As time passes and technology takes over I find that there are many things we have let go to the wayside, disappear, and forgotten; simple things, fun things, and the not so fun elements of our daily lives. I have started this blog to catalog those "missed" things that when mentioned to a younger generation will cause knitted eyebrows, shaken heads, and a "what's that?” expression; now you have a place to show them just…What

This is a catalog of all the things that I and others miss from their younger days and olden times.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

#87 ~ jeans designed by wear

I am not sure just how much technology has affected this subject, except for being able to mass-produce something.  

I remember the day when you would go out and pay $6.45 for a pair of new Levi 501 button-fly shrink-to-fit jeans. They were dark blue and nearly as stiff as a board. I remember going home and washing them at least 20 times before wearing them- mostly to take out the stiffness. You would have to be careful of what you washed them with, the dye in the jeans turned everything if not blue, a light blue.
I even sometimes, if I needed them to age a little quicker than normal, would tumble them in my father’s old cement drum with a few rocks from the beach or back yard. Most of the time I would start preparing a new pair of jeans long before “I” considered the old ones ready for the fabric re-purposing pile.  (grew up recycling and re-purposing long before it became popular to “be green.”)

I can remember putting embroidered appliqu├ęs as patches, or just a fun fabric as a patch, sewing things on the pockets; the hems would become worn so there was a little fringe at the bottoms, or putting some decorative trim to repair and finish.  As I got into high-school in the sixties, I remember taking liquid embroidery tubes- all colors, and painting my jeans with flowers, animals, names- once I wrote “property of --my then boyfriend’s name” down the front of each leg.

But most of all, I remember the fun it was “designing” your own jeans. And… when you walked down the street with an extremely faded, decorated, frayed  pair of jeans…everyone knew YOU loved those jeans and were the designer just by living in them.
Now… you can pay upwards to $150.00 for someone else to do all that for you- and get this- look exactly like all the other people that have purchased the same jean.  No originality. And what about those Hip-hugger Bell bottom pants that they now call – Low-rise flares! Yea ,right.

Still to this day I buy the simplest pair of Levi’s and let nature and life put its design on them- I have a pair that is 10 years old, wearing them at the moment – thank you very much.

Let’s take the mass production out of the “MASS CHOICES” for said product and go back to basics where we can pay a reasonable price for a great product- and if we want it decorated…do it yourself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

#88 ~ drive-in "carhops"

A carhop was a waitress or waiter who brought food to people in their cars at drive-in restaurants. Usually they worked on foot but sometimes the restaurant would have them use roller-skates.  They would take your order, rush off and return with a special tray, that attached to your partially lowered window, piled with all the treats and yummies you were waiting for.  What was it about sitting in your car and trying to drink a coke and eat a hamburger, loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions?  It was fun! Defiantly more fun than a drive-through and pick it up at the second window and take off.
 My favorite place was A&W with their “baby burger”, which consisted of a simple beef patty,  a smaller than average bun, and some mayo. Not sure, what they put on that burger, but as simple as it was, it was tasty. Moreover, to top that off, don’t forget the Rootbeer Float, that made this company famous.

Carhops originated in the late 1930s when drive-in eateries were devised to draw in a more mobile society. It started as pull-up service to drug stores and eating establishments and was found to be a very effective way to draw customers.

Now carhops are only featured at a few remaining original drive-in stands and nostalgic fast food establishments. The few remaining drive-ins are mostly in small towns with local ownership.  Sonic Drive In still uses carhops, and one, personally known, existing A&W in Colorado features these wonderful attendants. There has been a resurgence with some franchises cashing in on the nostalgic aspect and tapping into the memories of the baby boomers.

The uniforms of early carhops were important, as many drive-ins were competing and something eye-catching was seen as gamesmanship. There was often a military theme, airline theme, space age theme or cheerleader theme along with any other whim an owner thought would get customers.

A carhop was the most prominent image on the poster for the film American Graffiti. They were also often seen in the first two seasons of Happy Days. –(a 1974 sit-com- info for those post millennium readers.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

#89 ~ the milkman

In the old days the milkman, traditionally a man,  would come by with eggs, glass bottles of cold whole milk, and other dairy products to your front porch or the special door in the side of your house. The milk came straight from the cow to your doorstep — always fresh and always with a smile.  I think  you have to be a baby boomer or older to remember those simpler times.

I remember those days, and good days they were. I remember when we had a little tab wheel that showed all the things we could order from the Milk Man when he would stop by our house in the wee hours of the morning. This wheel was colorful and full of every possible dairy product you could think of, even ice cream- three flavors! Also, orange juice and sometimes  fresh fruit.  We would have a little metal-sectioned carrier and yesterday’s glass milk bottle, which we would place the wheel marked with everything we wanted in the top, and when we woke… whalla, our delivery made. Fresh from the dairy~ guaranteed~

The U.S. Agriculture Department estimates that in 1963, 30% of the milk sold in the United States was home-delivered. That figure fell to less than 1% in the 1990s.

In some remote parts of the country the Milk Man is making a comeback and in some not so remote… I found a company in Manhattan; but the charm of the Milk Man Delivery has been diminished due to…. Orders made Online with a Credit Card, and the delivery is only guaranteed some time during that day.

In researching this week’s post I came across a fun site that has a few of the funny, but real, notes left for a milkman. There aren’t many, but they are fun.