Published on November 6th, 2015 | by Linda Thorn


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?

Linda Thorn

Linda Thorn
Freelance writer
Author- Beautiful Joe- a true dog rescue story

About the Author

Linda Thorn

re-tells the well loved dog story of Beautiful Joe. Her book, Beautiful Joe- A true dog rescue story, is a poem format of the timeless and universally loved story by Margaret Marshall Saunders. This new book returns Joe to his Georgian Bay roots where his true story took place. Editor and graphic designer, Kelsey Carriere created an 1894 era theme for this delightful and visually attractive book which enhances the original turn of the century novel. Linda’s version describes in rhyme, the true story of the cruelly mistreated mongrel pup called Joe and his grateful rescue to a family who loved him in spite of his appearance. Joe lived a long happy life and there are actual photos of Joe’s gravesite and park. A portion of each book sale is donated to The Beautiful Joe Heritage Society which endorses this enterprise. There are 14 artistic new sketches by artist, Lin Souliere. Find a surprise sketched on each page for younger children. However, the book appeals to adults who will want this new version by e-book or print copy in their collection alongside the original book which sold 7 million copies in 14 languages by 1934. Author: Beautiful Joe- a true dog rescue story

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