Quirky things that people have done 'in the day' that people would gasp at today..

Discussion in 'The Front Parlor' started by Lollipop, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Lollipop

    Lollipop Familiar Face

    Glenburn, Maine
    Sorry if there is already a thread like this. I searched and couldn't find anything...

    Anywho, I thought it would neat to see/read about the "Quirky" things you have read, or heard about people doing back in the day that people would definetly gasp at today...

    My Great Grandmother(Don't get me wrong, She was a wonderful women, very strong willed.) used to put lysol in her kids bath tub and She also used to clip her finger nails into a very sharp point, and poke the kids awake..I just couldn't imagine...What a great way to wake up, eh?
  2. C-dot

    C-dot Call Me a Cab

    Toronto, Canada
    I think the "quirkiness" of something like Lysol baths was actually a lack of knowledge. Just like those rubber band weight-loss contraptions, and the "Soda Pop Board."

    As for pointed fingernails, those were a popular fashion around the 30's worn by Bette Davis and a few others. Past fashions always make us gasp, even as recently as the 1980's :)
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    My mother's technique for waking us up if we didn't feel like getting out of bed was to take an iron skillet, hold it close to our heads, and bang it with a soup ladle. If that didn't work (!), she'd dump a teakettle full of cold water on our heads. We did *not* oversleep often.

    My grandfather would smoke cut-up cigar butts in his pipe when he was out of his regular tobacco. He'd also pick up live mussels off the shore and eat them raw if he was feeling peckish while walking the dog.

    My uncle, a movie projectionist, used to use scraps of old nitrate film to light his barbecue. He'd keep an old newsreel or some trailers in his garage, and when he wanted a light he'd tear off a couple of feet, toss it in the grill, and flip in a match. *WHOOSH*, and the fire was lit.

    My grandmother hoarded brown paper grocery bags. Every time she went to the First National or the Red and White she'd take the bags, fold them neatly into rectangles, and put them into other bags. When those bags were full, she'd carefully pack them in the cupboard in the pantry, and start a new one. This went on year after year, and she rarely, if ever, used the bags for anything other than to hold other bags, and I might use a few each year to make covers for my school books. When she died, we took thousands of neatly-folded tightly-packed brown paper bags to the dump.
  4. cecil

    cecil A-List Customer

    Sydney, Aus.
    Lysol baths were bad enough, but what about Lysol douching! :eek:

    My mother frequently finished her fathers cigarettes for him when he came home drunk of an evening. When she was eight. At the same age she and her friend used to buy a twin pack of cigarettes and smoke one each. Also, who can forget the amount of drink driving that you see in golden era films? Sheesh!
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    My mother used to send me up to the store to buy her cigarettes -- when I was six years old. She'd give me half a buck and tell me I could keep the change, and I'd walk to the store, swagger up to the counter and ask for a pack of Kents. And then I'd walk back home and hand 'em over.

    Nowadays, a mother who let a six year old walk to the store by herself would be up on charges, never mind the ciggies.
  6. C-dot

    C-dot Call Me a Cab

    Toronto, Canada
    My mother has told me stories of that too - When she was 6, she'd run to the corner store to buy my grandpa his Camels.

    Not to mention she started smoking at 14! That's difficult to pull off these days.
  7. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

    Sunny California
    It wasn't unusual for women to kiss family members or friends of the same sex on the lips, or to hold hands with your girlfriends.

    I remember one time in public when I was a teenager I was holding my dad's hand in public and a lady made a snyde comment about it.
  8. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Many kids had to sleep more than one to a bed. In earlier times, some adults did as well. Judith Martin suggests that they probably fantasized about sleeping alone.
  9. Miss Neecerie

    Miss Neecerie I'll Lock Up

    The land of Sinatra, Hoboken

    Wait.....they all had beds?

    My mother was the youngest of 4....born in 47....and no joke (and do not get me started on how this happened to make sense to my grandmother and grandfather).....she was assigned the -den- as her sleeping location.

    She had two brothers who were 7 and I think 9 years older then her...who had later bedtimes......so my mother spent her formative years sleeping on the floor -behind the sofa- where the rest of the family sat watching tv.

    She cannot actually sleep without a tv on in the room to this day.
  10. pretty faythe

    pretty faythe One Too Many

    Las Vegas, Hades
    Lysol. Ha! My mom used to put bleach in the bath with me, figuring I had reallydirty elbows and knees and needed help scrubbing them clean.
    Fast forward 27-30 years later and a dermatologist I went to told me her mom did the same thing. But of course it didn't work, we both had excema and that's the way it manifested itself then.
  11. jayem

    jayem A-List Customer

    My aunt was the second youngest of 8. One family trip, she was accidentally left behind in the hotel room. They figured this out after about an hour. When my grandparents drove back to pick her up, the concierge just chuckled and my aunt was sitting peacefully in the room watching TV. If somebody did that now, I'm sure the concierge would call child welfare services on that family.

