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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Good Old Days...
 


The Good Old Days

I have always suspected that the "good old days" may not have been so good. When I was a kid, our family didnít have a car. Daddy walked to work and we children walked to school. Of course, a lot of people walked in small-town America, even my playmate whose family owned a brand new Frazier and thought that they were "big shots."

Eventually, my family joined the ranks of the "better off" and we were really proud of our shiny, black Studebaker. We often went for rides, not to go any place in particular, but just to ride. Cars didnít have automatic transmissions or air conditioning in the good old days. We rolled down the windows and let the wind keep us cool.

Of course, houses didnít have air conditioning either in the good old days. If you were lucky, you might have a window fan. We were often hot and sweaty during the summer, but we didnít know the difference. At night after supper, people would set on their porches to cool off, and kids would play tag under the corner streetlight.

Progress came to our small southern town when the local department store installed air conditioning. Everyone went to shop and check out the cool air, but we could not imagine that living in refrigeration would ever become a popular thing.

Pleased with their innovation, the same store later installed an elevator. Again, everyone came to see and to shop on the second floor without even having to climb the stairs. The elevator had a driver who opened and closed the door and pulled the lever that made the elevator go up or down. We would sometimes use the stairs anyhow just to keep from bothering the elevator man.

The local movie also had refrigerated air. Every Saturday a western movie was shown after a short serial feature, a cartoon, the news, and the previews of coming attractions. This occupied children on Saturday afternoon for the immense sum of 12 cents. For another nickel, you could get a roll of Lifesavers, a Sugar Daddy, or a box of popcorn in the good old days.

Our favorite stores were the two cheap variety stores downtown, which were called 5 & 10ís or "dime stores." Yes, you could actually go shopping and buy something for a dime in the good old days. A kid could always find a yo-yo, rubber ball, or a comic book, if we were lucky enough to have a dime.

I spent many happy hours reading comic books and listening to the Lone Ranger on the radio. Radio was not only for music or news in the good old days; it also had entertainment programming. Of course, it was not long until television came along and changed the world. We scarcely knew what to make of the magic boxes that were just like movies at home. The pictures were black and white, but so were most movies so it didnít matter.

It was a while before our family could save the money for a down payment on a television set. In the meantime, I continued to watch the radio and wish that it had a screen instead of a dial.  When we finally acquired a new television set in a blond wood cabinet, the good old days were really good. It had only one channel and so we watched whatever came on. In the early days there were frequent technical difficulties so often we had only snowy screens and test patterns to watch.

Life was simple and more basic in years past, but life was harder too. I wonder what kids nowadays will remember as being the good old days. My kids once thought things were really rough because we didnít have a microwave or cable TV. Now that I think of it, that does seem pretty difficult. I really donít know how we made it though the good old days.


Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss

 
 



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