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Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

The Good Old Days of Yesteryear

A week ago a long-time reader and friend sent me an e-mail that had some great pictures I knew I would want to share with you. We talk about "the good old days" with great fondness, and yet as good as some of those old days were, it's nice to have them in the past. Today's post will elicit some smiles, groans, and surprise as you see how things were in "the good old days." I cannot vouch for the historical accuracy of what I'm posting. It's all based on that e-mail I received.

I'm not a fan of some of men's hairstyles today — super short on the sides and back and super long on top. Why can't guys today have great haircuts as they did in my childhood in the 1950's?!

Popular Haircuts 1950s

In the early 1960's Jackie Kennedy was someone many women wanted to emulate. Here are some women with the "Jackie look" in 1961.
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Yearbook Yourself

Do you ever look through old high school or college yearbooks and laugh at the hairstyles, glasss, or clothing? If you'd like to have a little fun with images, there's a website you need to explore — Jostens' Yearbook Yourself. You upload a picture of yourself, move it and resize it to fit in a little circle, choose male portrait or female portrait, and then select years across the bottom of the screen. You can see what you would have looked like in yearbooks every two years from 1950 to 2000. (WARNING: You may want to mute your computer since the site has loud, annoying music in the background.)

Here's what Becka would have looked like with the hairstyles and clothing of the various decades. (And yes, I am doing this with her blessing....) 🙂



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Do You Remember When?

Now Missing Link

Some of my younger readers may not recognize what the two items above have to do with each other. Sometimes the best way to rewind a cassette tape was with a wooden pencil which fit perfectly into those little holes.

I received a fun e-mail a while back that reminded me of all sorts of items from my youth. I thought it would be fun to reconstruct that e-mail in today's blog post, with several twists of my own.

You older folks will recognize the following item, no doubt.

45 Spindle Adapter
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Etch A Sketch

picture of Etch A Sketch

Did you know that the Etch A Sketch is 50 years old? It was invented by a Frenchman in the late 1950's. It was licensed to the Ohio Art Company and debuted as Etch A Sketch in July 1960. I had one as a child and spent many happy, frustrating hours playing with it, but I could never produce anything astounding. If you have ever had one, were you ever able to draw amazing things or even write legibly?

According to Wikipedia:

An Etch A Sketch is a thick, flat gray screen in a plastic frame. There are two knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. Twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line. The knobs create lineographic images. The left control moves the stylus horizontally, and the right one moves it vertically.

As I researched for this blog post, I was surprised that there are actual Etch A Sketch artists out there. Here are some pictures I found online of the creations I could never have done. I was unable to find attribution for some of them. If I've posted yours and you would like credit and a link, let me know.

I read that a young child did this map of the United States!

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Someone was able to do an optical illusion with the Etch A Sketch.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's the Golden Gate Bridge.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's some ancient Egyptian artistry done by Etch A Sketch artist Kevin Davis.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's the Mona Lisa by Etch A Sketch artist Jeff Gagliardi.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

Here's "Starry Night" by VanGogh, and Jeff Gagliardi.

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

This one was done by Etch A Sketch artist George Vlosich. The drawing looks too perfect to be real! This guy takes Etch A Sketch art to a whole new level!

picture of Etch A Sketch artwork

There are different products that are spin-offs of the Etch A Sketch. Here's a pocket Etch A Sketch.

picture of a pocket Etch A Sketch

Here's an Etch A Sketch pen that might offer some competition for students' attention.

picture of Etch A Sketch pen

There's an app for it...?

picture of Etch A Sketch for iPod

Now here's one I have a hard time believing.

picture of an Etch A Sketch with Windows

I'm a little nostalgic since my 40 year high school reunion was this past weekend up in Ohio. I was not able to attend, but I have heard that those who did enjoyed it. Since I'm on this nostalgia kick, I'm remembering that 10 years ago there was a lot of hype about the y2k bug. Below is a solution proposed by one company (in jest, of course).

Our goal is to remove all computers from the desktop by Jan 1, 1999. In place of the current computer, everyone will be provided with an Etch A Sketch. There are several benefits to this move:

1. No y2k problems

2. No technical glitches keeping work from being done.

3. No more wasted time reading and writing e-mails.

4. Better development of upper body strength.

In anticipation of your questions, an FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) has been provided:

Q: My Etch A Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen.
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch A Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch A Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch A Sketch?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my Etch A Sketch document?
A: Don't shake it.


If this has got you itching to try your hand at an Etch A Sketch, Ohio Arts offers an online virtual Etch A Sketch.

What are your memories of Etch A Sketches? Are they good ones?

I'll end this post with a comic I found online that is reminiscent of the Far Side.

picture of an Etch A Sketch comic


"At salvation your spiritual DNA changes" - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

The future will be sketched with what we've drawn from the past.

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Many Moons Ago

picture of Google today

Today's Google homepage picture reminded me that today is the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing, the summer of 1969. That was the summer before my freshman year of college — yes, my 40th high school reunion is later this summer! And I'm not going to be able to attend. 🙁 Most of us alive at the time the first men walked on the moon can easily remember where we were, in front of a TV watching the historic event. I was working at Boes' Pizza in downtown Fostoria, Ohio, and business was extremely slow that evening! Almost everyone was glued to a TV, and fortunately my boss had brought a television to the pizza shop so that I could watch it too. Thanks, Ronnie, if you ever read this. 😀

You "oldsters" might enjoy taking the quiz below as a trip down nostalgia (nausea?) lane, and you "young things" might have a hard time answering some of the questions correctly and learn a few things in the process. I got 18 out of 20 right. YIKES!

