Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?

When I Was a Kid...

A Special Feature of Baby Boomer HeadQuarters:

These are short "pictures" of what it was like... "when I was a kid. " Let me give you a suggestion: Read a couple of these; then print each of the nine pages, and read a couple every day. It's good for what ails our society.

The Vogue theatre had a Saturday afternoon matinee every weekend. the price for kids under 12 was 25 cents; for juniors (12-14), it was 35 cents; and for everyone else, it was 50 cents. - hmc

There was no midnight basketball. The city imposed no curfews; but my parents did. On weeknights I had to be home by 9 or 10 at night. And on weekends, even when I was 17, I had to be back by midnight... or have a good reason why not. Nobody under 18 was on the streets after midnight on school nights. Nobody. - hmc

The school year began on the Wednesday after Labor Day, and lasted till mid-June. We went to school five days a week. There was no "teachers' meeting day," or "special events day." We went to school. High school began at 8:30 (although some of us took a special reading class at 7:40 a.m.) We got out at 3:15. Every teacher took attendance; if you weren't in class, they knew about it. And so did your parents. You parents never had to wonder if you were in school. Unexcused absences were just that: not excused. You went to school. Period. - hmc

After school we didn't go to the malls; there were no malls. Most of us went home, or hung around the school. Sports, theatre, pick-up basketball, choir practice, or just goofin' around. Juvenile crime? Nearly non-existent. - hmc

We played our music too loudly; sometimes the lyrics were downright goofy. But our parents never had to look for a warning label on a single or an album. - hmc

I didn't get a car when I was 16; very, very few kids did. We had to borrow our parents' car. - hmc

We weren't allowed to wear jeans to school. The seam on our pants had to be on the inside. The girls could not wear coulots (half-shorts, half skirts). Skirts had to be knee-level or below. Shirts had to be tucked in. If your hair was too long, the school sent you home. Those were the rules. The rules were the rules. - hmc

As far as I know, there was no such thing as "latch-key kids." As I recall, my mother was there when I came home for lunch in elementary school. But by the time I was 8 or 9, I knew how to fix my own lunch; that was my responsibility. In junior and senior high, I do not recall if my parents were home when I got there. What difference did it make? By then, it was not their job to watch over me to make sure I did not get into trouble. By then, I knew better. - hmc

There was no such thing as "social promotion." If you didn't pass, you didn't pass. But mostly, the schools caught problems when we were young. I recall several of my friends that were "held back" in elementary school. Self-esteem? Wasn't even mentioned. Either you could do the work or you couldn't. - hmc

We all had stuff to do after school; but very few of us had a job. I had a morning paper route, and did some baby sitting. But my parents figured that school was a fulltime job, and deserved my undivided attention. - hmc

When I was a junior in high school, we had a "language lab" installed at our school. Each person sat at a workstation and listened to a lesson on tape, and responded into a microphone when prompted. The teacher could listen to any student, and focus attention individually, as necessary. The language lab was going to revolutionize language education. It was a big waste. We learned faster and better in our regular class. I'll bet they say the same thing today about computers. I'll bet the result is much the same. - hmc

When I was a sophomore in college, we watched lectures on closed circuit television. Television was going to revolutionize education. We'd have access to the best professors and the best lectures. If you missed a class, you could go to the lab and play the lecture. We'd all be smarter, faster, better, easier. Never happened. Closed circuit television just gave the schools an excuse to accept more students and provide less personal attention. I'll bet they say the same thing today about computers. I'll bet the result is much the same. - hmc

When I was a freshman in college, the girls had a curfew. It was 11 at night; midnight or 1:00 a.m. on weekends. Sexist? Probably; but those were the rules. - hmc

We lived under the threat of a Soviet invasion. Various public, underground locations were designated as civil defense shelters. They were marked with yellow and black signs. In theory, you could go there when Russia dropped the bomb. A shopping center near my house had a red, air raid siren mounted on the roof. Every Monday at 12:15 p.m., they would test this alarm to make sure it would work in the event of an attack. Companies sold back yard air raid shelters to protect your family. But no one I knew bought one. - hmc

