“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – My Oh My How Times Have Changed

My Oh My How Times Have Changed

How many of you can remember buying a double dip ice cream cone for 5 cents? I can, and I remember when they went to 10 cents, people said no one will buy an ice- cream cone for 10 cents. But they did, just like when a glass of beer was 5 cents back in 1946. It went to 10 cents, people again said that they would not pay 10 cents for a glass of beer, but they did. I will go back sixty years, I could go back farther but how many of you would remember that? I must be getting old. I keep thinking of the old days, the Big Depression. They think unemployment is high today at 6%, in the 1930s it was 25 to 30%, now that is high. We had about seven years of drought from Canada to Texas. In the summer there were big dust storms day after day, no wonder so many people left the mid-west in the thirties. It was almost impossible to make a living.

In 1940 one could buy a new Ford or Chevrolet for under $600, today you pay anywhere from $15,000 to $26,000, of course they are built much better, and have lots of accessories, but if you bought a stripped down model it would still cost you over $15,000. Gas was 60 cents a gallon for many years. What is it today as of 4/20/03, I just filled my Toyota. I paid $1.98 a gallon. It will come down again but not much below $1.50 a gallon. Why have prices gone up so much? Stop and think, every time we have a war, prices go up. Who pays for war? We the working people! Wars, they should outlaw them, but they won’t, too many big corporations get rich during war times, its big business.

We spent lots of time in taverns as kids growing up in old South Dakota. In the winter there and the pool halls and bowling alleys were the only place to get warm. Let’s talk about taverns, the small town of Briton S.Dak. had three taverns and a pool hall, and a bowling alley. Briton today has no taverns, no pool hall, if you want a beer you go to the bowling alley or VFW I asked my older brother, who still lives in Briton, where are all the city drunks, all the big beer drinkers. He said come and I will show you. We went two miles west of town, the cemetery. He started pointing out various graves, there’s old Ted Larson and there’s Hersal Morris, and so on. Most small towns are the same, things are changing fast. Even in the big cities there are very few taverns left. One thing that really, hurts is the strict driving laws. Most people are afraid to drink over I or 2 beers, because if you get pulled over you get your license taken away, a big fine, it is just not worth it. Another reason small towns are dying all over the U.S. is because of the way we farm today. Forty to fifty years ago it took at least 2-3 weeks to do harvest, and it took a lot of help. Today harvest is over in a few days and it only takes a few men. Most farms today are large, the day of the small farm is gone. Also the day of the large farm is on its way out. When I was a kid all the families had 7 to 10 kids, today it’s two or three. So, gone are the large families in the U.S., although in some parts of the U.S. there are large families, mostly single parents who are on welfare or some kind of unemployment. Most responsible families know that they can only afford 2 or 3 kids. The cost to raise and educated them is just too much.

Let’s talk about dance halls, where are they? We came to Seattle in 1951 .We used to look forward to Friday and Saturday nights, so many of us would go to the Brown Derby, White Spot or the Civil tavern, the valley was full of dance halls. We really had a good time in all of them. It was back in the 40’s to 60’s and most of them would close at midnight, after closing we would all head to the big steak houses. Remember the Kansas City Steak House, everyone loved going there. Well, it has been gone many years, just like the dance halls, gone forever. We really had fun dancing to that old country music. I have a good friend who had a country band, Donna and I would go dance to his music every Friday or Saturday night. I asked him where he plays today and he said, I don’t, there is no where to play. The F. F W. Eagles and Elks may put on a dance a few times a year. Only the older people come, and not many of them.

What happened to all those girlie shows? Man we used to have fun in those places. I remember some of the guys in there would yell at the girls, take it all off baby. All that fun gone forever. Things have really changed the last few years.

Have you been to a drive in movie lately? They are all but gone. We really had fun going to the drive-in movies.

Have you been to a drive-in restaurant lately? I can’t find any in Seattle, there could be a few but I can’t find them.

It seems Ike fast food places helped to kill the drive-ins. All that junk food and people eat it every day. What happened to home made french fries? Al the cafes used to make them, not today they take the easy way, they sell frozen fries. Even most of the big restaurants sell frozen fries. There are a few areas in the Seattle area that one n get homemade fries, but they are few and tar between. I’m sure my brother Ruben would Ike some Spud’s fish and chips- They sill make their own fries. you stand in long knee to get into those places. Then there are service stations, have you been to one lately? They are also far and few between. I know of none in Seattle. Sure they all sell gas, but try getting your oil checked, your windshield washed, or your tires checked. All of the stations sell food hot dogs, and all kinds of things, but not service. It looks Ike the old service stations are all gone for good.

