Vintage Things That Have Disappeared In Your Lifetime?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by LizzieMaine, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    The Seattle World's Fair of 1962 was called "The Century 21 Exposition." The theme was very much about the space age and the wonders of the world we would know a mere 38 years hence.

    It was a big success by almost any measure. It left a large public park and an opera house and an arena that five years later was home to an NBA franchise. And the Space Needle, of course.

    The Pacific Science Center, which started life as the U.S. Science Pavilion, is an architectural masterwork by local guy Minoru Yamasaki, who later designed the World Trade Center towers in NYC. It's worth one's while to pay it a visit, even if one never steps inside. The arches and reflecting pools are are fresh as they were 56 years ago.

    Oh, and Elvis made a typically forgettable Elvis movie there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The wrenching, drawn-out death of Necco continues --

    Necco Trustee Sues Former Owner, Executives Alleging Mismanagement

    In keppitalist America, candy eats you.
     
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  3. NattyLud

    NattyLud New in Town

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    The shuffle and click-clack of people walking in leather-soled shoes.
     
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  4. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    The click-clack were steel taps, which many of my shoes had back in the day, to cut down wear on the heel and toe of the shoe.

    Back then, just about every shoe's soles were replace/repairable by the neighborhood shoemaker. Today, with almost everything except high end shoes being rubber or vinyl bottomed, and glued together instead of sewn, the art of shoe repair is becoming a lost art.
     
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  5. Scott

    Scott New in Town

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    Common sense.....

    I really miss that.
     
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  6. Scott

    Scott New in Town

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    Actually,

    Who remembers the "Fizz Nik" or "Astro Float"?

    Put in a scoop of vanilla ice cream (kept in the freezer compartment of a Philco V handle fridge) and stick one end in a bottle of Bubble-up. Best vanilla float ever.
     
  7. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    Wow, "Bubble-Up". I haven't had one since I was in my early teen years, maybe longer.
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Yep, we had a shoe repair shop downtown here up until a few years ago. He had to close because, as far as I could tell, I was his only customer.

    As recently as the mid-70s, the Cat's Paw rubber heel people used to advertise on network radio. "Bring your shoes in to your neighborhood shoe-repair shop for their annual fall checkup! Right, Cat's Paw Cat? Meeeeeeow!"

    And, of course, there's the old joke: this guy's digging around his attic and finds a box of old papers that belonged to his grandfather. "Hey, look," he says to his wife, "here's a shoe repair ticket from 1904! And hey -- it's from that shop downtown that's still in business! I'm gonna take it down there and show it to 'em."

    So he goes downtown and walks into this shop -- it's one of those real old places, you know, all dark and dusty and crowded, stacks of shoeboxes everywhere, shoes hanging from hooks on the wall, smells like old leather and oil and feet and all that, and you can hear a machine grinding away in the back of the shop. So he rings the bell on the counter, and the shoe repair guy comes out -- this tiny little wizzled-up old man, right? Big thick glasses, old flannel shirt open at the neck, fifty pens in the pocket, he's all hunched over and all that. Looks like a gnome, you know? And the guy says "Hey, look, I've got this ticket for a pair of shoes that belonged to my grandfather -- from 1904, see?"

    Shoe guy takes the ticket, you know, slides his glasses up and down his nose till he can read it, kinda squints, and goes into the back of the shop with it. The guy hears him rattling around for a bit and finally he comes back out and hands the guy the ticket back. "Be ready next Thursday."
     
  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Fortunately, shoe repair shops are a big thing in NYC still. While some of the older ones - the classic gritty ones with the big machine running behind the wood counter and shoes (and dust) all over the place - are closing (mainly as the owners die off or the rents spike), a new generation of ones are coming in (look cleaner and less cluttered, but still pretty much do the same thing). NYC is such a walking city, that there is still a big demand for shoe repair places. Being a FL member, I frequent the old ones.
     
