Ya think!?!?


Active Member
Something husband dug up, we thought you might be interested. Looks like someone's been reading old Readers Digests - Timer Lady? Too much time on your hands in doctors waiting rooms?

Comments made in the year 1955 -

"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20."

"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $2000 will only buy a used one."

"If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous."

"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?"

"If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."

"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."

"Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls."

"I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying 'd*mn' in 'Gone With The Wind,' it seems every new movie has either "h*ll" or "d*mn" in it.

"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas "

"Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the president."

"I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now."

"It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet."

"It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

"Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more; those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat."

"I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."

"Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to congress."

"The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

"There is no sense going to Las Vegas anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel."

"No one can afford to be sick any more; $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."

"If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it."



That is before my time. However I remember my dad saying the day it cost him $20 to fill up the car is the day he stops driving. He always had these really big cars.

I remember dad sending us in the store to get cigarettes for him, 50 cents. He complained how much that was.

My dad would grill us if we left any change on the floor, that may have fallen out of our pockets. He would go into the bathroom after our showers and pick up all the change and would yell at us.

My friend reminds me of the time we went to the store with my dad and I asked for a penny for a gum ball, and he said no.
Most of my friends were afraid of my dad. They would even hang up if he answered the phone.

But the one thing that I will never forget...I was about 10 or 11 and I wanted to go to the movies with my friends. I asked my dad for money and he said No. (we never had allowance, never got any money) I whined and said two of my friends are going. His reply was "and I bet they don't own their own houses either".
I was speechless. They never talked of their finances. And at that age...I really didn't care. I wanted to go. besides I thought if you lived in a house you owned it. I didn't get to go.

They also had no credit cards. My father was one that said if you can't afford it you don't deserve it. Geeeze...why didn't any of that sink in???


Spork Queen
Gosh...a little before my time, but not by much.

I remember filling my Pinto's tank for $6. I'm glad it didn't explode. :nonono:

Orange juice was rationed to one small glass on Sunday mornings before church.

Fresh fruit was bought at the local family market when...and only when it was in season. (There was no seedless watermelons, either.)

We sewed our own clothes, undies, swimsuits and all, until we were about 16.

I'd ride my bicycle about 2 miles to get a 5 cent bag of sunflower seeds on nearly a daily basis...even in the snow. (TRUE) I guess I was not smart enough to buy multiple bags at a time.

My first job was at age 11 cleaning beer bottles off the bowling alley lanes. I was then promoted to bus-girl in the restaurant. Kicker...we had to turn over our paychecks to our parents. I never questioned it then. Now...hmmm...

Once a year we'd go out to dinner as a family at the old-school Italian restaurant. It was a BIG deal.

Our only fast food restaurant, McDonald's, was washed away in a horrible flood in 1972. I think our little town suffered more from this than losing 300 lives. (sad to say)

Every year we'd have two HUGE family gatherings...Christmas and the Fourth of July. No more.

When my parents had adult friends over, we were not allowed to be in the same room. We were expected give a greeting, then go on our merry way. You didn't dare engage in conversation with the adults.

I guess times have changed.



Well-Known Member
It's amazing to me how many things that are considered to be "necessities" now were "luxuries" back when I was a kid! Of course, my parents made Scrooge look like a spendthrift by comparison.

If you wanted to socialize, you went to visit relatives! Or they came to your house! And I can honestly say I don't ever remember going out to a restaurant to eat with my parents! Not even once. A few times on trips with my grandparents, but that was it. And I don't ever remember my parents going out together for an evening - not even one time! They just didn't do that. We didn't walk around with a soft drink in our hands constantly like kids do now either. Once in a while our mom would buy one of the big bottles and we'd all share it - it was like "dessert". Then we'd take the bottle back for the 5 cent deposit. We got a very small allowance and if we wanted extra money, we'd scour the neighborhood for pop bottles to take back to the store - 2 cents for the little ones and 5 cents for the big ones! Or in the winter when it snowed and school was out, we'd be the first kids on the block out asking the neighbors if they wanted their sidewalks shoveled. I can honestly say that it never even occurred to us to ask our mother for extra money! It would have been a waste of time. And I don't ever remember going to a department store and buying NEW clothes! Shoes, yes ... but not clothes. My mom made some of my clothes and I had two older cousins and I got their hand-me-downs. And if you wanted to go shopping, there was NO MALL! You got on a city bus and you rode for an hour and walked all around downtown to the different stores. Then after you finished your shopping, you had to drag all your purchases back on the bus with you and ride for another hour to get home! We had ONE dial telephone that attached to the wall with a cord ... and we didn't consider it an inconvenience to have to sit there and talk on the phone! And I didn't know anybody who had more than one bathroom in their house! Maybe some people did, but nobody I knew! And we didn't mind any of this! We didn't know any different and it was all OK. But I used to envy my best friend terribly! She was an only child - she actually had her OWN ROOM! And a DOG! And a "Clue" game!