I remember when the last Civil War veteran died; it was about 1955; he was must have been nearly 110. He was a conferderate soldier, as I recall. It was our last direct, living contact with the Civil War. - hmc

Automobile manufacturers came out with new models every year... usually in September. The unveiling of the new models was exciting. Each year brought significantly new designs and features. A gallon of gas cost about 25 cents. To lure you, some gas stations gave away glasses and plates when you gassed up. - hmc

In the mid 1950's there was a huge scare over polio, a cripling disease that was easily spread. Polio victims were often placed in metal containers (iron lungs, as they were called) to help them breathe. Dr. Jonas Salk invented a vaccine against polio; shortly after that, Dr. Albert Sabin developed a similar one. The government initiated a program to vaccinate everyone. I remember our whole family going up to our school one day and lining up for a cube of sugar which contained the vaccine. One sweet mouthful, and the threat was gone. In the 1950's we wiped out this horrible disease. - hmc

When I was very, very young, I remember seeing two drinking fountains in the local department store. One had a sign over it which read "WHITE"; the other one said "COLORED." - hmc

When I was a teenager, we used to be able to buy song books that contained all the words of the popular songs. My friends and I used to hang out at the corner of the candy store and sing our hearts out, thinking we sounded exactly like the original. How wrong we were - we were chased out of the candy store and wound up on the street corner - still singing, but now the neighbors were yelling at us to shut up and go home. It was really a fun time. - eileen kotler

I remember having "air raid" drills where we learned how to get under our desk or in the hallway on the floor with our heads and necks covered. I remember local radio station on Friday/Saturday evenings taking "dedications (live) - to the one I love" I remember J.P. Richardson (aka The Big Bopper) when he as a DJ on local radio station! I remember when when you really did wear pennies in your penny loafers - Baklav

On a Saturday afternoon we went to the movies with $1.00. Before the movies we had 2 (two) slices of pizza and a coke and then went and saw a 2 feature plus a cartoon of two show and still have money for a Turkish Taffy bar that we use to crack on the floor and have lots of little pieces that lasted the whole movie. Or, we got Ju-Ju beans or Good n Plenty. - Susan Mestres

Most all of your friends had a mother and father living at home step parents were unique. Your friends parents were name Mr. or Mrs. Most of all DAD HAD the last word. - B Keane

In Australia, in the 50's a child was just that, a child! Not little adults. We called our elders Mr. Mrs. or Miss. there was no Ms. then, and definitely we did not call elders by their first name. Our parents knew exactly where we were and there were no posters seeking little children gone missing! We loved our parents, and could trust them to love us back and not abuse us in any way! And, all of the parents were married, no de-facto then. In fact if a girl had a baby out of wedlock it was considered very shameful. Our parents had full commitment to each other. You can probably tell I favour marriage, you're properly coupled and no child of yours could be called illegitimate. Our favourite TV shows were The Mickey Mouse Club and my favourite Mouseketeer was Cheryl Holdridge. You could safely leave both front and back doors wide open and all the windows too, and trust that noone would come in and rob you! Times were lovely and simple then, we felt safe! - Cheryl Ferguson

I remember American Bandstand on TV with Dick Clark, going to ice cream parlors and having a soda that cost a dime and staying most of the day just hanging with the crowd; going to sock hopes, dances at the vfw on friday nights, where you might meet your sweetie. Every one was happy go lucky, not a care in the world. Those were the good ole days. - Terry Walsh

I remember that we did things together as a family. We ate dinner together at the table. We went on picnics. On Sundays, we would turn off the radio and listen to records: polkas, marches, and classical music. My father taught me how to waltz in our living room, and I felt magical. - Victoria Bonar

I grew up in Miami Springs, Florida. I followed my older brother around. Did I know I was living in Paradise? No clue! Is it Paradise now? No way! The neighborhood had sidewalks all the way around the block. We roller skated til we couldn't walk and skinned our knees so many times that I still bear some of the scars. We made up games...jump over the cracks in the sidewalks....yes with skates on! - Joanne Robbins

