09 May 2007

Being Older

Corine sent me an e-mail that mentioned a bunch of things that us older folks would remember, but might be a surprise to the young 'uns. That started me on a mental journey back to the 30s and 40s, this is what I wrote:

"To all you young 'uns, being born in 1931 meant no Little League; we played baseball in the street with a ball that was showing string through the ratty cover. Everyone was on the lookout for cars so we could clear the way. We were lucky if we owned a glove, so when we up to bat we loaned our gloves to the fielders. In the fall, we played in the leave piles at the curb, until they were re-raked and burned; anyone remember the smell of burning leaves? During the war (that's World War II), we learned how to take oleomargarine and mix in a capsule of coloring to make it look like butter; my Father said after the war that he didn't want another stick of margarine in the house, so we had butter from then on. Anyone remember Victory Gardens? Or chasing the iceman's horse and wagon, hoping for a sliver of ice to suck on? We had a milk box by the side door where the milkman would pick up the empty bottles and leave the fresh milk; the cream would be at the top of the bottle. In the winter, the milk would start to freeze and sometimes pushed the bottle top right off the bottle. I suppose all this would make a good blog. I'll have to collect my thoughts and see what comes up."

Now it's a new day and a new thought: Kemtone. Anyone remember Kemtone? It was the first of the water-based paints. We lived on Linden Street in Rochester, NY when my father came back from Wabnitz Hardware with a gallon of the paint. We painted the side room where my brother and I had our hobby tables. It was a robin's egg blue and had a strange odor. But the clean-up was with plain water. An amazing discovery. We don't think about the miracle of water-based paints these days, but back then, it truly was something revolutionary.

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