    My great grandmother (born 1897, she died when I was 11 so I got a lot of good stories out of her) told me when she was little, if she didn't help clean, her mother would let the giant macaw out of it's cage to fly around. She was terrified of that bird and rarely ever put up a fit when cleaning. On a positive note, when she was a good girl, her older brother would show her a film reel with various funny images on it. She said one was an old man slapping his knees with laughter.

    This isn't golden era, but just recently I was sick, and my mom told me to slice an onion and put them in my socks so the onions can pull out all my bodies 'impurities'. I just shook my head.

    When my mom was little, the family owned this really smart cocker spaniel mix named Rusty. Rusty was so smart that my grandmother would send her to go pick up my aunt from school blocks away. All my grandmother had to do was say 'Go get Carol.' and the dog would walk to school, find my aunt who was waiting, and walk my aunt back. If somebody sent their dog to go get their kid today, I'm sure that mother would be questioned for insanity.
  12. Lillemor

    Lillemor One Too Many

    Oh, I've been left alone in several hotels. I've also had heavily armed Thai officers take a room apart at a hotel bungalow because they found it suspicious that a Thai looking (I'm adopted from Thailand) kid was walking around the bungalow by herself where only westerners stay. My mom shocked them out of the place by jumping naked in the pool when she finally got back in the wee hours. That's the most dramatic outcome I've experienced from such a situation.

    I once locked myself out of a hotel room one of those evenings I was left alone. I ran crying to another room and the elderly American couple that answered the door just called reception, told them I'd locked myself out of my parents room. Reception sent someone to let me back in.

    No arrests made, social services weren't involved neither in that nor any of my other experiences.

    When there have been city bus strikes. Random cars have been stopped by my thumbing mom and she'd ask the driver to take me to school. We've thumbed around some Greek islands, on some Spanish islands and on all sorts of holidays. Just my mom and I or my mom and a few of her friends.
  13. cherry lips

    cherry lips Call Me a Cab

    I love this thread! I hold hands with my close girlfriends.
  14. Cricket

    Cricket Practically Family

    A few things I remember are not very unique, but I can just hear the gasps around certain people if I were to try to pull them off with my son.

    My grandparents would plop me in their lap in the car when we went to town like it was nothing. We only had a Piggly Wiggly in the small town I grew up in, and Maw Maw would slap me in her lap and take off, with a cigarette in hand by the way.

    My Paw Paw socialized with the other farmers at the local pharmacy, and he would let me sit in his lap and act as if I was driving in his truck on the way there.

    Also, my grandparents had card parties a lot and you couldn't hardly see across the table because of all the cigarette and cigar smoke. I would sit at the table, eat candy and watch the older folks play, inhaling those fumes.

    There were also times that they would hand the truck keys and let me ride through our rural community at a very young age. If a deputy or any other law enforcement saw me, they would say, "oh, your ole Jackson's grandbaby? Tell him I need to come talk to him about a calf."

    Not sure if times were that different or if it was just the small town thing. lol
  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Oh yes, my grandparents were the same way. My car seat was a small cardboard box, and when I got big enough they turned the box upside down and I'd sit on top of it in the middle of the front seat.

    I also did the "you can steer the truck thing" with my grandfather -- a truck which, by the way, had its door held closed with a piece of clothesline.

    He'd also take me up to his gas station, sit me on the lift rack, and give me rides. I guess he figured it'd keep me from playing with the cigarette machine.
  16. VintageVixie

    VintageVixie Registered User

    City of Roses
    My grandpa used to take my mom into the bar to see his friends, because she was so little and cute and he wanted to show her off.
  17. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    In the early 70s...

    My parents let me stand up in the front seat while they were driving. If I fell asleep in the car, they'd leave me there at night. They also let me play unsupervised in the front yard. I don't even let my dog do any of these things.
  18. vintage_jayhawk

    vintage_jayhawk One of the Regulars

    Expat in the Caribbean
    I remember riding in the back window of our late 70's caprice classic. At about 5, I was just small enough to fit on that little ledge. I also remember riding in the back of the pickup, riding my bike all over town until the 6 o'clock siren, and exploring the woods around my house unsupervised. And my grade school had metal playground equipment. :eek:
  19. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

    When I was a kid in the early 80s it was fine for us to go out and "play" until the street lamps started to come on. All the kids on the street would get together and we would roam the neighbourhood and the woods behind it. We would tell each other "Jersey Devil" stories in those woods lol

    My neighbour's father would call for her (by yelling her name, not via telephone!) if she was "late." I think if a father did that in my old neighbourhood today it wouldn't go down too well. And I never did see packs of kids having fun like we did :(

    Also, we had a communal bus stop just off a "big" road. Today when I get stuck behind a school bus it looks like they pick up the kids individually at their driveways lol
  20. fortworthgal

    fortworthgal Call Me a Cab

    Panther City
    I did the same thing! I also rode in the back of my uncle's old beater station wagon, and in the open back of a few pickup trucks!

    Yes to all of these, too. My mom would holler my name out the front door like there was no tomorrow if I was late for dinner. I'm sure our neighbors *loved* that. lol

    I grew up mostly in the country and we had a party line telephone. I remember picking it up and listening to our neighbors' conversations for fun (until they figured out we were listening).

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.