The whole family went to see Santa Claus at the department store. People stood in line for hours. The whole family sang Christmas carols in the car and we all went to pick out our Christmas tree and it was magical and then we would be so impatient cause we had to wait while the tree soaked for a day or two so as not to be dry and catch fire. All the aunts, uncles and cousins lived in the same neighborhood and got together on all holidays. - Lynda

I remember calling for our friends. In our town, you didn't knock on doors till you were in high school and dating. You just went to your friends house, and stood outside and called their name. If they were home and could come out, they did. If not - we went on our way. Rarely would a parent need to come out and let you know where your friend was. - Linda McKenney

When I was a kid everyone knew the mailman by his name. And all the kids would talk too him and follow him to the end of the block. - Brad Stickney

I remember riding with the milkman down the street. I could wait in the truck as he delivered milk to customers on my street. The milk came in glass bottles that were stored in the back of the truck; huge blocks of ice kept them cool. The milkman went right into our house, opened the fridge, knew what we needed, and kept us supplied. We never ran out of milk. He marked what he gave us on a ticket in his truck, and we got billed at the end of the month. No questions asked. Many people had a "milk box"; (for you kids: a small opening in an exterior wall of your house with a door on each side.) With a little insulation on the walls, the milk would stay cool for several hours in the box. Theft? Dishonesty? Never a thought. Those were the good old days! - hmc

I remember the seeing the first Beatles lp, "Meet The Beatles" in a small record in Racine, Wisc. & thinking to myself, "Those are the homeliest looking guys I've ever seen!" I also remember the "Shindig" & "Hullabaloo" music shows on TV. The British were ahead of us when it came to documenting the music scene, both on TV & on the radio. - Marconi

I remember playing outside with the other kids until dark. Video games weren't around then. Obesity in children wasn't a problem because we got plenty of exercise and didn't know what fast food was. All of the kids in the neighborhood went to the same school because there wasn't a private school in our town. We knew all of our neighbors. - Stephanie

I remember when students respected teachers. They never cursed, hit, or had attitude problems with teachers as students do today. I also remember going to a Saturday movie matinee for only a quarter... and it was a double feature! - MC - MarCat51

In Detroit we used to call milk boxes "milk chutes." We also had "clothes chutes" which provided a place to deposit your dirty clothes. The clothes would end up in the basement. Kids would throw all kinds of things down there. One kid at the top and one at the bottom...the possibilities were endless. Remember spoolies? They were rubber hair curlers shaped like spools of thread. You would rap the hair around the center section and fold the ends over it. - Elaine Wolfe

I was a soda jerk, just like Wally Cleaver. My! How I miss the good ol' soda fountains--the smells, tastes, and just plain squeaky cleanliness! Best time of my life. - Terry Peters

My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Sachs was crazy about all things French. She was always dressed in tight skirts, tight sweaters with scarves around her neck and wore white gloves every day. She insisted on being called Madameiselle Sachs. She made such an impression on us. Of course, none of us really appreciated it at the time. We were required to speak to her only in French during certain parts of the day. We had to speak to her in French even when we were no longer in her class. She brought music to school and taught us to see more than what was in our small little neighborhood. Why is it we never think about how much someone has shaped us until we are all grown up and/or the person is dead? If she were alive I would get down on my knees and thank her for all her wonderful, eccentric ideas. She was one of a kind. - Karen Santos

I remember coming home from school for lunch every day, rain or shine; milk money envelopes; safety patrols; penny candy at Tavis' store on the way home from school; playing neighborhood hide and seek after dark; standing outside your friends house yelling HEY KAR-REN; Sunday night was Lassie night; AM radio; transistors; getting dressed up on Sundays; white patent leather shoes for Easter; sled riding down our big back hill; Think and Do books in school; Dick and Jane; "New" math; spider bikes; catching lightning bugs. - Margi

