‘Good old days’ were a simpler time

When were the “good old days”? I read a definition that said it was a period of time in the past that a person thinks were pleasant and better than the present time.

I saw some humor when someone said: “Remember when all we had was landline phones instead of cellphones and when the phone rang everyone in the house yelled ‘I’ll get it,’ and now if a landline rings nobody moves because it is obvious we don’t know who it is or they would call our cell phone.”

I loved growing up during the 1950s and 1960s, I just didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time. As a kid, I didn’t have to worry about an active shooter alert, I only had to worry about a tornado or fire drill and eating those awful goiter pills.

I remember when in high school my girlfriends and I walked the back roads from Marion to Clintonville. We would go to a matinee and then walk back home. The only thing we had to worry about was dogs chasing us. We never worried about someone who might come by and force us into their car. In those days, that just wasn’t a concern.

We didn’t worry about food recalls. Most of what we ate came from our own garden. We purchased meat from neighbors who butchered cows, pigs and chickens. My mother had a butter churn and we also made our own ice cream. Dad made maple syrup, and my mother canned. Once he made moonshine, but that’s another story.

There may have been drug usage when I went to school, but if there was, I was oblivious to it. The worst I heard of was when someone had a beer party in a gravel pit.

There didn’t seem to be the peer pressure. We didn’t have a lot, but neither did most of the kids. We didn’t treat one another differently if someone was lucky enough to have more clothes and shoes. In fact, sometimes we wore each other’s clothes. I remember Joanne Milbauer lent me a beautiful red sweater to wear to my freshman homecoming dance.

It was a much simpler time with simple pleasures. I remember going to my friend’s house on a Saturday afternoon and reading comic books and eating popcorn. After school, we would watch the Mickey Mouse Club, and when we grew older we graduated to American Bandstand.

There was no instant messaging, twitter or skype. Communicating by writing letters was prevalent. We always waited for the mailman to take our letters and hopefully deliver some too. Written thank you notes were a must.

I had several pen pals, a few from other countries. I loved collecting the stamps. In fact, I got myself in a terrible situation when I was in high school. I had a pen pal from Jordan. I couldn’t always make out every word, but we sent letters back and forth and I could understand most of what he wrote. Well, in one letter he sent me some kind of dried flower.

A month later, he told me he was going to be coming to New York and where did I live from there. He was coming to get me to take me back with him.

I didn’t realize the dried flower was a marriage proposal. Well, let me tell you, my mother was livid. I remember before I could go to play practice that day, she made sure I sent a letter immediately declining the proposal.

I recall first seeing Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show. I remember my dad questioning what was wrong with him jumping around like that. I loved listening to the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Ricky Nelson, Patsy Cline and all the great crooners and rock and roll singers.

Manners and etiquette were part of the lifestyle when I grew up. Life was more disciplined. People took care of what they had. You didn’t see garbage littering the sides of roads, and yards were tidy. We had an old push mower — you know, the kind without a motor. Usually my brother, Pat, had to mow our very large yard and I had to trim all our hedges. It was a terrible job, because I would often run into a nest of birds, and their mama didn’t appreciate me disturbing them.

Looking back, I’m glad I grew up when I did. However, I also recognize all the progress and conveniences that have been made over the years. I guess to me the greatest of those is the advances that have been made in the medical field. I often wonder if my dad would have lived longer with his heart problems if the treatments available now would have been available then. I guess I will never know.

It’s fun looking back, enjoying the present and looking forward to the future. God bless.

Question: In what year was the Shawano Club organized and what was its purpose?

Clothesline Conversation Answer: The Shawano Club was organized in 1934 for the purpose of fellowship.

Lorna Marquardt is a former Shawano mayor.