Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lost In The 50's - A Return To My Childhood

The 50's was a magical era and life seemed very simple. Ike was president and America was prosperous. The New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers were my two favorite baseball teams and my hero, Rocky Marciano, was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, These were my formative years and I keep the memories in that special little place in my heart, knowing that it only happens once.

I went through elementary and junior high schooling during the 50's and the lessons learned in and out of the classroom were instrumental in the formation of my character. School was a fun but stern place and the teachers took no prisoners. If you got into trouble, the teacher paddled you. You took your punishment and held your tongue lest the teacher give you a note to take to your parents. If you did get a note, it meant a worse fate was in store when you presented the note to your parents. I always gave my note to my mother with the hope that she would deal with it and not pass it on to my father.


School was also a social place and I enjoyed that part immensely. Music was at the top of everyone's conversation and the birth of rock and roll made it even more fun. There were only a few radio stations and they were AM at that. The radio stations played all the songs. There were no specialty stations....no rock and roll station, no country music station, no big band station. There was the stations and they played everything.

Radio was big in those days as very few people had television sets and only a few people had telephones. At night, the family would actually "watch the radio" as shows like Gangbusters, Amos and Andy, The Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger (my favorite), Inner Sanctum, Dragnet and many others played. You watched the radio and what you saw was limitless as your imagination provided the mental video.

Our radio was an RCA Victor and it was about a foot wide and a foot tall. It had two knobs, the tuner and the volume. The top of the radio would open up exposing a turn table with a single metal rod. The record speeds were 33 and 1/3 or 78 and the records were all the size of a modern day LP album. The only difference was that the record had one song on each side. You had to be very careful because it you dropped the record, it would shatter and break.

My brother Kirt and I started singing together and in the sixth grade, my teacher, Mr. Hall, taught me to play the guitar. I, in turn taught my brother to play, as well, and the Sullivan Brothers began performing for anyone who would listen. We sang all of the Everly Brothers songs as well as all the rock and roll songs of the day.

My Brother and I actually started singing country music and I can remember distinctly when the sad news came over the radio, reporting that Hank Williams had passed away in the back seat of his car. Williams was one of my favorite singers and his untimely death really upset my brother and I.

The 50's was a wonderful time for me and I thought I'd reminisce those times with you. I added a special playlist for this entry and I hope it brings you fond memories. It did for me.

Stay Tuned !

9 comments:

Rose said...

Wow, you brought me back down memory lane! Thanks for the ride.

Hugs, Rose

garnett109 said...

I wasn't born until 62, the 70s and 80s were a blur

Linda's World said...

WONDERFUL entry !!! Oh I remember those days well. Do you remember listening to 'Buster Brown' and 'Sky King' ....I think they were on Saturday mornings. I never got a swat at school but I had friends that did. Since I lived in a rural area, we rode the school bus each day. The bus driver would even put a kid off the bus if they were misbehaving. One of my girl friends had that happen to her. She had to walk the rest of the way to her house. If that happened today, the parent(s) would sue! And you're right about school being a social place. Here I am..almost 49 years after high school graduation able to have 15-20 glas from my graduating class come together every few months for a potluck. More would come but they don't live in town. Many of the gals that will be there Monday, I've know since grade school. What a great entry, Jimmy~thanks!

Frances said...

I remember those days, too, Jimmy. That was a great time to be in Junior High or High School. I only wish the kids of today had these kind of memories from their school days, instead of the turmoil and tragedy they have to remember. I'll bet not a one of the kids of today have any good memories of their school days, like we do.

Missy said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun.. I personally didn't care to much for school.. it was too structured for me....

Julie said...

I think that was the last great innocent era.

Paula said...

Oh yes what a wonderful memory. I had to chuckle at watching the radio. Wouldn't that be boring for kids now days? Mama used to listen to Stella Dallas in the afternoon but she condsidered it "not nice" for us girls to hear so we had to go outside to play. We had a place named The Bulldog Snack Shack where we danced to the juke box. Thanks, Paula

Bama said...

Well Jimmy, this is all a little before my time. But I do remember hearing some of the olde..., ah, people several grades ahead of me talking about all this stuff. (grin)

Hugs & Kisses
Jackie

Karen said...

American Bandstand, sipping cherry flavored coke while sitting on a stool at the local lunchenette, penny candy, poodle skirts, The Shadow on radio, stick ball, pimpled pinky, jacks, Saturday matinee at the local movie house, walking to school, home for lunch, and dinners with the family all gathered around eating together at the same time.