I remember the ice truck delivering ice to the local stores and sneaking a piece in the summer time. I also remember the coal man delivering coal down the chute into our basement, and the wonder bread truck giving my sister and me little loaves of bread. - Annie

My dad bought a new car every two years, the best one was a red '67 Plymouth GTX. I was 17 and I loved to drive that car. We never locked our doors, could walk home after dark, knew all of our neighbors. I miss feeling safe. - Nancy

As a child I remember watching Disneyland every Sunday night. Television was suitable for children of all ages back then. There were no sexually gratuitious programs that you had to protect your children from watching. Every school holidays there was a Disney movie usually with Haley Mills. In fact children could be taken to see any movie without having to worry about seeing nudity and sex scenes and having to hear four letter words. - Sharon

Every summer mom and dad would pack us into the car and take us on a vacation. I remember what a treat it was to eat in a restaurant every night, being able to order stuff we never got at home (Howard Johnson's and McDonald's, which we didn't have at home, were favorites); staying roadside hotels, which if you got a good one, had color TV in your room and a swimming pool out front; and seeing America from the back seat of dad's Pontiac. I don't know how the folks did it financially, but those were the best days. Always sunny (in my memory), always fun, and my folks were always there. I miss it. - Greg Beaulieu

There was no such thing as a "drug" problem. If you smoked or drank, you were in the minority and looked down upon. Cruising the main streets was a favorite past time, and you could tell one model and year of car from another. There was usually one special drive-in in each town of any size and on a Friday/Saturday night, everyone who had wheels could be found there at some time or other. Everyone knew all the lyrics to popular songs, especially those of the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Brief glances: Sputnik, fallout shelters, the Berlin Wall, polio vaccine, the phrases "cold war" and "overkill;" sock hops, Sadie Hawkins dances, summer baseball, game nights, proms, homecomings, race relations, acne and its thousand cures, crew cuts, penny loafers (with a penny for each shoe!), butch wax, homecoming, pony tails, beehive hairdos ....and that's just in high school! Thanks to all for brought back a lot of smiles! - Bob Pinkerton

Early 60's: 45's were way cool, along with Troll Dolls, Baseball Cards, PF Flyers, Barbie Dolls (even though I only had one), the ice cream truck, our first color TV, nickel pay phones, Clutch Cargo Cartoons, and of course, AM radio tuned in to WAKY. A party line was not a 900 number! - maggie roth

Civil Air Patrol airplane spotting stations; $1 a carload at the drive-in movie; Street carnivals; dances, dances, dances; sitting on the park bench late at night; getting a $1 worth of gas for the weekend; madras baggies; flat top hair cuts; American heroes like Ike and my dad and mom; high expectations from parents; sharing a burger and fries at the diner after the game; saving lunch money for the big date on Friday or Saturday night; "Greasy Kids Stuff"; Dick Biondi on WLS Radio; the joys of young love; "I Spy"; "Hootenanny"; sleeping out every night of the summer, or so it seemed! "Endless Summer"; the ice cream truck "ding, dinging" through the neighborhood on warm summer nights!; sitting on the front porch; building houses of cards on rainy days; parcheesi, three-d comic books...and more! - Jeff Zimmerman

I remember Mr. Jacobson swatting us 3 times on the rear with a size 12 high-top tennis shoe for not dressing out in gym class. If you laughed (even though you were dressed out), you got 3 also. Nobody sued or told their parents. We were afraid dad would give us the belt for getting in trouble at school. And we sure didn't forget our gym clothes the next day. - Randy

We'd play baseball for 4-5 hours. The neighbors, maybe 15-20 kids would all meet at the corner ball diamond. We'd choose sides and just keep playing... sometimes till dark. Some of us played organized little league, but we played for the fun of it in the neighborhood. Rarely today do you see kids playing catch or even getting the guys together to play ball. It's a sad part of our times. - Randy

