Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good Old Days

I stumbled across this magazine in the break room today “Good Old Days.” (I was enticed by the Norman Rockwell painting adorning its cover.)
It’s chock full of the kinds of stories the elderly like to tell their grandkids over and over and over again. Things like buying candy at the local drugstore for 5 cents, walking to school 5 miles – uphill both ways, and the “valuable” life lessons learned from parents. You know, old people stuff. I don’t know who in my office is a subscriber to this magazine, but I have a strong hunch it’s the same person who’s been bringing in the Large Print versions of Reader’s Digest.

Anyway, I read a few stories, chuckled at the advertisements (fuzzy slippers, orthotics, machines to help a person in and out of the bath tub, etc), and marveled at how many old people desperately want more recipes for their slow cooker. (Seriously. That’s all the classified section contained. Apparently the elderly care less about finding companionship than finding new crock pot recipes.)

It was awesome.

But ever since I’ve been flooded with my own pointless memories, the kind that only I will ever find interesting. However, I don’t want to forget these gems (afterall, someday I'll have grandchildren, and I'll need these stories to torture them). Anyway I thought I’d periodically record them here. And because I’ve obviously been unmotivated to write much else lately.

The Good Ol’ Days: Summer Melons.

(side note: I’m talking about Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Honey Dew, so pull yourself out of the gutter, you perve.)

Not long after moving from Boston, MA to Provo, UT our family met Bob Ross. He was an elderly man in our neighborhood who was asked by our church to visit my family regularly, which he did. Bob was going blind in his old age and usually had his cute wife drive him (in their huge Buick) the two blocks to our house. In the summer time, Bob always brought us melon. He owned a melon farm somewhere in Central-ish Utah, and (although he was retired) made regular trips to stock up on the fruit. I don’t know how he stored the stuff, but he always had TONS of it. And it was always perfect: juicy, cold, and extra sweet. As I got to know him, I grew impatient for his monthly visits, and I (along with several neighbor kids) would walk to his home on hot summer days and ask for melon. He or his wife always obliged and gave each one of us something. It was too difficult to carry it all home so we’d sit on their curb and break into the stuff. And it was so good. We weren’t little kids...we were in our mid teens at the time. It was awesome.

Again, this will likely interest no one, but to a girl who had spent most of her prior life on the subway and in the city, the novelty of it all was memorable. This remains one of my more innocent and sweetest memories of living in that neighborhood. I’m sure Bob has since died, but I’ll always think of him when I’m eating melon. No watermelon, cantaloupe, or honey dew has ever been quite as good as the ones he used to give me every summer.

I turned 26 a week ago. In recounting that story, I probably sound more like 76. Oh well. Fuzzy slippers do sound kind of nice right now...

Assuming you've made it this far, what are YOUR favorite stories from the good ol' days?


rookie cookie said...

I was just thinking about the orchard that used to be by my parent's house. We used to walk through the orchard to get the my grandma's, eating cherries along the way. Sadly, now the orchard is gone and enormous, pretentious and over-bearing homes are there. And most of them are in foreclosure. Go figure. Families being too greedy and buying homes they can't afford.

I would so much rather see cherry trees than stucco void of character.

kenny said...

I can't wait for the "good old days" at "Peach Days"! Can't wait to see who will be nominated St. Peach Day and see what the Peach Day Miracle will be. Ahhhh the "good old days"

Michael said...

I remember the good old days when I used to have to type reports to turn in for homework. Because my Dad felt that only secretaries would have to use computers, our family never had one. This is when I would have to grab a case that felt like it was 150 lbs., put it on the table, open it up, and plug in the typewriter. I used to hate messing up and then breaking out the liquid whiteout to fix my mistake. You see liquid whiteout is not like whiteout today, you have to wait for it to dry rather than just rolling the whiteout onto your mistakes like how these kids do it today. Eventually we bought an electric typewriter that had an erasing strip. That was like a dream come true. I used to write things out on our typewriter and watch carefully as I pressed the erase button and one by one the letters would disappear. It was a wonderful marvel of technology.

Eventually my parents got a divorce and my mother saw the wisdom of having a computer at the house. The typewriter didn’t get much action after that until my brothers and I all served as missionaries and filled our missionary applications out. We used the typewriter to avoid our really bad penmanship.

You see before we had this amazing machine I would have to write letters and mail them off through the USPS so my friends would be informed about what was going on with my life. There was a very pretty girl I met while she was vacationing here in California from Tennessee. We wrote back and forth for about two to three years, all handwritten, all mailed through the USPS. Eventually we lost touch.

Now that we had this computer I was able to unplug our phone, and plug in another phone line that was attached to our computer. After that was done I could log onto our AOL account and send letters through the World Wide Web!!! Whenever I would log onto our AOL account it would take about a minute before we were actually “online”. All the while our computer would make this hideous sound like it was sending a fax or something. Now-a-days these kids just have to press one button and they are online instantaneously! Oh, that reminds me. You kids probably don’t even know what a fax is now do you?

Ah Man, I remember the good ole’ days.

That was fun. Do I have your permission to post that on my blog?

Elise said...

The good old days were when I was most concerned about getting a bowl of Reese's Puff cereal in the morning.

Kat Clark said...

You actually make me laugh out loud. Not the LOL kind, the real kind. Anyway, I like that you are partly old lady-ish because I always swear that I am an old lady at heart. It's the times when I say, "good night!" all breathlessly that I know it's true. I also love the part about the crock-pot recipes. Hillarious!