Ancestors, Legends & Time

Those were the good ole days

Jeanne Newby

Memories from the past as shared by friends and readers. Names were withheld to keep them out of trouble!

• My mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning!

• Mom used to defrost hamburger meat on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes. [Yuck!] Our school sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper and put in a brown paper sack. We did not have ice-pack coolers, but I don’t remember getting e.coli.

• As kids, we wanted to go swimming in the lake instead of the pristine pool.

• We loved the summer competitions of baseball and softball. We worked hard to win the game and felt we earned that trophy; everyone didn’t get a trophy unless you won. It taught us how to compete and the pride of hard work.

• Kids today are bored unless they have a computer, laptop, video games, etc. We went outside and played king on the mountain and climbed on chat piles (that today are deemed to be hazardous). We climbed trees, played cowboys and Indians – back when we were allowed to call them cowboys and Indians. We played jacks (jacks cost 15 cents), marbles (a bag of marbles cost 25 cents), we played tag (no cost), hide ‘n go seek ($0). We went fishing, providing dinner for the family!

• At school each morning, we said the Pledge of Allegiance and recited The Lord’s Prayer – it was just what we did…no controversy.

• Nurses in our day wore a uniform with a nurse’s hat. Hats signified what career a person had. Policemen, firemen, butchers, construction workers. Hence the comment, “A man with many hats,” when someone was accomplished at more than one career.

• What was a dysfunctional family? We never heard of such a thing. Family was family.

• I remember Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front porch just before he fell off. Mom didn’t even have a thought of being sued. Instead, she picked him up and swatted his bottom for being so foolish. Everyone looked after each other’s children. “It takes a village to raise a child!”

• We didn’t act up at a neighbor’s house either, because if we did, we got our bottom spanked there and then again when we got home.

• When we got in trouble at school, we got in trouble at home for misbehaving.

• Remember that 49-cent bottle of miracle mercurochrome that was the magic fix for any scratch or boo boo?

• We played outside until the street lights came on. We were not overloaded with homework. We got to be kids; our family was home in the evening. We sat together for supper and told about our day. Those were the good ole days!

• Kids were allowed to talk about God without thinking they had said a dirty word. They knew all the Bible stories and learned morals from them.

• Television had good, clean shows that the family could watch together. We were even allowed to stay up late for certain shows like “The Red Skelton Show.” We sat as a family and laughed together.

• Birthday parties were a celebration with friends and family. There was a cake, punch, and small gifts. Not a party where the child has people there they don’t even know and get fancy gifts, too many to fit in the child’s bedroom. Birthdays of today are major productions.

• We used to know the name of our mailman, the grocery store owner, the policeman. The neighbors were all known by name.

Yes, times have changed. I hope you are not insulted or upset with the memories shared by friends today. We just enjoy taking a trip down memory lane where things were different, life was simpler and children were happy with using their imagination to keep themselves busy!

Jeanne’s new book, “The Zinc City, Webb City, Missouri” is now available at Webb City Chamber office and other local retailers, such as Maggie Jane’s Gifts, at 8 S. Main St.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.