Sunday, January 25, 2015

Before fast food

Someone asked me the other day, "What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?" I told him we didn't have fast food. All food was slow. "Where did you eat?" he asked incredulously. I told him I ate at home. Mom cooked every day, and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table. If I didn't like what we were having that night, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it. Here are a few others things I could have told him about life before fast food.

Some parents NEVER owned their own home. Mine never wore Levis or set foot on a golf course or traveled out of the country or had a credit card. In their twilight years, some parents had a "revolving charge card" but it was only good at Sears & Roebuck. Since we only had one car, my parents never drove me to school. On wet days they made me wear a yellow canvas "raincoat" with a hood. There were cartoons printed inside the hood, and I could see them if I looked sideways, so it was fun. I never went to soccer practice, because nobody had heard of soccer. I had an "English" bike with three speeds and hand brakes.

I bought it used with money earned on my paper route. In those days, all papers were delivered by boys. The Wilmington News-Journal cost 7 cents, and I got to keep two. Every Saturday morning I had to collect 49 cents from each customer. My favorite customers gave me two quarters and told me to keep the change. Their papers went inside the screen door on rainy days. I can still fold a newspaper so it won't fall apart when thrown 100 feet from a moving English bike. Can you?

In my neighborhood, each home had one telephone and one television. The TV screen was black and white, and all three channels went off the air at midnight after playing the national anthem and a poem about God. Pizza was never delivered to our home, but milk was. I had my first pizza in college. It was called a pizza pie. When I bit into it, it burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off. I've had better pizza since, sometimes after going to a movie. Movies were different then. There were no ratings because movies were not intended to offend. Movie stars slept in twin beds and kissed with their mouths closed, at least on screen. And that's the way it was, before fast food.

No comments:

Post a Comment