There were many times that I can recall my Mom doing paint-by-numbers. It was more fun to just watch her do it, and take in the wonderful aroma of those little freshly-opened oil paint tubs.
Somewhere around 1963 my brothers introduced me to a thrilling experience at the store: Grab Bags. For me, they were incredible for they held all the boyish mysteries of life inside for a quarter or dime. They had bigger Grab Bags and of course, smaller.
Grab Bags were just paper bags with cheap toys and candy inside. The idea was that you never knew what you were getting. Just the brown bag with the price stamped on it was enough mystery to draw me in. I can recall that there were noise makers, little cars, cheap wrapped candy and other goodies. Eventually I tired of them, but while they lasted, Grab Bags were the hottest thing in town
I was just plain car crazy during my formative years in the 60's. Cars were big, sleek, shiny and made noise . They had big-ass steering wheels and simple dashboards. They didn't have the cockpits of F-17's like the cars of today. They had beauty and style; were gorgeous to look at and were ferocious.
It's hard to believe that we actually had to dial our phones. How did we survive? Those old rotary dialers were commonplace--especially on the wall in the kitchen. The coil cords always tangled, driving everyone who used the phone nuts. They also had really loud rings, nothing like the phones of today.
Drive-Ins were the best. When I was young, a great magical feeling arose from laying my arms on that cold metal counter, dropping down a quarter, and listening to the sizzling hamburgers inside. The scent of grease was wonderful. Vanilla from the ice cream machines daubed the air with a fine note of sweetness. These scents and more arose as a symphony of sniffs promising sugary delights and culinary masterpieces in a concerto for ketchup and cone.
During those wonderful days of the 60's, I can recall many wonderful peices of furniture and decorations around the house. Everything was sleek, new, space-age, and just plain fun. It was a pleasure to come home to furniture and furnishings that had absolute style! My parents had an old horse TV lamp like the one pictured here.
Remember pole lamps, velvet paintings, multi-colored ashtrays, and can openers? Remember how we used to open a can with those great old contraptions, punching a small hole first to let the air out, then a larger hole to drink out of. In my neighborhood, it was completely cool to shake up the can of pop, then punch the small air hole to create a spraying fountain of soda!
I can recall that there were many living room sets similiar to these in the neighborhood. However, the most of us who were of working class backgrounds, had carry-over furniture from the 50's. I'm not sure what was more fun--the old stuff, or the new. Everything was sleek and glamorous. I love this era.
Push that mower and get out that bamboo rake! It's yard work time, 1965. When I was younger, we still used those metal rakes. I got to be pretty good with one too. I would rake gently, just a milimeter above and beyond the surface so as not to dig up the lawn. No digging up the lawn! Can you dig it? I mean, I was hip to that whole yard maintenance thing. I loved mowing with those old push mowers. The grass smelled so good when it was freshly cut.
There was a great day indeed when you could tour the neighborhood on foot, dragging the mower behind you, going from house-to-house seeking fame and fortune. You could flip the blades up in reverse so it rolled easily, and didn't mow the street. What gets me the most nowadays is that I can't remember what a lawn mowing was worth. I think it was 50-75 cents. Of course, lawn mowing led to bigger and better things (well, not better), like weeding and other yard goodies.