Have you noticed any small repair garages? There are few and their days are numbered. The modem cars need We repair. In order to work on newer cars you will need lot of expensive equipment, and all the training that is required to operate it Gone is the day you can just have a Mend fix your car. Very few people even change their own oil anymore, one can no longer just throw the engine oil away. We used to just throw the oil away in the allies- Today you take your used oil to a special place, same with batteries and old tires. Gone is the day you could just take them to the city dump or put them in your alley. I have not seen a new housing development in 40 years that put in ales, so gone too is the alley. Only the old neighborhoods will you find allies. I have a good friend who is in his 80s, he has an alley out behind his house, his house is 100 years old. He has lived in it for 50 years, now he really uses his alley. It is full of old cars, trucks and motorcycles, trailers and old boxes. I don’t know what he would do with all his stuff if he lived in a newer neighborhood, in a newer house. The alley is gone. Churches, boy have they changed in large cities. The small white neighborhood church is all but gone. Its big mega churches n; some have their own schools, which is good. Big huge orchestras, you would think you were in a big nightclub. Talk about singing from books, the words are up on walls now. I listened to many on TV and they are a disgrace to God. Some preach a good sermon but most give you a watered down message, one that will satisfy almost everyone. The small neighborhood church is almost a thing of the past Donna and I are really lucky, we still go to a small old style church, and we still use old small songbooks. Same message they preached 100 years o. How long can this last only God knows.

This old world ischanging fast, hang on oryou could be left behind. ln big cities thesmall stores arealmost gone. Try finding a small hardware store. Lowes, WalMart, Home Depot have all but killed them. It seems kke all businesses have gotten to be big. Even the motorcycle stores, when I started nine in 1955 there were small shops and stores everywhere. Today only the big stores can make it The small repair shop is all but gone. It seem to be the same in auto sales business, the day of the small auto dealer is gone. The other day I ran into an old friend who used to cut my hair. He had a nice small barbershop. I asked him if he was still cutting hair, he said oh no, I had to give that up a few years ago. It got to where I was working three weeks a month just to pay the overhead. One can’t lye on only a weeks pay a month. Seems to be the same for all small businesses. The large corporations are forcing the small man out.

The small shoe repair store, you may And one in a few parts of the city, but their days are numbered. When was the last time you had your shoes resoled? Ever have your heels replaced? I know I haven’t had either in over 40 years. Most shoes today are built to last.

I was in the motorcycle business for 40 years. All through the 1950s and 60’s there were small stores everywhere. Repair shops on almost every block. Look around, have you seen any lately? I really enjoyed being in business those days, I would visit other dealers and tal about the races, trail riding, road runs and we would go out to lunch, that is all history now. When we wanted to buy new motorcycles we would call up the distributor and talk to the owner, unlike today. They are all large corporations, there is just no personal touch. Almost everything today is just Big-Big business. It is the same thing in auto sales. Big-Big dealerships, even the used car business. The day of the small lot is history. Try talking to the owner of any business today, good luck.

I tried to call our TV cable company the other day, what I got was a push I for this push 2 for that 3 for something else, and it went on and on, I never could get anyone to help me, so I hung up. Most people I talk to have the same problem. It seems Ike machines have taken over this whole world. Gone is that personal touch. So what are we going to do? Myself, I am just happy to be retired. I got this next article out of a small newspaper.

Changed by the times. I’m always hearing people say things were better when they were young. We must admit that there is a lot of truth in that thinking. We cannot argue with the pillars of the past. Trends that can be documented and compared with the present are realities to be reckoned with.

Statistical studies of behavioral trends in America over the past three decades give us a good indication of how much things have changed. Since 1950, while the gross domestic product has nearly tripled, violent crime has increased at least 60%, divorces have more than doubled, and the percentage of children in single parent homes has tripled. In 1940 teachers identified the top problems in U.S. schools as talking out of turn, chewing gum, making too much noise and running in the hail. In 1990, teachers hated drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide, rape and assault.

Things certainly have changed, we don’t have to look at the statistics and studies, we can see for ourselves. What then is the reason for such a moral decline? The answer is very simple, the turning away from a Holy God. There are 64 books in the bible, written by Jews and two by Luke the Greek. Total-.66.

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