This week's Ten on Tuesday topic has me feeling a little sad, remembering things from my childhood that I don't have now. I tried to limit my list to things other people can relate to, so I won't talk about specific people or feelings or other things that won't make a lot of sense to you all. That said, here we go.
1. Fudgsicles - This was the first thing that popped into my mind. We had real Fudgsicles until the 80's, when they came out with the abomination that was Jell-O Pudding Pops. Supermarkets were flooded with those things. By the time they slowly ground to their death, Pudding Pops had eradicated the real Fudgsicle from the cooler shelves, never to return again. Sure, there are products that claim they are the same thing, but they are not.
2. Sid and Marty Krofft shows - I had a hard time with H.R. Pufnstuf, because Witchiepoo scared the beejesus out of me, but I loved The Bugaloos, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Land of the Lost, Lost Saucer, and Electra Woman & Dyna Girl. I have some of these shows on DVD, so my kids have been able to enjoy them.
3. Manual locks and window controls in cars - I don't know why, but I never minded rolling down the windows manually or locking my own door. I also miss that little triangular window in each front side window - don't know what purpose it served exactly, but I liked it.
4. The prizes in Cracker Jacks - When I was little, adults used to always tell me that when *they* were kids, the prizes in Cracker Jack boxes were better. Now I feel the same way. Cracker Jacks are still around, though, and that's a good thing.
5. Colorforms - I think they still make these, but nothing like when I was a kid. Those could keep me entertained for hours.
6. Seven Up candy bars - My understanding is that, although these bars were invented in the 1930's, before the soda existed, eventually the 7-UP soda people bought the name and retired the candy bar. They were hard to find when I was a kid, and for those who don't know, a Seven Up bar had seven sections, each with a different filling - mint, nougat, butterscotch, fudge, coconut, buttercream, and caramel.
7. Wooden Fisher Price people - Really, the original little Fisher Price people were made from wood, not all plastic like they are now. We had the farm, the schoolhouse, the airport, and the garage.
8. Big Wheel - I was the last kid in my neighborhood to get the original old school Big Wheel. I remember going outside with my parents to ask other kids if I could take a test spin on both a Big Wheel and a Green Machine, which was an up and coming Big Wheel rival (which never did take off because it had a chain that kept coming off the sprockets). This is what mine looked like:
By the time my brother got his Big Wheel a few years later, there was a hand brake on one wheel, the seat was blue, and it had a little trunk. But he still got to join in the fun. We grew up on a small cul de sac, so there was almost no traffic and we pedaled around on our Big Wheels in packs. It was completely normal to see six or seven Big Wheels abandoned on the side of the street or in someone's driveway while we were off running around.
9. The Wonderful World of Disney - I seem to remember watching this show at 7:00 on Sunday evening every week for my entire childhood, but I could be wrong. Here's the opening sequence:
10. The Warner Theater - This was called The Empire Theater when it was built in 1915, but by the time I came along it was called The Warner Theater. I can't find a good photo of what it looked like when I was a kid, but here it is in the 1930's:
I remember the hundreds of light bulbs in the sign, the red velvet curtains inside, the balcony, and the gorgeous plaster work. It was the fanciest movie theater I've ever been to, as they were starting to put up those boxy multiplexes by the time I was old enough to go to the movies. The Warner was a last holdout. I saw lots of Disney movies there when I was little.
In the photo you can see the Super Store next door. That's been torn down and a courthouse built on that site. I remember being told about my grandmother winning a contest at the Super Store (way before my time) by guessing the correct number of cherries in a pie. I don't recall what she won.
To the left of the theater, you can see Lawrence Savings Bank clock. They purchased the theater and closed it down in 1976. Their grand plan for the site, after tearing down a gorgeous building? Nothing. They eventually paved over the site and turned it into a parking lot. I believe the bank no longer exists. I wouldn't patronize them if they were still in business, not after they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
You might know the Counting Crows version better:
Some of the Counting Crows video was shot at Coney Island. I know the Wonder Wheel made it through Hurricane Sandy, but people more familiar with the area might see some things that were damaged by the storm.
Thanks for sharing my little trip down memory lane.