Don’t you miss this?

don't you miss this

I miss these days …..Remember when it was fun when the phone rang and someone called you to the phone?  It was for YOU, WOW!  Remember waiting for a sister to get off the phone so you could get a call…  Do you miss this kind of thing, too?   Is there anything from the past you really miss, or that’s supposed to be a modern convenience but really is not convenient at all?

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36 Responses to Don’t you miss this?

  1. fredd says:

    There’s a book written some years ago titled “The Good ol’ Days weren’t all that Good,”, and it listed lots of inconveniences that we simply would not tolerate today. Life spans were short, risks of injury and death just living ordinary life was high, or in those immortal words, life was ‘brutish and short.’ I do, in fact, remember that great big heavy phone, which nobody could own because Ma Bell wouldn’t sell them to just anyone, and the phone number my mom made me memorize in case I got lost: REGENT 35972. I was maybe 5 at the time, but I will remember this number for the rest of my life, even though it is now incomplete and meaningless.


  2. I miss the mom-and-pop stores. The last one in Northern Virginia vanished a few years ago; that particular store wasn’t convenient for me to get to, but I ventured there occasionally for Thelma’s homemade ice cream. She had her own dairy cows, too, so it was really homemade ice cream.

    But the one that used to be across the street from us — the I______ Market? Man, do I miss that place! Old men sitting on the front porch, chewing tobacco and smoking their pipes, and greeting everyone. We used to dash across the road to get ice cream sandwiches in the summer.

    What stands in those places instead of mom-and-pop stores? Mega-mansions, of course. The local governments get much more tax revenues from those mega-mansions.


  3. bunkerville says:

    Recall the “Person to person” phone calls. Collect phone calls? Reverse phone calls? Wow I am getting old.


  4. Letting it ring once and then stop,
    Mom knew to come and get you at the theater.
    That you had walked or ridden your bike to.
    Near heavy traffic.
    Without a helmet.
    And the police didn’t stop you and ask where your parents were.
    Or why you had that knife in your pocket.
    Or why you were carrying a rifle.


  5. Impertinent says:

    Pffffffffffftttttttttttt….remember party lines?


  6. John M. Berger says:

    “Do you miss this kind of thing, too? ”
    Well, one thing that I do miss is not having to take my life in my own hands dodging inconsiderate drivers who seem mesmerized by their cell phone conversations or texting of little or no urgency! What would those idiots do if all they had were land lines? One innovation that I do like is caller ID for obvious reasons.


  7. Kid says:

    I’m with Ed. I miss the days when people and especially kids were expected to be self-reliant and responsible. We played all day miles from home. We traveled there on our bikes and came home for dinner then back out until the streetlights came on. If you got a flat, you either fixed it on the road or pushed the bike home. You could hitchhike without worrying about being picked up by some murderous pervert or pick someone up without worrying about Them being some pervert.
    The technology wasn’t very good but the people were a lot better.

    I do think about the old days of phones from time to time myself. How absurd it seems that in order to talk to someone, you had to be within a couple feet of the phone on a stand or table. If you’re out, a stationary pay phone would be the only way to communicate and there weren’t any of these around when you actually needed one.

    Does anyone remember being able to know who was calling you as soon as the phone rang. Sometimes, it was someone you hadn’t talked to in months.


  8. Sparky says:

    Written letters is what I miss. Getting REAL letters in the mail to keep forever if so desired. Communications has gone backwards in my opinion.


  9. John M. Berger says:

    “Written letters is what I miss………………………………………………………….”

    It seems that photography has gone in a similar direction.


  10. I remember when a call came in from out of state, everyone gathered around to listen because long distant calls were expensive and you didn’t stay on very long. I also remember the early morning clickity-clack of a horse drawn wagon delivering milk to our front porch. AND THIS WAS IN LOS ANGELES, YET! Egad! Am I old, or what???!!!


  11. geeez2014 says:

    fredd, yes, there will always be those who point out that the good ol’ days weren’t good, but I’m on a level different than that. There was something wonderful about taking longer to do certain things, being inconvenienced only to have that inconvenience lifted and feel happier than we EVER could on a contemporary thing that’s always available. It’s something we can’t explain but it was good. Very good. I even remember writing letters to clients and business associates and knowing I had a day or two before the response; today? EMAIL NOW, RESPONSE NOW. I can’t take more IN sometimes all at one time. I LOVED shoving a proposal into the mailbox knowing I didn’t have to worry about anything till I got a call or letter back. Nice.

    Sparky, I SO AGREE. I still do get a written note from certain friends, but I do miss that …

    John, yes…photography, too. So nice to wait for your pictures, then go pick them up and be dazzled and relive a trip or something. SO nice.