When I got older and started driving, I could go back and forth to work all week on $5 worth of gas! And for a dollars worth, you could spend a whole Friday or Saturday night cruising around with your friends. I know we earned a lot less back then, but paying for gas was more an inconvenience - it didn't take such a huge percentage of your pay check like it does now. And when I first started smoking, cigarettes were about 25 cents a pack - but my dad got them on the military base where they were about $1.50 a CARTON! Is it any wonder that we all smoked like chimneys back then! And cigarette machines were everywhere! For a quarter (later 35 cents) you could buy any brand you wanted ... even if you were ten! :cool:


Active Member
The quotes husband found were very US-based. Australia - things were a bit similar, but I do remember back then that the Aussie dollar was worth about A$2. Before 14 February 1966 we had LSD currency - pounds, shillings & pence. I was in Grade 6 at the time. I can still remember the jingle - very sad!

We didn't get McDonalds in Australia until the mid 70s. We got Pizza Hut around 1972 and Kentucky Fried Chicken (complete with regular visits from Colonel Harlan Sanders, looking like he stepped off the set of "Gone With The Wind") in about 1968/69. Before that, if you wanted fast food - you could get a home-made burger from a Milk Bar, or a freshly made sandwich. Our favourites especially in summer were the salad sandwiches they made at the milk bar next door to the plant nursery where my mother worked sometimes (and I helped out for no pay). Those sandwiches had everything, including beetroot and sliced Kraft cheese. Not a pickle in sight! A lot of Aussies have adapted to the Big Mac these days but pickles are an acquired taste. We still consider a burger incomplete without beetroot, though.

Asian food - it's changed drastically over the years. A lot of Chinese came to Australia in the Gold Rush years. These were miners, not cooks, and they used local ingredients to throw together a Chinese form of beans and hash - they called it chop suey - something you'd never find on a legitimate restaurant menu in China. But Australia accepted this ghastly form of Chinese food as normal, so when the real thing arrived in bulk ini the 70s, we all went into culture shock - and then discovered we LOVE Chinese food, done well. And now we've discovered Thai cuisine (which some argue isn't a cuisine, it's a formula). We're a cultural melting pot and our food reflects this change - new foods, ingredients and ways of preparing it are turning up all the time - and now it's getting ridiculous. Chefs are paying with ingredients in some very silly ways, simply to get a flavour shock into over-stimulated, jaded palates. "Why don't you try my pickled pears with truffle oil and coriander leaf?"
"No thanks, I want some taste-buds left intact..."

When I was a kid, a lot of people smoked. Less than in the US, but on TV we would often see smokers - it was accepted. Kids took up smoking in their teens. My generation were among the first to begin to reject smoking, although husband & I are still a minority in that we never smoked (although I think he puffed on a pipe, once). My father would light up a cigarette while still sitting at the dining table and as I had to sit next to him (the youngest) I could never taste my food once he lit up. I used to beg to be able to leave the table and eat my food in the kitchen but I was chastised for being rude to the breadwinner. He never realised, until he quit smoking, what that did to us all. By then I was in my early teens and had learnt to eat fast to enjoy my food.

You never criticised your parents, you never answered back, you never asked for money unless it was something you knew your parents would approve of (such as a school excursion) and even then, expect to be told, "No". Australia was called "the lucky country" because people could move here and start a new life, making a success for themselves. But we were also called "battlers" because life was a struggle. If you wanted more than the basics you were greedy and materialistic. But who needed anything more than a beach, or a sprinkler on the summer lawn, to play in? Until the drought in the 60s, when sprinklers were banned. The old rotary sprinkler is a museum relic now.

Guests were to be accorded the ultimate courtesy with no criticism or infringing on their personal freedoms, no matter what they did - my parents kept this up into the 80s when I had to step in to discreetly direct a guest who was smoking, to enjoy the view from the balcony with my father because the cigarette smoke in the house could put both my parents in hospital - but neither would say anything to the guest who had thoughtlessly lit up, confident in their hospitality.

We were horrified when fuel prices hit 50c a litre 17 years ago. "The prices will come down when the Gulf War is over," we told ourselves. Hah!

