I was a child in the Fifties and a teenager during Sixties. The time in which we grow up leaves us with memories that can only be fully understood by those who grew up at the same time. This page is dedicated to anyone who remembers 'The Way We Were'. Also see Class Reunions.
A little house with three bedrooms,
one bathroom and one car on the street.
A mower that you had to push
to make the grass look neat.
In the kitchen on the wall
we only had one phone,
And no need for recording things,
someone was always home.
We only had a living room
where we would congregate,
unless it was at mealtime
in the kitchen where we ate.
We had no need for family rooms
or extra rooms to dine.
When meeting as a family
those two rooms would work out fine.
We only had one TV set
and channels maybe three,
But always there was one of them
with something worth to see.
For snacks we had potato chips
that tasted like a chip.
And if you wanted flavor
there was Lipton's onion dip.
Store-bought snacks were rare because
my mother liked to cook
and nothing can compare to snacks
in Betty Crocker's book.
Weekends were for family trips
or staying home to play.
We all did things together --
even go to church to pray.
When we did our weekend trips
depending on the weather,
no one stayed at home because
we liked to be together.
Sometimes we would separate
to do things on our own,
but we knew where the others were
without our own cell phone.
Then there were the movies
with your favorite movie star,
and nothing can compare
to watching movies in your car.
And there were the picnics
at the peak of summer season,
pack a lunch and find some trees
and never need a reason.
Get a baseball game together
with all the friends you know,
have real action playing ball --
and no game video.
Remember when the doctor
used to be the family friend,
and didn't need insurance
or a lawyer to defend?
The way that he took care of you
or what he had to do,
because he took an oath and strove
to do the best for you.
Remember going to the store
and shopping casually,
and when you went to pay for it
you used your own money?
Nothing that you had to swipe
or punch in some amount,
and remember when the cashier person
had to really count?
The milkman used to go
from door to door,
And it was just a few cents more
than going to the store.
There was a time when mailed letters
came right to your door,
without a lot of junk mail ads
sent out by every store.
The mailman knew each house by name
and knew where it was sent;
there were not loads of mail addressed
to "present occupant."
There was a time when just one glance
was all that it would take,
and you would know the kind of car,
the model and the make.
They didn't look like turtles
trying to squeeze out every mile;
they were streamlined, white walls, fins
and really had some style.
One time the music that you played
whenever you would jive,
was from a vinyl, big-holed record
called a forty-five.
The record player had a post
to keep them all in line
and then the records would drop down
and play one at a time.
Oh sure, we had our problems then,
just like we do today
and always we were striving,
trying for a better way.
Oh, the simple life we lived
still seems like so much fun,
how can you explain a game,
just kick the can and run?
And why would boys put baseball cards
between bicycle spokes
and for a nickel, red machines
had little bottled Cokes?
This life seemed so much easier
and slower in some ways.
I love the new technology
but I sure do miss those days.
So time moves on and so do we
and nothing stays the same,
but I sure love to reminisce
and walk down memory lane.
1965: Long Hair
2005: Longing for hair
1965: The perfect high.
2005: The perfect high yield mutual fund.
1965: Acid Rock.
2005: Acid Reflux.
1965: Moving to California because it's cool.
2005: Moving to California because it's warm.
1965: Growing pot.
2005: Growing potbelly.
1965: Watching John Glenn's historic flight with your parents.
2005: Watching John Glenn's historic flight with your children.
1965: Seeds and stems.
1965: Popping pills, smoking joints.
2005: Taking pills for popping joints.
1965: Our president's struggle with Fidel.
2005: Our president's struggle with fidelity.
1965: Killer weed.
2005: Weed killer.
1965: Hoping for a BMW.
2005: Hoping for a BM.
1965: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.
2005: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.
1965: The Grateful Dead.
2005: Dr. Kevorkian.
1965: Getting out to a new, hip joint.
2005: Getting a new hip joint.
1965: Rolling Stones.
2005: Kidney stones.
1965: Being called into the principal's office.
2005: Calling the principal's office.
1965: Fourth Street bridge
2005: Dental bridge
1965: Screw the system!
2005: Upgrade the system.
1965: Parents begging you to get your hair cut.
2005: Children begging you to get their heads shaved.
1965: Take acid.
2005: Take antacid.
1965: Passing the driver's test.
2005: Passing the vision test.
1965: Peace sign.
2005: Mercedes logo.
Note: Fourth Street bridge was a place where teens partied near the eastern Kansas town where I grew up.
When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum.
And the banquets were in the cafeteria and we danced to a juke box later, and all the girls wore fluffy pastel gowns and the boys wore suits for the first time and we were allowed to stay out till 12 p.m.
When a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car . . . to cruise, peel out, lay rubber and watch drag races.
And people went steady and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped yarn coated with pastel frost nail polish so it would fit her finger . . . or on a chain around her neck to hide it from her parents!
And no one ever asked where the car keys were 'cause they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked.
And you got in big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key.
Remember lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like "That cloud looks like a . . ."
And playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game.
Back then, baseball was not a psychological group learning experience-it was a game.
Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals 'cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.
And everyone knew about Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Laurel & Hardy, Howdy Doody and The Peanut Gallery, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow Knows, Nellie Belle, Roy and Dale, Trigger and Buttermilk.
When everyone was familiar with the sound of a real mower on Saturday morning, and summers filled with bike rides, playing in cowboy land, baseball games, bowling and visits to the pool . . . and eating Kool-Aid powder with sugar.
When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.
Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive by shootings,drugs, gangs,etc.
Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we all survived because their love was greater than the threat.
And . . . with all our progress . . . don't you wish . . . just once . . . you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace . . . and share it with the children of today . . .
Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that!
And was it really that long ago?
Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.
We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn.
We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.
We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Only girls wore earrings then, and three was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never co-ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had no Crest with fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We all wore superstructure bras, designed by Howard Hughes
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for personal things in the Land That Made Me, Me.
There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was thirty-five and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.
But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.
So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.
There are already many websites about the Fifties and Sixties so I decided to make a list of links rather than try to duplicate everything on this page.
The Baby Boomers Museum
Sixties Music Info
United States in the 1950sback to top of page