August 9, 2013

How Old Is Grandpa?

How old is Grandpa?
Stay with this -- the answer is at the end. It will blow you away.

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events.
The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.
The Grandfather replied, 'Well, let me think a minute, I was born before:


'polio shots

'frozen foods


'contact lenses

'Frisbees and the pill'

There were no:

'credit cards

'laser beams or

'ball-point pens

Man had not invented:

'air conditioners


'clothes dryers, the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and

'man hadn't yet walked on the moon

Your Grandmother and I got married first, . . And then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother.

Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, 'Sir'.
And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'Sir.'

We were before gay-rights, computer- dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.

Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense.

We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.

We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.

Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.

Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.

We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President's speeches on our radios.

And I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk

The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam.

Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of.

We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.

Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.

And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, . . . But who could afford one?
 Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon..

In my day:
''grass' was mowed,

''coke' was a cold drink,

''pot' was something your grandmother cooked in and

''rock music' was your grandmother's lullaby.

''Aids' were helpers in the Principal's office,

'' chip' meant a piece of wood,

''hardware' was found in a hardware store and

''software' wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us 'old and confused' and say there is a generation gap... And how old do you think I am?

I bet you have this old man in are in for a shock!

Read on to see -- pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time.
Are you ready ?????


This man would be only 63 years old!

A big H/T to Feral Irishman.

Okay, some of the above isn't quite on the mark, but it's close enough.

I'm 64.

I remember the Doctor chasing me around the exam table trying to give me a polio shot. I was terrified of needles.

I remember getting all excited because one of the neighborhood boys (asshole!) told me that Davy Crockett was coming. I drew a crayon Crockett figure, cut it out and waited on my porch steps for him to show up.
For. Hours.

Tonsils - they wheeled you into the OR, jammed a nasty cloth-lined strainer under your nose and dripped ether onto it. 9...8...7...6...But there was oceans of ice cream afterwards and a toy helicopter.

We watched Terrytoon Circus with Claude Kirchner and Clownie. At the end of the cartoon program Claude would say:"And now it's time for all you good little boys and girls to go to bed."
We were all in bed by 7:30 PM
Shut up Claude.

In the summer our mom would break out the clippers and massacre our heads. We'd leave the house and play. Sometimes she'd pack a lunch and we wouldn't be home all day. We drank from a brackish stream in the woods near our house. But your ass better be sitting at the dinner table by 1700 or else. God forbid if Dad and to go outrside and yell for you to get in the house.

We borrowed our fathers' hammers and raided residential construction sites and got scrap wood to build tree forts, swords and shields. It's a wonder we didn't beat each other to death.

In 1958 we moved into a new development. I liked to watch the new houses being built all around us. I liked the smell of new construction - bulldozed trees, concrete, studding, plaster, even roofing material. I liked the way the houses slowly changed as work continued. We'd go into them and check the progress almost every day - in our  development there had to be at least a hundred new homes built over a five year period. Blocks and blocks of them ate up the woods. We never dared to do any damage. We didn't even think about it, that's the way it was back then. You respected other people's property - and it was beaten into you if you didn't grasp the concept.

We'd get pretty rowdy in our play at times, one time someone called the cops. We were in an old abandoned house with grape vines in the yard. The grapes weren't ripe and they made great ammmo for our slingshots. No one lost an eye. The village cop pulled up (there was no Suffolk County PD yet) and our hearts fell right out of our chests. He motioned for us to come to the car. No one ran, we walked over and he told us to go home. That was the end of it and we were grateful that we didn't get in trouble. We would have got our asses handed to us, my mom knew how to use a belt.

As we got older, the house rules changed. The rule was that you had to be sixteen before you were allowed to stay up until ten. Under sixteen, in bed by nine.

I never even heard of marijuana until I went to college. In high school we got an eighteen year old to buy it and we drank beer. I got sick on Schmidt's - drinking under the bleachers in the football field one night before a drum & bugle corps contest. I never could stomach the stuff afterwards, the smell would gag me.


Drugs was heroin and only black people used it in NYC.

The only tattoos I ever saw were on WWII and Korean War vets. Marines and Navy mostly.

Graduating from high school, there was a rumor that one of the girls was pregnant. We were shocked. Things like that just didn't happen. French kissing was considered almost like having sex. A girl who swore - even "damn"" - was considered trash. Girls wouldn't say crap in front of a guy even if they had a mouthful of it.

The father of my high school sweetie confronted me about having sex with his daughter. I told him to take her to a doctor for an "virgin exam" and I would pay for it. He didn't. She was, but not by much.

When I graduated from high school I was making $1.30 an hour working weekends in a hospital kitchen. I moved up to a job as an apprentice janitor stripping and waxing floors for the school district during the summer before college. The basements of our schools were lined with Civil Defense barrels filled with hard candy and crackers to be used in case of a nuclear war; that stuff was stacked right to the ceilings. Some of the barrels got all nasty and rusted but I did taste some of the hard candy. Not bad for sitting there twenty years.

My freshman year at Syracuse University was that school's last year of "in loco parentis" where the school administration acted as your parent - you were expected to behave. That was Chancellor William Tolley's last year. No coed dorms and there were bed checks for the female students every night. You were allowed to have a female visitor in your room once a semester; the door to your room had to be kept open and the Resident Advisers were prowling the floors. Chancellor Tolley was cited for whacking some hairbag with his cane 'cause the kid dissed him. After him the University augered itself into a typical liberal enclave.

On Long Island, NY,  you could buy a brand new British sports car, a Triumph Spitfire, for $1,600.  Bumper stickers on VW Beetles read: "You Have Just Been Passed By 30 Horsepower!"  For twenty-five years I owned a 1968 BW R60 motorcycle; it's 600cc two cylinder engine was rated at the same horsepower. I'd pile all kinds of camping gear on it and drive into Canada to go fishing. There was a lake up there where you had to hide behind a tree to bait your hook, the fish were biting so hard.

Due to mortgages, children, college, weddings, grandchildren and busted up knees-  I do not have a motorcycle now.
But the wife and I are looking...

And dreaming.

It's good to have dreams.


Woodsterman (Odie) said...

I'm 66, and most of this rings true. Great job, it was a lot of fun to read.

sig94 said...

Odie - Thanks man. It took me back that's for sure.

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm a "young whipper-snapper" of 58, and it's not all that far off for me, either. Of coarse, I was a country boy and a bit naive. Them was the good ol' days!

sig94 said...

Gorges - things sure have changed, no? I really miss the loss of innocence. I was absolutely clueless as a young teen. But we all were. TV and movies ... even husbands and wives always slept in separate beds. When I was 18 I walked to an adult movie theater to watch my first XXX rated movie. It was tame compared to what's on cable TV nowadays. Gays were queers and we didn't pay much attention to them one way or the other. Who cared? There was beer and pretty girls to think about.

Linda said...

Thanks for the memories! We are a 'little' older than your g'pa, but the mind can still remember a lot of these.

I reposted on my blog, with a H/T back to you!

jay son said...

i'm in my mid 40's and much of this still rang true as i was growing up.

the lack of respect for others property these days is astounding.

the women getting sleeved out tats is appalling. sometimes i'll ask them what it's all about, the answers i get range from it makes me feel special, pretty or unique, to it reminds me of something special.

sorry sister, 4 outta 5 have tats, which makes you look like all the other rail cars on the siding. and i am uncertain how a drawing on your back reminds you of anything.