We had huge family gatherings with plastic tablecloths on the kids' tables which the kids would poke their fingers through. We would cook a classic English Christmas dinner with all the trimmings - roast pork with crackling and apple sauce; boiled pudding with sixpences in it (the coins hoarded from the pre-decimal days, since the new currency was toxic); lots of roast vegetables, lots of hot, greasy food - when the temperature was well over a hundred in the shade. After we'd eaten enough to burst, we'd load everyone in the car and head for the beach, stopping every 100 yards for another kid to throw up after the lunchtime overindulgence. Or not stopping - after the first kid misses the door, why bother? The sooner we get to the beach, the sooner we can air out the car. The beach is only two hours' drive away... and at the beach, standing and waiting interminably until the shark alarm is called off. Then finding the beach full of bluebottles ("Portuguese man o' war" or Physalia). Sunscreen? What's that? Got a tube of Pinke Zinke here somewhere... of course, it leaves greasy sticky stripes on the towels... and nobody gave skin cancer a single thought. Discovering that the last time you wore your wool or cotton swimsuit, it hadn't been dried properly and now smelled of mildew...

We ate whatever was in season and grew it ourselves, looking down on those who had to buy their own vegetables. But somewhere inside we were envious of those who were rich enough to not have to grow their own. We even grew our own meat - I remember having to help my father slaughter chickens, having to boil the feet and peel the skin off. Watching him wash out the gizzard and then taking a plate of giblets to my mother and hoping she wouldn't feed any of it to me... I was virtually vegetarian, from having to watch my father kill animals for food. I told my parents, I wouldn't eat any animal I'd played with. So no goat, no lamb, no chicken, no pork, no beef... for a long time. Lots of eggs from our battery-caged hens. I hated to see them in the cages but my father knew of no other way. He ran those chickens like a business - buy them as chicks, raise them, cage them, collect eggs and then slaughter in autumn of their second year when the days got shorter. The lights were on a timer to stay on for 17 hours total light. My father invented one of the first timer switches but never patented it. A lot of Aussies invented things - and never patented them. other people would patent what they saw, even if at times they'd copied it, and the attitude was, "Well he went to the trouble to fill in all that paperwork - good luck to him."

My father in law invented a weed trimmer, only he used an old washing machine motor for the drive - he was the only bloke who could even lift the thing. But it could clear an entire paddock of rough scrub. Knowing father in law, he probably used fencing wire instead of nylon rope...

These days we expect things to be instant and to have whatever we want. A higher standard of living? I guess it depends on your standards...


timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I'm loving this - at 50, some if it I remember; others I remember through my parents.

I, too, grew up in an era of fast food was a "treat" & only happened once or twice a month (if that).

This has truly been a "blast from the past" - thanks for sharing this fun & memory filled thread.


Active Member
I'm 38 and when we had pizza from the pizzaria, it was a big deal. We picked it up maybe twice a year and we had soda with it. The only other time we had soda was when we went to a bbq in the summer.

McDs or Burger King was a rare thing, too; maybe a few times a year. Friendly's ice cream, in a neighboring town, had a drive in, when it was built and we did that every once in a while, too.

I used to be able to go to the corner store and pick up a pack of cigs for my dad for about 35 cents. I can remember when it went up to 50 cents, everyone saying they were going to quit.....didn't happen. Now it's about 5 dollars for a pack! YIKES! Glad I never wanted to even try it.

I recently bought, at a garage sale, one of those recipe boxes that were popular back in the 70's. The one that you ordered and then once a month you received another packet of recipe cards. I'm laughing through most of it, because of how much the cuisine has changed. The recipes are very primitive, compared to what we see in recipe books today. They are very "American" and today we see so much European influence. I don't think I would make much of what's in that recipe box, although I can remember some of those items being popular in the 70's. It's neat, though.

And gasoline....I used to pay about 10 bucks to fill up my Ford Maverick (okay...laugh all you want, but those cars are still running!). Now, I pay about 60 bucks to fill up my SUV! Sheesh. At least gas prices have come down a little.


Active Member
My mother gave me some 'modern' recipe books when I first married. She had bought these a couple of decades earlier. I found a recipe for "calves head with brain sauce". Yum... and her favourite recipe for pork brawn which she used to cook up out of a pig's head. You just can't get pig's heads like you used to in the butcher shop window... I remember coming home from school to find a pig's head sitting in the kitchen sink. Or an ox tongue.

A lot of the old recipes for biscuits & cakes say to add a tsp of salt. These days we rarely add salt to a sweet recipe, we even use unsalted butter. And so many recipes these days use olive oil, often instead of butter. Hey, everyone! It's all fat!

And drive-in movies - husband & I used to go to the drive-in when we were younger. Now they're all gone from Sydney. I think they're all gone from Australia. easy child's old high school was built on the site of an old drive-in.



Well-Known Member
Loth - if you want to see some really, really FUNNY recipes ...

I wish I still had the link for it, but there was a website that showed the very early, very FIRST recipes put out by Weight Watchers when they first started - complete with pictures! OMG! They had some really weird concoctions and most of them looked horrible! I can't believe that anybody could actually eat that stuff, but I remember an older lady I worked with who was the first person I knew who was on Weight Watchers and she used to bring this stuff in for lunch all the time!