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  10. EngProf

    EngProf A-List Customer

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    That joke is almost on the mark here (Nashville). We have a shoe repair shop that is so busy that the last pair I took in to fix had a four-week wait time. People come from far and wide to have work done.
    It looks and smells like the shop in the joke, but the guy who runs it looks like an aging biker, not a gnome. He is a MASTER shoe repairman.
     
  11. Similar to shoe repair places are watch repairs. There’s a watch place here in Houston that is exactly what you’d picture out of a movie: a small little shop, cluttered with clocks and papers that look 100 years old. An old guy who looks like Albert Einstein with those funny magnifying glasses runs the place. He has a phone but hasn’t answered it in 30 years. He loves talking to his customers about fishing and baseball, and charges 1/10th what you think his services are worth. He’s lamented that no one is going into his trade anymore. He says he’s even approached the local tech schools and junior colleges to try to get them to offer classes and apprenticeships, but no one is interested. I guess a lot of knowledge will die with him.
     
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  12. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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  13. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    My old office in a 1929 building was next to an outfit called Horological Services. It and the old fellow who owned it pretty closely resembled your description above.

    The oldtimer is dead now. And so is Horological Services.
     
  14. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    From today's WSJ:

    What Ever Happened to Howard Johnson’s?
    The once-ubiquitous restaurant chain belonged to a time before America got in a hurry.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-ever-happened-to-howard-johnsons-1538002801

    It's a subscription site, but sometime if you google something like "WSJ and Howard Johnson's" it will bring up the article as, my guess, it's a teaser to, hopefully, get you to buy a subscription (and it still gets the page and its advertisers more eyeballs).

    B3-BN870_greene_M_20180828095843.jpg

     
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  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Hitting the HoJo on the Maine Turnpike on the way down to Boston for a Sox game was one of my favorite childhood things to do. Howard Johnson's Macaroni and Cheese was sublime, and it fills me with desperate, blind agony that you can no longer find it in the freezer case at the grocery store. I made many an after-school supper on that.
     
  16. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    "Frankfurts and Sauerkraut"!

    I would have like this!! :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    I remember the burgers and fries AND the ice-cream. Even though it wasn't famous for hamburgers - to this kid it was. And the ice-cream was, for its day, special. My dad, who did not part with a dollar carelessly, would look like an ATM spitting out money when he sat in the car and gave me money to run in and pick up a pint of this and that and, oh, that flavor too.

    There was one still going in NYC when I first moved in, in the late '80s. My girlfriend at the time and I would go after dinner to sit at the counter and get ice-cream for dessert - served in a heavy stainless dish with a sugar cookie stuffed into the scoop. It was a gigantic city HoJo's - the counter went on for (my guess) over a hundred seats alone and we were, many times, the only ones sitting there. Its days were obviously numbered.

    Trenchfriend - I think you would have loved it.

    Last thought, when you were on the road for a long time - and as referenced in the article - you did feel like you were coming home, or at least to a friendly place, when you pulled in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
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  18. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 I'll Lock Up

    I can only recall eating at a Howard Johnson's once, many years ago when they had a location on Hollywood Blvd.. My friend and I didn't have to wait long for a table, our server was very friendly, and our order arrived at the table within a reasonable amount of time. About half-way through the meal a rat the size of a small dog strolled casually down the main aisle as if it was checking to make sure the customers were satified. Check please!!! o_O
     
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  19. NattyLud

    NattyLud New in Town

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    Regarding HoJo's-- one of my most missed things to have disappeared would certainly be the lounge--and the popularity of lounging. Places designed with a focus on hanging out, with or without food or drink. Today's restaurants and bars don't cover it-- too single-purposed, not relaxed, certainly not the same atmosphere.
    Perhaps indoor smoking was in some way essential to their survival, although we know that people just don't socialize in those ways any longer, like the sad extinction of the dance hall.
     
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  20. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    There was a Howard Johnson built with a hotel attached about 50 miles from here just before it all went awry. It closed and was reopened by others a couple of times after that but has since been demolished. As much as I liked it the few times I was there, I even then wondered why it was built where it was. Downtown hotels were already a dying business before they turned the first shovel to build this one.
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.

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