At the end of this post, I will tell you about my interview yesterday on WYFF channel 4's Spotlight Blog and embed the two video segments that aired live. Those of you who have never met me now have a chance get to know me a little.

Before the quiz, you older readers might enjoy this bit of humor from our childhood. You younger readers can ask one of us to explain it to you.

picture of Honeymooners cartoon

Geezer Qualifying Quiz

(Everyone over 50 should have a pretty easy time with this quiz. If you are under 50, you can claim a handicap.)

Select one answer for each question. No fair answering wrong if you know the right answer, and no fair looking at the answers below until you've answered all the questions!

1. In the 1940's, where were automobile headlight dimmer switches located?
a. On the floor shift knob
b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch
c. Next to the horn

2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle had holes in it. For what was it used?
a. Capture lightning bugs
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing
c. Large salt shaker

3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?
a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled
c. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors and milk would freeze, expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.

4. What was the popular chewing gum named for a game of chance?
a. Blackjack
b. Gin
c. Lotto

5. What method did women use to look as if they were wearing stockings when none were available due to rationing during W.W.II?
a. Suntan
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks

6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn't tell whether it was coming or going?
a. Studebaker
b. Nash Metro
c. Tucker

7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?
a. Strips of dried peanut butter
b. Chocolate licorice bars
c. Coke bottle shaped wax with colored sugar water inside

8. How was Butch wax used?
a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing
c. On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust

9. Before in-line skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached to your shoes?
a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot
c. Long pieces of twine

10. When you were a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?
a. Consider all the facts
b. Ask Mom
c. Eeny-meeny-miney-mo

11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940's?
a. Smallpox
c. Polio

12. "I'll be down to get you in a/an ________, Honey"
a. SUV
b. Taxi
c. Streetcar

13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pet pony?
a. Old Blue
b. Paint
c. Macaroni

14. What was Duck-and-Cover?
a. Part of the game of hide and seek
b. What you did when your mom called you in to do chores
c. Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill

15. What was the name of the Indian Princess on the Howdy Doody show?
a. Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring
b. Princess Sacajewea
c. Princess Moonshadow

16. What did all the really savvy students do when tests printed on a spirit duplicator were handed out in school?
a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you high
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window
c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to avoid your failure

17. Why did your mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?
a. To keep you out of mischief by licking the backs,which tasted like bubble gum
b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household items
c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick-on tattoos

18. Finish this sentence: Praise the Lord, and pass the _________.
a. Meatballs
b. Dames
c. Ammunition

19. What was the name of the singing group that made the song "Cabdriver" a hit?
a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The Esquires

20. Who left his heart in San Francisco?
a. Tony Bennett
b. Xavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin

(Scroll down for answers, only after giving it your best shot....)

1. b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch. Hand controls, popular in Europe, took till the late '60s to catch on.

2. b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing. Who had a steam iron?

3. c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand, popping the bottle top.

4. a) Blackjack Gum.

5. b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a seam down the back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.

6. a) 1946 Studebaker.

7. c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.

8. a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.

9. a) With clamps, tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a shoestring around your neck.

10. c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

11. c) Polio. In beginning of August, swimming pools were closed, movies and other public gathering places were closed to try to prevent spread of the disease.

12. b) Taxi. Better be ready by half past eight!

13. c) Macaroni.

14. c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

15. a) Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring. She was another puppet.

16. a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.

17. b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household items at the Green Stamp store.

18. c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.

19. a) The all male, all black group: The Ink spots.

20. a) Tony Bennett, and some say he sounds just as good today.

17- 20 correct: Not only are you older than dirt, but obviously gifted with mind bloat. Now if you could only find your glasses. Definitely a Geezer!
12 -16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but your mind is definitely muddy.
0 -11 correct: You are either a poor excuse for a old geezer or you are younger than springtime!


Well, how did you do? In the comments, give your age and your score.

Now about my interview yesterday on WYFF channel 4's Spotlight Blog feature of Sound Off South. Though I think the interview went fine yesterday, I'm much more comfortable in my classroom or at this keyboard. Kelly Coakley and Keisha Kirkland were genuinely nice people, and it was interesting to watch an entire hour long newscast. Here's a picture I took with my cell phone of the two of them right before they went live.

picture of WYFF studio

Here are the two three-minute segments, one during the first half hour and the other during the second half hour of the morning newscast.

First segment:

Second segment:

quotations about travel to the moon...

"Men might as well project a voyage to the moon as attempt to employ steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean." - Dr. Dionysus Lardner, Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College, London, 1838

"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." -Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of television

Back in the 1970s we didn't have the space shuttle to get all excited about. We had to settle for men walking on the crummy moon. - Russell Beland, from a Washington Post contest, in which readers were asked to tell Gen-Xers how much harder they had it in the "good old days"

=^..^= =^..^=

"For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out." an anonymous six year old

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