Tag Archives: Television

Sentimental about the Sixties?

Image by Vika Glitter from Pixabay.

I gave my brother a sweatshirt for his 70th birthday that read, “I survived the ’60s twice!”

I, too, grew up during that decade. Younger people believe we are close to our expiration dates. Past them, actually, but no one’s noticed yet.

I miss some aspects of the 1960s.

First, I was considered too skinny. Bread and butter sprinkled with sugar would help me grow up healthy and strong. Sigh.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

The media consisted of print, radio, television and vinyl. They never eavesdropped.

Television variety show performers sang and danced without votes, masks or Simon. Cheesy sitcoms dominated, but aren’t harmless, stupid shows like Mr. Ed better than harmful, stupid ones?

Parents could rubber-stamp Disney productions as appropriate.

Gas station attendants pumped gas, cleaned windshields and fixed more than a hot dog. Plus, gas cost 25.9 cents per gallon.

Image by Falkenpost from Pixabay.

During phone calls, we spoke with other human beings.

Nobody locked doors in our small town. Schools and churches remained open. Security codes and guards? Unknown.

Recently, I visited my former school band director, now an octogenarian. We marveled that after summer practices, we often hiked through cornfields to the woods — no permission slips required.

Mr. C. didn’t lead assertion or feel-good sessions. Unlike my daughter, who said if she had to watch one more self-esteem video, she’d puke, I didn’t receive fire hose doses of you-must-believe-this.

Image by Jo Justino from Pixabay.

However, my brain hasn’t expired to the point that I don’t recall negatives during the 1960s.

I could wear slacks only at home. Girls wore dresses even to ball games.

I don’t miss bright blue eye shadow. Or white lipstick.

Smoking was restricted … nowhere. Children even “smoked” candy cigarettes.

I remember KKK recruitment signs in restaurants. A Caucasian never served an African American.

What Boomer doesn’t recall being slathered with Vicks® VapoRub™? Also, injured klutzes like me wore orange Mercurochrome like war paint. A small side note: Mercurochrome contained mercury.

I don’t miss Vietnam. And assassinations du jour.

Image by svs72 from Pixabay.
Image by AbouYassin from Pixabay.

Jell-O in flavors like tomato and celery.

Toni® home permanents and brush rollers.

Because of nuclear testing, we were forbidden to eat snowflakes. Get-under-your-desk drills for nuclear emergencies seemed odd, even then.

Finally, working out consisted of using machines to “shake off” fat.

Actually, that might be nice.

Right before a snack of bread and butter, sprinkled with sugar.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What decade makes you feel sentimental and why?

Weird Things for Which I Am Thankful 2023

First, for all of you who require normalcy, I’ve recorded one everyday reason for thanksgiving: good weather. Here in Indiana, we expect winter, like an obnoxious relative, to blow in during November. Instead, sunshine, moderate temperatures, and glorious fall colors have prevailed. We Hoosiers are suspicious, but grateful.

Image by Leopictures from Pixabay.

Now begins the weird list. I am thankful for:

  • Tangerine peels whirring in my garbage disposal. The fragrance takes me to holidays past when my dad brought home boxes of tangerines.
  • Aisle signs in parking lots. I usually disregard them, but when I do memorize my car’s location and later find it, I experience a major rush.
  • Purple hand towels. They defy even grandchildren’s noblest efforts to stain them.
  • Piano tuners. My very bones scream when a piano tuner pounds and adjusts my keys. As tuners possess sensitive ears too, I salute their bravery in attacking enemy tones.
  • Nearly 340,000,000 Americans who prefer forks and spoons over sporks.
  • Television. Inevitably, some lunatic sports figure or pubescent program convinces me I’m actually rather sane.
  • Black olives, a time-honored family fetish. Children and grandchildren share my taste for them, though my son-in-law attempted to teach his toddler the little black things were bugs. Grandma’s DNA prevailed!
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.
Image by Milly from Pixabay.
  • Flo, the star of the insurance circuit. If she can wear 1960s eyeliner and blue eye shadow, maybe I will star on TV too!
  • Pennies. A fistful still conjures up a vestige of my childhood Richie Rich feeling when I exchanged pennies for a sucker-bubblegum-Pixie Stix feast.
  • Hundred-calorie bags of popcorn.
  • Big, ugly rubber boots, my best buddies whether mudding through gardens or wading through slop, politely called wintry mix.
  • Rear window heaters and wipers.
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Finally, I’m thankful for hours in the Atlanta airport, surrounded by 4.72 million other travelers. As I stood in a restroom line, a janitor took charge. When her superhuman ears detected a stall lock’s jiggle, she directed the next woman to it.

Insignificant? No. When 2.36 million women wait in line, two seconds apiece add up. This janitor’s heroics comprised the difference between making our flights and dying of old age in the airport.

Even better: she touched our shoulders and said warmly, “Blessings on you today, honey.”

A little weird.

But sometimes weird blessings are the best.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What weird gratitude comes to your mind?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: This Simplifies My Life?

O Lord, You and I recall that announcers used to caution viewers, “Don’t touch that dial!” Now, we’re told, don’t use the wrong remote, hit that delete button or swipe that screen. Keep your voice down, or you’ll confuse Alexa or Siri or Roomba. OMG, it’s bad enough that technology confuses me. I’m supposed to worry about confusing technology?

