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Sunday, June 27, 2010
Things I Miss
Something came up the other day that brought to mind how much has changed during my lifetime. Some of the changes have been for the better, of course, but along the way we have lost some things I remember with fondness and I miss.
I miss summer band concerts in the park. If you lived near a military facility there was always a band. The highschool band was always available as well, and some communities had a community band made up of local residents. The members of the bands wore uniforms and played show tunes, a few popular songs of the period and Sousa marches. As the sun went down taking the heat of the day with it, you sat on a blanket on the grass, eating an icecream purchased from a vendor parked nearby while the stirring sounds of a march had you tapping your toe.
I miss the free fudgcicle stick. I don't eat fudgccicles anymore, but I miss the idea that with each fudgcicle you purchased was the chance to get a free one. Fudgcicles were an icecream bar on a stick. Some of the sticks had printed on them that they were worth one free fudgcicle. As you finished your icecream full of hope you looked at the stick and maybe even had your fingers crossed. Many my age have a fond memory of the moment they saw the brown imprint on the fudgcicle stick that made them a winner.
I miss lunch counters. Every department store used to have a lunch counter. Some of the more upscale stores had tea rooms or small restaurants, but Woolworth's , Kresses and stores of that ilk had lunch counters. The menu was limited and usually included tuna salad sandwich, grilled cheese and bacon, lettuce and tomato among other sandwiches. Chili was generally on the menu as well as cake, pie and cookies that looked like they had spent the better part of that year under the glass dome covering the display. These counters were the fast food of the day and gave young women an entry level job as well as providing supplemental income for married women.
I miss soda fountains. There was a time when every drug store had a soda fountain. Icecream sundaes in those special fluted glasses, covered with topping, nuts, and real whipped cream. Malts so thick you had to use a spoon, icecream sodas, root beer floats, who could resist. Even the soft drinks did not come out of a can but were made in your glass with the syrup and fizzy water. Kids hung out after school at the soda fountain, the girls together looking over the boys, the boys together looking over the girls. Then once fortified with some gooey creations it was time for the long walk home. The girls leaving together, of course,
I miss the cooler full of soda that always sat outside the Mom and Pop grocery or the service station. It was always full of an assortment of soda in bottles along with the ice keeping the soda cool. On the front of the cooler was an opener to pry off the bottle cap. It worked on the honor system. It was just assumed that if you took a soda you would step inside and pay for it. What ever happened to that concept.
These are a few of the things I miss. While some have been replaced with something similar as the lunch counter has been replaced by the fast food outlet, the atmosphere is different. The experience of rushing in, getting a burger, and eating in your car is not the same as a leisurely break at a counter with your fellow man.