Remember When

Posted on April 8, 2014


              FENDER   SKIRTS AND SUPPER I   know some of you will not understand this, but I  bet  you know someone who might. I came across this phrase   yesterday.    ‘ FENDER   SKIRTS ‘
A   term I haven’t heard in a long time, and thinking   about ‘fender skirts’ started me thinking about other   words that quietly disappear from our language with  hardly a  notice like   ‘ curb  feelers ‘
And   ‘steering knobs.’ (AKA) ‘ suicide knob ,’   ‘ neckers knobs .’
Since   I’d been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that   direction first.
Any kids will probably have to find   some older person over 50 to explain some of these terms  to  you.
Remember   ‘Continental  kits ?’ They  were rear bumper extenders and spare  tire covers that were  supposed to make any car as cool  as a Lincoln  Continental.
When   did we quit calling them   ’emergency brakes? At  some  point ‘parking brake’ became the proper term. But I  miss the  hint of drama that went with ’emergency  brake.’
I’m   sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who  would  call the accelerator the ‘foot feed.’ Many today do  not even  know what a clutch is or that the   dimmer switch   used to be on the floor. For that  matter,   the starter   was down there     too.
Didn’t   you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home,  so  you could ride the ‘running board’   up to the   house?
Here’s   a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never  anymore –   ‘store-bought.’ Of course, just about  everything is  store-bought these days. But once it was  bragging material to  have a store-bought dress or a  store-bought bag of  candy.
‘Coast   to coast’   is a phrase that once held all sorts of   excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the  term  ‘worldwide’ for granted. This floors me.
On   a smaller scale,   ‘wall-to-wall’   was once a magical   term in our homes. In the ’50s, everyone covered his or  her  hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall  carpeting! Today,  everyone replaces their wall-to-wall  carpeting with hardwood  floors. Go figure.
When   was the last time you heard the quaint phrase ‘in a  family  way ?’ It’s hard to imagine that the word  ‘pregnant’ was  once considered a little too graphic, a  little too clinical  for use in polite company, so we had  all that talk about  stork visits and ‘being in a family  way’ or simply  ‘expecting.
I always loved  going to the   ‘picture show,’ but I considered ‘movie’  an  affectation.
Most   of these words go back to the ’50s, but here’s a pure  ’60s  word I came across the other day   ‘rat fink.’   Ooh, what  a nasty put-down!
Here’s   a word I miss –   ‘percolator.’ That was just a fun  word  to say. And what was it replaced with ‘Coffee  maker.’ How  dull… Mr. Coffee, I blame you for  this.
I   miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to  sound  so modern and now sound so retro. Words like   ‘Dyna  Flow’   and   ‘Electrolux’ and   ‘Frigidaire’. Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now  with   ‘Spectra Vision!’
Food   for thought. Was there a telethon that wiped out    lumbago ? Nobody complains of that  anymore. Maybe  that’s what   Castor oil   cured, because I never hear  mothers threatening  kids with Castor Oil  anymore.
Some   words aren’t gone, but are definitely on the endangered   list. The one that grieves me most is   ‘supper.’ Now  everybody says ‘dinner.’ Save a  great word. Invite   someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.
Someone   forwarded this to me. I thought some of us of a ‘certain   age’ would remember most of these.
Just   for fun, pass it along to others of ‘a certain   age.’

Posted in: Senior Citizens