Back in the old days

My friend who is almost 90 has fabulous stories of raising 8 kids on a farm. French Catholic. She baked 15 to 20 loaves of bread a week. Bread didn’t taste as good when baked with an ‘electric’ stove. Imagine using the word electric when speaking of stoves. lol Her husband insisted on dessert for supper every single day. That meant she baked a chocolate cake every day.

They had a big farm with lots of acres. In the fall her husband refused to come to the house for lunch, big waste of his time apparently, so she packed up the kids and the food and diapers and potty and drove a pick up out to the field and they all ate lunch. Packed up the dirty dishes and kids and drove back to the house.

Another friend, who lived a long life and gone to her eternal reward, remembered how she was married and got her first electric fridge. She said with a big smile that she used to go give it a kiss good night she loved that thing so much. lol

Please share other stories from days gone past, that really weren’t that long ago.


I recently watched back to the future with my 9 year old, and had great fun talking about 1985. He was perplexed at how I know so much about 1985, especially as I wasn’t born until 1999 …


That sounds wonderful. However I pray for the women who are infertile

Not sure I understand how that relates to the “back in the old days” topic…

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This past weekend (Halloween) my husband and I had a lot of fun watching a marathon of “Dark Shadows” on one of the “Memories” TV channels. (not a cable channel).

For those that don’t remember, Dark Shadows was a soap opera that started in the late 1960s. The setting was an old mansion on the coast of a tiny Maine fishing village. The rich Collins family that lived in the mansion had all kinds of “secrets”–a lot of “Gothic” romance and mysteries–but nothing supernatural, at least not at first.

The show limped along with a tiny audience, and the producer decided, may as well have a little fun. So they added a “ghost”–back then, special effects for daytime tv just didn’t exist, and there was no budget. So the tech crew had to cudgel their brains and come up with a way to make the “ghost” of Josette Collins step out of her portrait to talk to her “friend,” young David Collins (a school-aged boy).

Well, the ratings went up, but the network still told the producer, Dan Curtis, that the show was canceled, and they only had 12 weeks left.

So Dan decided to go a little crazy, and added a vampire, Barnabas Collins–a “reluctant” vampire, who was very British, very refined, and very very mean when he was hungry!

Within a few weeks, the ratings started climbing and climbing, and one day, Dan gave the actor who played Barnabas (Jonathan Frid) a bag of paper and said, “Here you go.” Jonathan said, “What is this?”

They were fan letters, hundreds of them. And within a few months, the actor was receiving over 5000 fan letters a week And the other actors started getting fan letters, even the older lady who played the “matron”!

Anyway, the show became a phenom back then. My brother and I discovered it after a particularly hard school year for me (bullies), and we were hooked. My mother liked it too. She was from the South, and was always into haunts, ghosts, monsters, etc. I still remember a book that she bought me when I was in 3rd grade–it was a trio of children’s adapations of Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. I wish I could find a copy of that book in the antique stores that my husband and I visit often.

I recently watched a documentary about Dan Curtis–and in case you’re wondering why that name sounds familiar, he was the producer of Winds of War, and War and Remembrance, which was huge back in the 1980s. I learned that he was the first producer to be allowed to film on location in Auschwitz.

This documentary analyzed why Dark Shadows was so popular among teenagers–among those who grew up with it and credit it with their creative bent are Stephen King, Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and Whoopi Goldberg. The main theory is that the show happened during the height of the Viet Nam War and all the protests and unrest in the U.S. Many of the young teenagers who loved the show had brothers (or sisters) fighting (and dying) in Viet Nam, and the show was a chance for them to escape from their grief and fear.

I think that the show was just lots of fun and full of imaginative storylines and special effects–primitive by today’s standards, but thrilling back then.

For a while, back in the late 70s, we lived on the land, built our own geodesic dome, and I washed diapers with a wringer washer. It sure beat washing them out by hand in icy water!

I remember thumping the side of the black and white goggle-box (TV) when the screen went funny and zigzagy, then shifting the inside aerial to get a good picture. Once got a good picture with having the aerial ears upside down on the floor. Go figure!

My grandmother was left a widow after the birth of her tenth child, struggled to bring them up in poverty by doing laundry - by hand, when she had 11 souls at home already to keep clean - received humiliating charity handouts, and once had a tooth out without anaesthetic because she didn’t have the money to pay for it…for every heartwarming story of “the Waltons” in the imaginary Good Old Days there were women old and worn out before their time by drudgery and misery…


I remember the primitive days of dial-up web access. :rofl:


Pardon? Eh?

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That wasn’t too long ago either!

Depends on what your definition of “long ago“ is! :wink:

Okay maybe 25 odd years ago was a longish time ago. Used to have rotary dial phones as a kid. Took forever to dial a number. Learnt short cuts - ha ha aka speed dialing!

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My children were still quite young when push button phones were replacing rotary dials. We had the new fangled push buttons but my neighbor and best friend still had a rotary dial. My daughter was at her house and needed to call our house. She stared in perplexity at her phone until my friend showed her how to dial our number. She thought that was the coolest thing ever and wanted me to get one! :joy:

I’ve always been techie. We were the first in our little town to get cable TV…we paid a fortune to have the lines brought out. Thus, we were the only household to get MTV which meant every teen in the town was at my house to watch it!

We bought the Atari when it came out, too. Many an evening spent playing Pong with friends! I remember replacing my reel to reel with an 8tract (still have it and it works) and then cassette players. I still kept a turntable as most of our music was on records still.

And then came home computers! :innocent::yum::innocent:

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The emergency number was 999. Could they have picked a slower number to dial? lol
We had 3 channels on TV. Saturday was always Hockey Night in Canada.


Emergency number here is 111 - much slower.

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I remember the Atari, my father brought one too. He was very computer savey. He had been involved in the early computer industry in Aussie.

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I wish I knew what happened to mine! I know I wouldn’t have thrown it out nor sold it. All I can assume is that one of my kids took it and later lost it.:cry:

I still have my 8tract, my turntable, my reel to reel, my Tandy computer, my first 486 computer, an old amp and all my records and tapes, including VCR tapes. If I retire an older piece of tech that’s still working, I just store it away for nostalgia!

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Fun fact: There’s a reason New York City has area code 212 and Chicago has 312. On a rotary dial phone, those area codes were among the quickest that could be dialed.

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I’ll see your Atari and raise you one Pong.

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