    AOW! That’s EXACTLY what I was hoping to get here. Yes, we miss that kind of sweetness….We’ve had excellent book stores that were here for 30 years fold because of CROWN BOOKS, first, then Barnes and Noble, etc etc. And at those excellent book stores, the staff spoke English and (wait for it!) had READ many of the books and could even recommend books. OH, that was soooo sweet. These days, at B&N, I’m surprised when a salesman has even heard of what I’m asking for.

    Ed! You almost made me weep with the sweetness and goodness of it. And GEE, I’ll be you never got cut by a knife, did you! Ring once and hang up; brilliant. I do remember

    Mal! Horse drawn MILK here in L.A.! I don’t remember that, but I do remember the Helms Bakery truck coming and the ICE CREAM MAN!

    Kid “The technology wasn’t very good but the people were a lot better” Amen to that.
    And yes, I DO remember thinking “the phone’s ringing, it’s Cindy” and it would be. So many good things are GONE now. Even Cindy 🙂

    Oh, I hope we get a lot more of these…I love them!


  12. geeez2014 says:

    ALL: I was at a park with Mr. Z about 18 years ago….we were taking a long walk and I heard the tinkle of the ice cream truck! I was so excited. As you know, Mr;. Z came from Germany so he wasn’t familiar with the ice cream truck idea OR the tune……..we were on a grassy, kind of hilly area…low hills…and we were on a concrete pavement as we walked. I heard that ice cream truck getting closer and closer toward us and could taste the ice cream we’d buy and enjoy! We couldn’t see anything yet, but soon it came up on the near horizon and I said “There’s the ice cream truck! I told you that was the sound!”
    And then I realized it was the truck, and the sound, but it was now vending TAMALES. Run by a Hispanic kid.

    I can’t tell you how I felt. It was metaphorically so horrible I felt completely gutted! Silly, but I did.
    Of course, then Mr. Z had to hear how lovely LA was when it was ice cream in the truck and how this has changed the whole beautiful thing. Now, I DO like tamales, but this wrecked me. It stood for FARRR too much.


  13. fredd says:

    I’m so old, most dirt is younger than I am. And many rocks. Even though I was a little kid growing up in Bellingham Washington, I remember chasing after the ice truck, (not the ice CREAM truck, the ICE TRUCK) because the driver would give us little kids shards of ice to suck on that had chipped off of the blocks that he used to deliver with ice tongs to houses that had ‘ice boxes.’ Yes, those things people used to keep their food cold before new fangled electric refrigerators were ubiquitous.

    Beat that. By crackee…..


  14. Glass soda bottles…


  15. geeez2014 says: the HECK many aliases and email addresses do YOU HAVE?!! I think Coke has come back with glass bottles here and there, haven’t they?
    Did that glass against your lips make the Coke taste better? I liked it….I sure do remember that.
    And milk in glass bottles, too!

    Fredd! WHAT WHAT WHAT? You remember ICE TRUCKS!? And ICE TONGS!? I did figure you for younger than that by a few years!
    By the way, whose picture is that on your blog of the young man? you?

    Talk about refrigerators; My grandfather had 3 kind of upper class grocery stores known for their meat departments in Troy, NY, and Bird’s Eye approached him about putting in some of the first refrigerated cases for veggies, etc., and he thought it wouldn’t catch on! He was normally more astute than that 🙂 But, those were the days!


  16. Fredd, we also had ice trucks that delivered big blocks of ice for our ice box. The guy had a big pair of tongs that grabbed the block of ice and he would throw it atop his shoulder, which was covered with a big leather blanket-like shield. He would bring it in the house and put it in the ice box for us. Then we bought our first refrigerator, the ones with the huge coil wrapped around the top. No freezers, either. When we wanted ice cream, we went to the corner drug store and bought a quart of hand packed at the soda fountain. When we brought it home, we had to finish it because there was no way to keep it. Tough duty, but somebody had to do it! 🙂


  17. Only old people say “egad!’, Mal. 🙂


  18. I remember being the kid the moms would call for to break in their house when they locked their keys inside.
    I’d climb in through the milkbox.


  19. Baysider says:

    Ed that is great – on both counts! We grew up in the same era, apparently. When my parents bought their house (the week I was born) the kitchen was big but no attached cupboards, shelves or counters – just the sink ‘compartment’ with a little curtain around it. My dad built in all the other stuff later. And, yes, it had an ice window. Built in1908.

    You had ONE phone with a long cord. Mr. B and I were talking this weekend about how the phone has become an ugly intrusion into your home. VERY FEW calls are actually calls we want. I spend more time deleting these from the caller record than I do talking on the phone. And I DO talk on the phone.


  20. Silverlady says:

    There were party lines even in Beverly Hills when we moved there in the late ’40s. There was Livingston(e)’s Dept. store on Beverly Drive, an old fashioned establishment first block S. of Little Santa Monica Blvd., where yard goods, among other things were sold, & payment was sent upstairs in vacuum tubes! There still was a bridle path going down the middle of Sunset Blvd., though it was never used. We, along with everybody else, burned trash in an incinerator back behind the garage next to the alley. When smog first began to be a problem there would be days when trash could not be burned. Now they’ll probably cite you for a bar-b-q. Damn, but I’m old!!