During the sixties, I remember drag racing. I had a '67 Camaro. We would go to the drag races in Biloxi, MS. My Dad was always telling me "you're going to tear up the transmission in that car" But when I won those trophies, he was the first to show them off. Also, I remember the Go-Go Lounges. Every weekend we would go dancing. - Barbara Parker

I remember hanging out on the stoop during the day watching the boys play stick ball in the street. At night we would all gather on one special stoop with our Cokes or Yohoo soda and Wise potato chips listening to the Beatles. You weren't afraid to be on the street at night and everyone knew everyone else on the block. Once in awhile all the kids on the block would take the subway (with the straw seats and porcelain handles) to Brighton Beach. Those seats hurt when you had sunburn! It would be great to see all those "kids" again. - Kaetlin

Southern California in the 60's. When it was safe to walk at night and go to the beach alone. Best summers in the world were the ones I spent at the beach listening to KFWB! - Shirley

This is such a great idea! I am a sophomore in college and I am intenseley interested in history. What a joy it is to read about real life experiences that relay so much more about the time period other than dry facts. Thanks for offering your precious memories! - Jennifer Norris

We were ALWAYS outside! I can remember exploring for hours. We'd go off into the woods behind our houses and look for salamanders and all kinds of treasures. We'd be gone for hours and our parents didn't have to worry we had been abducted! I could never let my own children do that today. I also remember the Good Humor Man - the little white truck and the driver in a white suit. He had the coolest silver change maker on his belt. Most of the time you'd get a popsicle for about 10 or 15 cents but if you were really lucky you could get a 45-cent Toasted Almond or the Chocolate Fudge Cake with the candy bar in the middle! Those were the best! - Cindy

I could name every child in my elementary school and knew where they all lived. We walked wherever we wanted to go. We played outdoors every night until our parents called us in. Kick the can, hide and go seek, red rover, jacks and jump rope-who needed tv or video games? We had scout campouts five minutes outside of town where the sky was so black you could count the stars (no neon glow on the horizon)! I wish my grandchildren could find this security and joy. - Eyla Thompson Abdelrazaq

I can still see my cousin Mickey, tall and lean in blue jeans and a white t-shirt, lounging against the counter at Uncle Johnny's store, pouring a pack of salted peanuts into his coke. I remember reading a story in TV/Radio Mirror with a lead from Debbie Reynolds to Liz Taylor: "Don't hurt Eddie...don't hurt my husband!" I remember Gidget and Moondoggie; dime stores; the new tall coke you could get from the machine for a nickel and a penny; really scary movies--like "The Leech Woman"; Dippity-Do (for setting your hair--never drippity); and Pepsi, the drink that's young. I remember the best cars ever built, like the '68 Chevelle and GTO; Henry Aaron in the old Atlanta stadium, with Chief Knockahoma; garage bands; slot car racing. - MP

As a kid of 5-7 years old...I remember my oldest sister (16 yrs) going nuts over the Beatles...and the middle sister, the "hippie" threating to run off with her friends to Woodstock...after I got older and saw the album, I knew why Mom & Dad were yelling at her about it! My favorite song as a kid was "Hey Jude" by the Beatles! Still sing it today as a "younger Boomber of 36 years old! - Smotter

Before our parents called us in for the night, my best friend and I would stretch out on a still-warm driveway gazing at stars. They weren't like what we see today. They stretched from horizon to horizon. We still had ground-in dirt all over us from playing outside all day. There were no night sounds like cars and airplanes, only wind in the trees and frogs and crickets. We just laid there, legs sprawled out, arms out, and just chattered. We didn't have a TV; it was early 50's, so we just made up stuff and didn't realize this was really the best of times. - Barbara Gould

