BILLY MCCORD: As I see it

 

   My what a disagreeable Sunday afternoon with rain falling and someone on TV or the computer mentioning the word snow. Reminds me of my 28 years with  DeSoto County Schools and the much undesirable task of getting up early in the morning in weather like this to check roads and decide if the big yellow school buses would run that day.

If we decided we could not run the buses safely then we called radio and TV in the greater Memphis area and informed them the schools in DeSoto County would be closed.  It is a given that everyone could not be pleased. Even though I am a member and Chairman of the Board the task of calling off schools rest with Superintendent and his staff.

   I heard a man telling his pre-teen daughter how far he had to walk to school each day.  She was not taking his story in and said she believed his story belonged in a fairy tale book.  It reminded me some that I have told our children although most of mine were factual and most could not have been made up.

I have always enjoyed the song, “Grandpa, Tell Me About the Good Old Days.” I hope there are children somewhere who are listening to my tales from their parents.  My children would tell you that they had heard those stories from the “Good Old Days” over, and over again.  Sometimes I would get mixed up on how far I walked to school and this would cast some doubt about my stories.  At least they have heard them and that is what counts.  This week a lady asked me if I did not miss the “Good Old Days.”

I said yes but I heard something asking me “Do you really?” There is not doubt that people my age remember those years in the past with fondness.  However, most of us will admit that modern times have brought on some great improvements.  No doubt I would not want to pick cotton by hand, pull corn or strip sorghum again.  Where these things are concerned I am glad to say “Gone are the good old days.”

  Let me jog your memories on some things and you decide if you would like to take a trip back. How about picking up the phone and hearing, “Number please.”  You replied “Central 4 – 1160.”  That would take re-learning on our part or you pick up the phone and you hear voices.  Remember those party lines where the line was shared by other people.  You had to remember your ring, line one long and two short rings.  A great deal was learned from those party lines and hence the statement, “Guess what I heard on the phone today.”

Ok! I will admit I like the phone system today better that I did in the good old days.

   Do you remember playing tag and hide and seek on a summer evening.  Ever spent an evening catching lighting bugs in a jar? Do you remember the wringer washing machines?  The worked well to some extend as long as the operator did not get their hair or arm caught in the wringer.  When washing was completed a basket of wet clothes had to be carried to the backyard and hung on a clothesline.  I guess most women would put this in the category of “Gone are the good old days.”  How many remember the sprinkler bottles that were used to sprinkle down the clothes after they had dried and then ironed all the clothes.  When steam irons came along the bottles were discarded.  I don’t believe women today would be inclined to return to the “Good Old Days.”

   How many of you remember at least a few of these:  Window fans, kick the can, hula hoops, cherry cokes (They are now back in bottles and cans), juke boxes, bobby socks, penny loafers, drive in movies, jacks, marbles (those that could be played for keeps but frowned on by teachers), can-can slips that I am told would hold important notes for those girls who wore them, Penny candy, and Mother Maya.

   And now for the test of all test. It is called the “Older Than Dirt Quiz.”  I took this from the Internet. Take the test, count the ones you remember not the ones you were told about. I will give you the score key at the end of the quiz.  1. Black Jack Chewing Gum, 2. Wax Coke shaped bottles with colored sugar water, 3. Candy Cigarettes, 4. Soda Pop Machines that dispensed glass bottles, 5. Coffee shops or diners with table side Juke Boxes, 6. Home Milk Deliveries in glass bottles with card board stoppers, 7. Party Lines on the Telephone, 8. Newsreels before the movie, 9. PF Fliers, 10. Butch Wax 11. TV Test Patterns that came on at night after the last show and there until TV started in the morning, 12.  Pea Shooters, 13. Howdy Doody, 14. 45 RPM Records 15. S&H Green Stamps 16. Hi-Fi’s 17. Metal Ice Trays,  18 Mimeograph Paper 19 Blue Flash Bulbs 20. Packards 21. Roller Skates Keys 22. Cork Pop Gun 23. Drive Ins 24 Studebakers 25. Wash Tub Wringers.  End of Test  If you remembered 0-5 Still Young, 6-10 Getting Older

11-15 Don’t Tell Your Age, 16-25 Older Than Dirt.

   Billy McCord is a retired school administrator from DeSoto County. He is Pastor of Shady Grove UM Church in Calhoun County and is a member and President of the Calhoun County School Board.  Contact him at P.O. Box 337, Bruce, MS or billymc@brucetelephone.com

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