  21. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, Mal is 85 or 86…! And STILL (literally) kicking in a tap dance group with his wife! His sister is one of my mother’s oldest and dearest friends so we’re well acquainted! 🙂
    The “Milkbox,” huh? Never heard of a milkbox before! But have heard of ice being delivered. of course, in even earlier days, they just left milk THERE, and nobody’d steal it. Go figure. Actually, I think we had that delivery and would find bottles on the front porch. What a sweet life.

    Baysider; VERY VERY few calls we want, that is FOR SURE.


  22. Baysider says:

    SF – yes I remember ‘burn’ days. It was part of the official weather reporting on the news: “night and morning low clouds burning off by noon with clear skies in the afternoon. You may burn. And we all knew what that meant. Gads, a bridle path down the middle of Sunset. Whew!


  23. Ed, “only old people say ‘EGAD’. Ergo, I say EGAD!


  24. Z, you’re correct. I’m 86 and will turn 87 this Summer, but we don’t tap dance. We do dances choreographed to numbers, dressed in costumes. It was organized by ex-show people here in Vegas and we do it a lot for charity, like Wounded Warriors and Meals on Wheels, local firefighters, etc. usually held at some of the local hotel/casinos, like the South Point on The Strip. Its not what I thought I’d be doing at this age but heck, it beats sitting around with the remote in my hand! We’ve been with them for about 6 years now. Before that, the only exercise I got was jumping to conclusions!


  25. geeez2014 says:

    Bay: I never heard “Burning off” with weather except when it meant the clouds ‘burning’ off from the sun. But, yes, there were burn days in re to incinerators, etc.

    We had an incinerator at my grandparents’ home in the Miracle Mile area…far at the back of the backyard. I don’t think they used it much past 1957 or so?

    Mal, I’m sorry, I thought you tapped…I just admire your doing that SO MUCH…great for charity, great for your mental and physical health, and now you don’t have to jump to conclusions anymore! Good one!


  26. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, by the way, Gloria told me she was 92, I believe? IS SHE? I thought she was my dad’s age, which would have been … Dad WOULD have been 89 this September.


  27. She turned 91 on Jan. 3rd, Z. Born in 1924. She got it wrong.


  28. Impertinent says:

    Wow…reading these first hand accounts and memories has been a trip. I do remember milk boxes, telephone operators ( real people ), rotary dial and my old phone # from the 50’s. I also remember every license plate I ever had, every old address and all my credit card numbers. But I sometimes forget peoples names!


  29. Kid says:

    IMP, I only remember my 1st girlfriend’s # 766-2635


  30. geeez2014 says:

    Imp….I have an aunt who remembers all her credit card numbers, I sure don’t!
    I have an old black rotary phone in my living room just for the heck of it…bought it at Restoration Hardware about 10 years’s a conversation piece, for sure. Works fine! You remember real people operators….boy, those were the days.

    Kid, that’s great!

    Mal, she might have said 91….I just remember being one or the other and it stunned me.


  31. Z,
    The ice cream trucks! I still see one occasionally at the swimming pool (outdoor). The pool to which I belong doesn’t have its own snack bar, so we flock over to the ice cream truck when it appears in the parking lot.

    On rare occasions here where I live, an ice cream truck appears. Only on brutally hot days, though.


  32. geeez2014 says:

    Yes, we have the occasional truck, too…that actually sells ice cream, unlike my story above about Tamales!

    AND we have mexicans selling fruit at corners….we used to need licenses to sell food in public; I am 100% positive they have NO LICENSES and the cops just drive right by.
    Better to sicken Americans than run the risk of looking racist, I guess.


  33. John M. Berger says:

    “NO LICENSES and the cops just drive right by.”
    Yeah, unless it happens that the vendor(s) are children selling lemonade. In that case they get the ‘book’ thrown at them!


  34. The blogs about milk boxes confused me. When my folks built a new home in View Park (L.A.) in 1940 they installed a milk box on the side of the house next to the driveway going back to the detached garage in the rear, but it was way too small an opening to climb into. The doors on both sides were just wide enough to allow a quart bottle, but wider inside the wall to put several more, so maybe it was a different kind.


  35. fredd says:

    Z: chased the ice truck when I was 5 years old, circa 1960. Yes, they were disappearing quickly, but still around. Fredd icon: that was my grandfather at age 19, taken in 1900, but the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Z.


  36. Fredd, Ice truck in 1960?!!! I was talking 1930’s. The first refrigerator we got with the big coil on top I mentioned above was in the late 1930’s. I thought all ice boxes disappeared before WW II.


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