Pandemic Positives

Written during Summer 2020, hopefully, this piece will remind us of what we’ve learned.

Can you believe COVID-19 has stolen headlines for four months?

Many would answer, “No. I thought it was four decades.”

March through July 2020 will not highlight anyone’s yearbook. Still, some good has emerged.

You don’t believe it?

I don’t, either.

Just kidding. In a grouchy, 2020 sort of way. Despite endless complications, this bizarre experience has presented us with positives. Even if you’re grumpy, too, check out a few below:

We no longer must dream up excuses to avoid boring events. First, events — boring and otherwise — have been cancelled. Or delayed until this virus learns some manners. Second, a reluctant attendee need only cough, and both crowd and event vanish.

For some, credit card bills have dropped. Ours have diminished to 1990 amounts. Because I’ve overdosed on screens, online shopping holds zero appeal. Besides, why buy new clothes to check the mail? They don’t impress the mailbox at all.

Our cars may last another decade. Though my ten-year-old Ford has doddered so long around the garage, it may forget how to start.

As TV time has shrunk, reading time has expanded. Because of aforementioned aversion to screens, I avoid TV like an irritating relative. Instead, I read more books the past four months than during the past four years.

Canceled sporting events = big savings. Hubby and I have not blown a single dollar on Cubs games, only to sit in the rain for hours. Or watch them lose. (Usually both.)

Masks cover a multitude of greens. For chronic spinach-between-the-teeth people like myself, masks are a godsend.

Toilet paper never looked so good. The shortage has eased. Stacks lining Walmart’s back wall assure me that when a crisis arises, America will triumph.

Entertainment costs have dropped. Not once have I spent big bucks on a lousy movie with a soul-sucking ending, as theaters are closed. Nor have I squandered ten bucks — or 200 million calories — on popcorn.

Cleanliness is off the charts. Personal and business cleanliness standards have set new records. The U.S. population has never boasted such clean hands. My mom would be proud.

Finally, we’ve become a country hungry for conversation. When people do gather, fewer stare at phones and more talk to humans. When a driver stopped in the street to chat with us — a small-town practice that usually annoys Hubby’s safety sense — he welcomed the chance to talk. The young driver (gasp!) seemed to enjoy it, too.

Living through a pandemic isn’t easy. But unlike many during the 1918 flu and Europe’s bubonic plagues, most of us are living through COVID-19.

If we pilfer small positives, our days will brighten. We may even become easier to live with.

You don’t believe it?

Hubby doesn’t, either.

But if our credit card bills continue to drop, he can live with that.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What positives have you gleaned from the pandemic?

Commercials Then and Now

My husband and I view a television program for a grand total of 63 seconds before a carrot chorus line high-kicks across the screen. Then an older couple, whose idea of a good time has deteriorated to shivering in separate bathtubs, teeter on a cliff’s edge.

One ad (guess which one) strikes me as mildly funny. I chuckle.

“You’ve seen that a hundred times.” Hubby rolls his eyes.

“I have?” I prod my memory. Zero recall.

“You never pay attention to commercials.” He makes this sound downright un-American.

I resent the slam on my patriotism. Plus, he’s dead wrong. I remember lots of commercials — except they belong to a different era.

Decades ago, Captain Kangaroo lauded Wonder Bread, which built strong bodies 12 ways. Captain K. always celebrated my birthday with a big cake. He reminded me to say my prayers. So, when the Captain told me to ask Mom to buy Wonder Bread, I did. But Mom said it was expensive. Gasp! How could she flout the wisdom of Captain Kangaroo?

She gave in, however, to lovable hucksters who taught thousands of children — including my husband and me — to spell “Nestlé” before they could spell their own names. Danny, a ventriloquist dummy, sang, “N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestlé’s makes the very best—” and Farfel the dog chimed in, “Choc’-late!” with a loud snap of his jaws. Good stuff.

Even black-and-white TV couldn’t diminish the Ali Baba richness of Kenner’s Sparkle Paints. Not only would Sparkle Paints pictures glitterize and glamorize my room, they would magically protect me from arithmetic, besides bringing about world peace.

I received Kenner’s Sparkle Paints as a gift! But my attempts — plops, glops, and slops of paint — resembled nothing on TV. Since Russian Premier Nikita Krushchev still banged his shoe on podiums and yelled during other commercials, Sparkle Paints didn’t accomplish world peace, either.

Although now a child cynic, I still enjoyed commercial jingles, including Speedy the Alka-Seltzer® mascot’s “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is.” And I, along with a gazillion other schoolchildren, wished we were Oscar Mayer wieners.

Medical commercials, however, caused me concern. I didn’t know what Preparation H® treated, but it had to be life-threatening because when I asked Dad, he didn’t want to talk about it.

Some commercials embarrassed me. I wished Mr. Whipple and his friends, who squeezed Charmin toilet paper in public, would disappear.

Nowadays, though, with Victoria’s Secret models joining the TV carrot chorus line and Vagisil/Viagra enthusiasts telling me much, much more than I want to know, I tend to veg, remembering only commercials of yesteryear.

Never thought I’d say this, but Mr. Whipple, I really miss you.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite commercial? Your un-favorite?