Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Road Trip

Too hot to do much of anything yesterday except try to keep everything watered.  I went out several times to throw water on the ground in all the chicken pens, hoping to give the little girls some relief.  It's eighty degrees outside at five-thirty this morning, and eighty-four in the house. 

Since it's going to be another scorcher and I'm not going to get anything accomplished today, might as well continue on the road trip down memory lane that began yesterday.  I commented to Judy and Joel recently that I'd been watching a 1947 movie and it was so strange to realize that every adult in the film was smoking.  Hardly anyone except bad guys and shady women smokes in movies now.  Stranger still was that, in the evenings, people at home were sitting and talking or reading, listening to radio or records (78s).  There was no television in 1947!  Probably because of the heat, I've been thinking about the soda fountain at the one and only drugstore in the little town where I grew up.  We didn't have sidewalks out where we lived, so my dad would drive me into town so I could roller skate.  The skates were clamp-ons that required a key to tighten, the key on a string around my neck.  They clamped onto my clunky, but serviceable, Buster Brown (and his dog, Tigh) oxford shoes that I hated with a passion.  I always had skinned knees because the skates would inevitably loosen.  After waiting patiently for me to get tired, Dad would take me to the soda fountain for a lime rickey or a pineapple soda made with strawberry ice cream.  Red, the soda jerk, was also the cook, and we'd sometimes go there for roast beef sandwiches on white bread with mashed potatoes and brown gravy, or a chili size.  That was "fast food" in those days.  Red usually had a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth while he cooked and no one thought a thing about it.  One of my earliest memories is of being held in my dad's arms as we waited in the early morning for the drugstore to open, in a queue that went all the way around the corner.  Cigarettes were going to be available!  This was during World War II and so many things...gasoline, meat, shoes, cigarettes, sugar...were rationed, if you could get them at all.  Recycling isn't a new concept...families saved bacon grease and turned it in for the war effort (what do you suppose it was used for?), and collected newspapers and squashed tin cans.  I grew up in an era when you fixed it, wore it out, made do, or did without. 

The sun's nearly up and I need to get to the barn before it becomes a sauna. 

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

We didn't go out to eat much at all (no money in the budget for that) but we did have sidewalks in San Gabriel, and it sounds very strange to put in writing...or to admit...but I liked to put the skate key on my tongue because I liked the metallic taste. And NO, you could not wear anything like "Keds" with your skates - you had to have that 1/4" hard sole so that you could clamp on top of the sole where it met up with the shoe. Besides, my grandmother had worked in the shoe area of some department store, and she was sure that Keds were not sturdy enough to be worn on a daily basis - not good for growing Kid-feet. Do you remember the fluoroscopes in the shoe stores? I think the only one I saw/used was on Huntington Drive in San Marino...but who the heck knows if the memory of a little girl is correct. Ah...the green feet and milky-colored bones. I LOVED that!! And enjoy your road trip - which might not be a bad idea in an air conditioned truck!!