living room, the doll’s legs moved in unison with mine. It was hysterically funny to watch on our new super 8 film projector bought from a shopping spree into the States.
There were so many new inventions! I remember our whole family laughing ‘til we cried when an ancient uncle lathered his face with a new invention called shaving cream…only to find it was the other new invention in an aerosol can called Reddi-Wip! I was mesmerized by a painting kit that allowed me to colourize all of our black and white photos. I spent many happy hours painting albums full of photos.
In my neighbourhood, the ice and bread were still delivered by horse and wagon. For some strange reason, the milk deliveries were in a vehicle that was custom-made into the shape of a horizontal bottle of milk. What a cool design!
All the men in my family smoked. I was sent to the corner store frequently with 25 cents to purchase a packet of Black Cat tipped cork cigarettes. Looking back, between the TV dinners, coloured lard for margarine and second hand smoke, it is a wonder I survived that household. But health wasn’t an issue in the 50’s. It was a thrilling time for millions of kids who all shared that wonderful culture craze. What are your memories?
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