Wednesday, June 25, 2014




If you grew up in the 1960's,  summertime was all about:

Bactine, Band-Aids, Bonanza, Bubble Gum and Bologna!

OUR parents generation remembered what it was like to spend the summer listening to the radio and how boring that was so they considered sitting in front of the T.V for eight hours a day perfectly acceptable!
You played outside in the morning. If you were the first one outside you rode your  Banana bike up and down the dirt street or sidewalk until your friends were awake.  You weren't allowed to ring the doorbell until 8:30 a.m.  because you were always kinda afraid of the elusive Dads because they were always going to work, coming home from work, going to the club for a round of golf, or having a cocktail. Think Mad Men...very accurate. There were a lot of Larry Tate's on my street. The only time they really paid attention to us was if somebody was REALLY in trouble like we had accidentally broken a window or dented a car.
All the kids knew it was going to be a great summer if some body's parents ponied up for a Slip and Slide!Or you might walk to the 7-11 or whatever little Stop and Go was around the corner to get whatever a dime or max a quarter could buy. You went without any adults...they would look at you like you had three heads if you even thought they were going to venture out in the heat to buy a stupid comic book. Actually, the trip to the store was usually encouraged because it could eat  up a whole hour in what must have seemed like an endless day!  You might pick blackberries along the road and EAT THEM WITHOUT WASHING THEM FIRST! The Big boys might throw pine cones at each other and hopefully not you because let me tell you that hurts.

 You played till noon went inside sweating and suffering from mild heat stroke and had a sandwich...always a sandwich, some chips, and some water based drink. Think iced tea, Lemonade, or Kool-Aid. Hawaiian Punch was for special occasions.

You settled down with your drink mustache,  black bottomed, sidewalk scalded, sticker stung feet to watch the black and white or high tech color console TELEVISION SET until it was cool enough to go back outside! Now, if you were like me, my nanny/maid, whom I loved more than life itself, was normally resting at this time too. That always stunk because she liked to watch her "Stories"; therefore, a masterful negotiation always ensued. It went something like this: "Bowow ( Don't ask, long story, nobody called their second mothers a normal name), If I go read my Nancy Drew for 30 minutes, Can I watch ANYTHING??" Remember you were held prisoner by the T.V. Guide and its unchangeable edicts. You might not be able to find your King James but you damn sure knew where the T.V Guide was and you were in BIG TROUBLE IF YOU LOST IT! Fortunately, Bowow and I  shared some similar tastes in pop culture.  She loved game shows, and Bonanza. We both thought Little Joe was super cute, Uncle Bill was handsome, Mr. French was kinda stuffy but nice, and Don on Lost in Space was Hot. To quote my Mother or Bowow,  I don't remember "He could put his shoes under my bed anytime." I know I am leaving out a ton like the Brady Bunch, Hazel, I dream of Jeanie, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, Beverly Hillbillys, Andy Griffith, Gomer Pyle, Hogan's Heroes etc etc.
  Alas, the pure, unadulterated joy of watching t.v. with the sheet over the couch, picking at the scabs from the mosquito bites hence the sheet, with the window A.C. unit blowing directly on you!

Around four-o-clock, it was back outside until dusk. The nostalgic ubiquitous outside activities of a 1960's child are pretty routine.  One episode of watching Opie Taylor ought to do it for you. The only variation was we used to try to throw rocks at the bats as they swooped in for the night. Also, we spent a lot of time in garages trying to master "The Locomotion" and singing " Your Momma Don't dance and your Daddy don't Rock-n-Roll". I looked up the other day what a squeeze box was...I never knew...always thought it might be an accordion. Lawrence Welk played one also. That's another story.

For Next time: Rainy Days 60's style!