The most memorable recipe on this website was for a "Liver Loaf", like a meatloaf made with liver instead of beef! It was GRAY! It looked like a big lumpy gray volcano with this nasty-looking gray "sauce" oozing down the sides like lava!

Weight Watchers has come a long, long way since then, but these "recipes" are hysterical. I'll have to see if I can find the website again. I spend an entire afternoon laughing at it!
You know, I was browsing through one of my mom's old cookbooks not that long ago. You guys are not kidding about us having evolved as far as cuisine. And even the recipes that did sound good, the pictures...holy cow...what the heck did they use for ink back then?

EVERYTHING was a big deal back then. Even in MY back than, which was not as far back as a lot of your back thens (heh heh, I'm only 38) but still before cable, it was a BIG DEAL when the Christmas specials came on. It was a big deal once a year when the Wizard of Oz came on. Seeing Santa one time at the mall was huge. There were no breakfasts with santa at every grocery store, park district, school, and outhouse. You got to see the man ONE time, and you better have behaved.

McDonalds was DEFINITELY a special treat, for my brothers anyways. I did not like hamburgers. And guess what? That is all they had. Hamburgers. Me, I got to go to Novi's for a Chicago hot dog or a meatball sandwich (the BEST). Ice cream? We had square scoops of ice cream from C-ock Robin. MAYBE 3 times per summer. And MAYBE 2-3 times per year we went to the drive in for an A&W root beer float. They hung the tray off your window. Your float came in a glass.

EVERYTHING is overkill nowadays. I miss Mayberry.


Spork Queen
Ohh...the A&W trip. We did it once a summer.

I, too, remember the waiting for the yearly showing of Wizard of Oz, as well as the Charlie Brown Christmas story...Grinch, etc.

Things are too easy now. You just pop in a DVD. It doesn't make is special anymore.

We are seen as being 'mean' parents to my easy child's friends. (Even though they have all spent the last two weekends at our house eating us out of house and home. I love it, though.) We did not buy him a car or provide a cell phone. Imagine the horror! :surprise: I guess I'm old-school in that if you want those luxuries, you WORK for them. I didn't have my first cell phone until I was about 43.



Well-Known Member
I guess I was the "mean mama" too! But I could care less! :grin:

Neither one of my kids had their own car until they had a job and paid for it! Both of them worked during their last two years of high school and paid their own car payments and insurance. I COULDN'T pay for it, and if they wanted a car, THEY paid for it! Didn't hurt them one bit! I could keep them in food and clothes and a roof over their heads, but if they wanted the extras, like the $100 pair of jeans, they paid. And when it was their own money they were spending, they started questioning the wisdom of buying the $100 jeans! My youngest, my son, graduated in '99 and cell phones weren't "necessary" yet, so neither one of them had one of those either until they could buy their own!

When I was a kid we had so much less, but we were satisfied and it was OK. We didn't know any different. When my own kids were teenagers, they had a lot more "stuff" than we did, but still nowhere near what today's kids think they're entitled to have - and usually get! They demand to be constantly entertained, constantly in touch with everyone they know, and demand to have designer clothes and the latest electronic gadgets and the parents are guilt-tripped if they don't provide them! What's wrong with this picture!

I think Abbey hit the nail right on the head! They HAVE so much and have been GIVEN so much with virtually nothing being asked of them in return that they're on "overload" and "NOTHING IS SPECIAL ANYMORE!"

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
This stuff makes me shake my head.

I recall cigs costing 50 cents a pack. lol I think it was that when I started smoking.

Eating out was a rare treat in our family growing up. Maybe a couple of times a year, and only because my stepdad decided to splurg. He had the right, he'd worked two jobs since he was 13. And Mom worked too. But we didn't have a sitter. Older kids watched the younger kids and there was h*ll to pay if someone got hurt or into trouble while parents were gone.

I didn't eat at Mc Donald's til I was 12, never tasted pizza til I was 13, and it was homemade not from a pizzaria. A special treat was getting to have a picnic at the neighborhood park in the summer with pbj sandwiches, chips, and shasta soda pop by the case. :grin:

Most of the time our meals were ham 'n beans with cornbread, buiscuts and gravy, fried potatoes, mac 'n cheese, or rice. Meat was something to be worshipped we saw so little of it. It was expensive. Veggies came out of the huge garden we worked our fannys off in each year.

My kids rarely got to eat out too. Cable would be shut off in the summers to save money and encourage outside play. Air conditioning is a treat. (still, and it better be over 90 degrees) Santa and grandparents gave gifts at holidays and bdays with a limit. Only 5 at xmas, 2 for birthday. All gifts had to be run past me first. If somewhere is close enough to walk there, they walked there, including the mile to school each day....

See I've already started their lists for them.....lol :wink: