FIRMLY FOUNDED February 2010
Gene Williams


As I sit here, snowed in, in beautiful downtown Monroe, I gaze upon the hill at the

Mound Cemetery and remember some really neat things of the past. My grandsons and

my young neighbor boy are spending a couple of nights with me so their parents can go

to work and not worry about the boys, since school is out today and tomorrow. As I

listen to them playing their games and fussing about video games and whose turn it is, I

fondly remember a few things that come to mind from the not-too-distant past. Many of

you will remember these things and you younger ones will be reminded of the tales your

Grandpa or Dad or Mom shared with you, to tell you of what we thought was a better

time in history. My cousin, from Germantown, sent this info to me. His family was one

of the original settlers of Blue Ball, so they have a connection to us, in a round-about

way (you know, the next stage stop in the olde days).
CIRCA 1940-1960..REALLY OLDE!!!!!
ALL the girls had really ugly gym uniforms. It took three minutes for the TV to warm up

and it only stayed on until late evening (midnight, it started showing a weird picture that

looked like a kalidescope gone awry. Most all of us had a mutt for a dog. Nobody we

knew owned a throroughbred/purebred anything. A quarter was a fantastic allowance.

The Tooth Fairy left a dime or a quarter and we thought we were rich. Your Mom wore

nylon stockings that came in two pieces, one for each leg. You’d reach into a muddy

gutter for a penny…… bought a piece or two of candy. The man at the gas station

cleaned your windshield, checked the oil, checked for low tires (and filled them for free)

and you got trading stamps to boot when you bought your gasoline. Mom buying the

laundry detergent that had either free glasses, dishes, or towels hidden in the box,

Cracker Jacks with a special toy in them, and Dick Tracy Special Official Real

DECODER RINGS. It was a real special treat to be allowed to go out to a restaurant

(even Frisch’s) with your parents, maybe only a couple of times a year. Afternoons after

school were spent with Annette and Frankie and Mickey, Minnie, and Jimmie, or with

Howdy Doody, Clarabelle, Cowboy Bob, and Mr Fluster…….or, if you were really

young, Mr GreenJeans or Uncle Al and Captain Wendy. How many still have their

Captain Video and the Video Rangers gun…or the Hopalong Cassidy metal lunchbox

that we carried our chow to school in? We have some of those items in our museum on

Elm Street. How many boys were expected to take off from school for the first day of

hunting season each year? If you failed a grade in school, they actually held you back

and made you do it over again. The 57 Chevy was everybody’s dream car… cruise

in, peel out, lay rubber, or watch submarine races (if you remember what that was), and

some boys and girls went steady? Nobody ever asked where the car keys were because

they were in the unlocked car, in the ignition so you didn’t lose them. We never locked

our doors, the next-door neighbor might have to get something for us, or feed the cat ,

dog, or goldfish while we were gone for the day, or weekend. Baseball was played

without the interference of adults, except in school sports, because they just got in the

way of having fun. Stuff came from the store without safety caps or hermetic seals cause

nobody tried to poison us, except that awful fudge that Great Aunt Sadie thought she

made so good and delicious. Going to the Principal’s office was a piece of cake

compared to what waited for us at home. Long bike rides in the country, swimming in the

local creek, eating yard-long licorice whips after drinking our 6oz Coke through it, then

taking the Coke bottle back to get our two cents refund on the bottle so we could get

more penny candy. The SHADOW Knows, the Lone Ranger beat all the bad guys, Roy

and Dale, Trigger, and Buttermilk all played a big part of our lives. I shared with you

two months ago that Ruth Lyons used to stop and buy ice cream sundaes at the Hornet’s

Nest, but who actually remembers Ruth Lyons and Bob Braun, or the Midwestern

Hayriders. I was fortunate to grow up next-door to Barney, one of the Hayriders, so I

got to meet all of the Hayride folks, including Bonnie Lou (my favorite)…golly, she

could sing and yodel. Jim Price sold you Blackjack, Clove, and Teaberry chewing gum,

along with the ice cream sodas at the Hornet’s Nest. Milk, in glass bottles, with cardboard stoppers,

eggs, and butter were delivered by the milkman to our front door. Mom bought lots of

stuff with the S&H Green Stamps that she saved. Eeny-meeny-miney-moe is how you

made important decisions. A race issue meant that you were arguing on who was the

fastest, and drugs meant taking that dern orange-flavored aspirin, and oly-oly-oxen-free

made all of the sense in the world. For most, the Family was the central nucleus, the

Church was where you socialized, the School was where you learned, and all of it meant

that you were a community. I have to admit that sometimes I get lonely for that time.

I miss hearing the sound of baseball cards in the spokes of my J.C. Higgins bike from

Sears in Hamilton. Remember, if you can, I DOUBLE-DOG-DARE-YOU.

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