I remember the Good Humor man. We would see his truck coming, and just like the George Carlin routine, we all faced our apartment house windows and yelled "Ma, throw down money." A shower of coins wrapped in tissue paper would follow. I remember the seltzer man, milk man, cleaners and bread man - all came to the apartment. I remember the fruit wagon, still horse-drawn. I also remember the horse droppings that forced us to move first base, and some times the entire stick-ball game. I remember Dr. Sevin, who would make an evening house call for $7.00, a shot of whiskey and a glass of seltzer. I miss the summer nights with our parents and their beach chairs lined up on the Bronx side walk while we ran relay races and played Johnie on the Pony. I remember that I am glad I still remember. - Michael

With one Spalding (pink rubber ball) we would have fun from morning 'til night in Brooklyn. All you needed was a broom stick to play "stick ball" and a stoop to play "stoop ball" and a penny and a piece of chalk (along with your Spalding!) to play potsy. Toys? Who needed them? (And who could afford them?) - Priscilla Bryer Rendino

Watching Mickey Mantle hit home runs, Roger Staubach throw touchdowns and Roy Rogers foil the bad guys. Hanging out in Greenwood Lake, N.Y., racing my 1969 Plymouth Road Runner (which I still have), Cousin Brucie on radio, (the guy's still on the air), Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac, (Stevie still looks great), still with the same girl after 31 years (she ain't bad either), still going to concerts with my daughters. - Earl Dean-New Jersey

Going to dances, doing the shimmy, twist, & slow dancing with your guy. Actually going to school to learn & respecting the teachers (because they respected you) Dr. Pepper, dots, hop scotch, 25 cent movies (double features). Being with the in crowd, we thought we did bad things, drag racing, staying out past curfew (today they don't know what a curfew is). The first time my grandmother (I loved her so) took me to see Elvis in Love Me Tender, the 1st show in our town. Too bad, what a talent and soooo good looking. Getting married the Sat. after I graduated, and when I said I loved you, meaning it. 31 years now, and he ain't to shabby, either. - Glenda Dean, Butler,NJ

I am writing a term paper on the effects of baby boomers. I have appreciated the insight that this web page has given me, not only for my paper, but into the lives of my parents.-- echo boomer. - Abby Swift

Davey and Golliath, Hide and Go Seek, reading with Dick and Jane, Wonderama, turkish taffy, 24" Schwin bicycles (mine was pink), lightening bugs in glass jars, P.F. Fliers (that made you run faster), and Fizzies! - B. Papaz

Our house had one phone, black, in the living room. My friend's house had an extension phone, with one up, one down. We would go to her house and call up our friends who were on a party line. Between six and eight teenagers could all talk together at once this way. Oh yes, our favourite Friday afternoon treat was a bag of "black ball" candy, three for a penny or a huge hunk of yellow, sponge toffee, five cents! - Debrah in Canada

Of many, one memory that stands out was the summer program from the school district in the city parks. Near the end of the school year, the big green shed would show up under the pavilion in the park. During summer, EVERY kid would show up every weekday from 9 to noon, to do stuff, supervised by a college student working for the summer. It might be making baskets, or braiding, or coloring, or making things with construction paper. And about twice a summer, the traveling stage would come through, with plays put on by high school and college students. - Neil

Lining up with hundreds of kids outside the Oriental Theater in Mattapan to see "A Hard Day's Night" the first day it came out... - wmex1510

I remember staying out too late and getting my over-protective father mad. I remember the good music, the cheap prices, and the peace, love and happiness. I remember people respected you for what you did, not what you looked like or how much money you had. - Jenny

Every Saturday, I'd take my younger sisters to the corner store with our .25 allowance and a "Hamady sack" (grocery bag). We'd collect pop bottles (worth a penny apiece) to add to our allowance. By the time we reached the store, we had about .35 to .50 each. We tried very hard to make it come out equal. Then we hit the candy counter and stocked up on penny candy. If we made a really good haul for the day, we'd splurge on a .05 candy bar and a Grape Crush. On the way home, we always walked on the side of the street that had no sidewalk, and every Saturday, Mrs. Winegar yelled at us from her front door, not to walk on her lawn. We finally learned to walk on the shoulder when we passed her house. - Kathy

In the mid 60's, my parents splurged and redecorated the living room. I remember sitting on my dad's lap, while he was watching "Combat," and him telling me how wonderful it was going to be. We were going to have beautiful gold carpeting! What a luxury. I could walk on it, and squish my toes into it. I could lie down, and it would be like a mattress. I was enthralled! When it was installed, I was even more amazed, and besides that, they bought a color TV. I was in heaven. - Kathy

One winter, we got socked with 3 feet of snow during the night. We couldn't even open the front door. My dad finally got out, and took the toboggan to the grocery store for supplies. There were a couple of people who owned some new fangled "snow machines" and made grocery runs for the neighbors. We were out of school for almost a week. The whole town was shut down, and we spent our time playing board games and card games with the family. Shortly before we went back to school, we had an ice storm, and we'd slide down the hill to the bus stop on our lunch boxes. It was a great time to be a kid. - Kathy

Growing up in n.y.c. on the lower east side where you knew your neighbor and were not afraid to go out. where people help each other in need. no one went hungry there. - Allen Ozer

Sis and I playing badminton with mom & dad; playing board games on Friday nights (Sorry, Clue, Monopoly, Life); watching t.v. with all my aunts, uncles, snd cousins; watching wrestling with my grandmother who rooted for the good guy always. - fritz

I wish I had lived and grown up in the 1960's. That would have been something to remember! My parents are boomers, and some of the things that I have read on this web page have been told to my siblings and me time and time again. I would like to feel safe like people did back then, not in constant fear of being robbed or killed as I walk home from school. The fear is there in the back of the minds of all of us, always to be careful. One last thing is the breaking down of the family structure. I feel sorry for some of the kids growing up today, with parents who do not care enough, and are never around. The 1990's are the classsic definition of the word, and also in a sense of deeper meaning. - Catherine

I remember church on Sunday mornings, evening meals with the whole family (mom, dad and eight daughters), family reunions every year, and Christmas morning: Mass, breakfast, "Happy Birthday, Jesus," THEN presents. No locked doors, you knew all of the neighbors, and Mrs Smith was just as likely to spank you as your own mom, and then take you home so mom could repeat the process. Neighbors watched over each other, and when anyone in the neighbor hood needed help, they didn't have to ask, it just happened. - Diana Glazier

Anyone remember those insulting bubble-gum cards called "Wacky Placks?" I collected a huge pile of those. And then the same company made more insulting Valentines Day bubble-gum cards, but I can't recall what they called those. Collected quite a stack of those, too. Wonder if anything like that would go over today. - Terry Peters

I loved getting a vanilla dixie cup and when I opened it and peeled off the protective paper under the lid, there was a picture of a movie star. We used to collect the lids! - Norma Bensley

I remember in 4th grade getting my fingers *wacked* with a ruler for talking out-of-turn and the teacher not having to worry about a lawsuit. Our first "black" teacher was Mrs. Anne Griffin, and what a great teacher she was (hey anyone that could convince me that the subject of English was fun, had to be good!). My 5th grade teacher was a friend of the family as was my 2nd grade teacher. Teachers then didn't mind 'dropping' by for lunch or dinner and there was never any gossip about them "having an affair." Our parents having an affair? I don't think so!!! When they said "for better or worse and till death do us part" they MEANT IT! True, sometimes it was worse then better, but marriage was sacred then as was Keeping Your Agreements. Our neighbors names started with "Mr. or Mrs." and real close friends of the family were "aunt or uncle." We learned in order to receive respect, we first had to give it! We understood what discipline was. Our parents were allow to properly discipline us without fear of child protective services being called. Our hero's were police officers and firemen, not million dollar a year sports star drug addict. ~Lady A

I remember not being allowed to go to the drive-in restaurant, but going with my big sister anyway. And Tangee lipstick, and T-strap flats for $2.98 a pr. and putting big pink rollers in my hair and then walking to town to see some boys. And I remember not having very much, but it didn't matter. And sledding down the big hill by my house and then going into the basement for hot chocolate. And I remember putting pennies in the gum machine to get charms to put on a chain to use as my "man" for hopscotch. The bigger the man the better the shot. They were the days. Linda Westerside -

Favorite Saturday adventure: Morning, hop the bus to Bibb Theater on Second, six RC caps and you're in free. After, catch bus to Boys Club, swim and shoot pool. Then on the bus again to the Houston Avenue drug store fountain for my Cherry Coke Float. Just enough time for a late afternoon pickup baseball game at Elton Park, then home for dinner. "Those were the days." - A. E. Denham

When I was a kid... we didn't know of any "serial killers" other than Jack the Ripper. On television, children of rich and influential people might be kidnapped (not to be harmed, but always for financial gain) - but we never knew of any real child abductions. We could ride our bicycles all day, and our parents didn't worry about us. We recognized signs for Civil Defense shelters, and understood their meaning. We knew what it meant to "play hookey," but no one that I knew ever did it. Guns were for the police and the military, not for us. With allowance money, we could afford to go to the movies (where absolutely NO talking was allowed in the auditorium during the showing - and people complied) or the roller skating rink, and both of these places felt like they could hold 1000 people or more. We used to love the summertime matinees featuring those campy, low-budget horror films (they seemed scary then). As we grew into young men, our manliness was defined not by our tatoos and body piercings, but instead by how far we could throw a football or baseball, by our knowledge of sport statistics, or by our ability to work with wrenches and other tools under the hood of an automobile - and, to a lesser degree, by our ability to identify (on sight alone) the make, model, and year of any automobile - LDM

I remember when those "flower power" flowers in bright "psychedelic" colors became popular. They came in packages of various sizes and colors. I bought some and put them all over my bookcovers. My brother & I thought it would be really neat to decorate the new family station wagon with our newly-discovered cool flowers which we proceeded to do. All in all I think we put about 30-40 of those flowers directly on the paint and windows of our new car. Did I forget to mention that those things had REALLY sticky stuff on the back... once you stuck them to something they stayed stuck! Dad didn't think they were cool at all and I don't remember how he got them off but I do remember it took most of the afternoon! I can laugh now but it was a sad day at my house when my dad saw the car! - Leah

When I Was a Kid memories continue.....


What special things do you remember from your childhood? Give us a short "picture" of something that boomers might remember, or that boomers' kids might find enlightening. If you want us to post your entry, keep it brief, take your CAPS LOCK off, and pretend this is for your English class: spelling, punctuation and grammar count.

We also need your name:

And your e-mail address, please. (We will not post your e-mail address; no spam, either. NEVER!):

Enter this security code:    
(This will help keep spammers from flooding our site.)

Your entry becomes our property, for our use as we deem appropriate.

BBHQ Boomer Stories

essays available
      to everyone

We're Not the Bad

 Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)
"Old Friends Live on Stage (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD/1 DVD)," 55 songs: 2 CDs and a DVD from their last concert tour.
Click here to order this great collection.

The Boomer Essays - On Being a Boomer:

The BBHQ Freedom Series

(Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

  Declaration of Independence
        What is Says; What it Means

The Boomer Health Care Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The Midlife

Crisis Series

Middle Age &

the Mazdamobile

The Teach, Preach and Nag Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

    (Mouseover to preview each story)

essays available to everyone

Hell No; We Won't Go!

    What Will We Do?

    Do Not Go Gentle

The Boomer Money Series
    (Mouseover to preview each story)

The BBHQ Vacation Series
(Mouseover to preview each story)

Please help us by buying stuff through our link to

Search:   All Products   Books   Videos   Toys   Electronics
        Popular Music   Classical Music a whole lot more than just books!
Enter keyword(s):
Please check our Library or Video selection, or use this form to buy stuff from We need all the help we can get! Thanks.

  Click to go to other BBHQ pages
  privacy | contact us | FAQ | member services | BBHQ newsletter | this week’s essay | site nav | mobile?

Copyright © 1998-2016 Baby Boomer HeadQuarters (BBHQ) All rights reserved.