This page is for "whatever" we remember
from the 50's---trivia, people, places, fads, things---"Whatever."
The idea for this page came to me after Lois sent me the following "Do you
remember" essay that she wrote. Thanks, Lois!
Do you remember when.....
1) Automobiles had running boards.
2) Milk in glass bottles was not homogenized and the cream rose to the
top -- the bottle had to be shook up before pouring the milk.
3) Coal furnaces -- each autumn, the coal truck would deliver a ton or
two of coal down a chute thru a basement window into the "coal bin".
4) Small chunks of coal were left in Christmas stockings for naughty
5) Mail was delivered twice a day during the week before Christmas.
6) When mailing to a local address, instead of writing Cleveland, Ohio
on the envelope, you could just write "City" and the Post Office knew
that it was local.
7) First class stamps were 3 cents and penny postcards were 1 cent.
8) We said The Pledge of Allegiance regularly at school.
9) Anything stamped "Made in Japan" was considered a piece of junk.
10) Gas stations pumped gas, cleaned the windshield, checked the oil and
battery -- all with a smile and a thank you.
11) Hamburger was 35 cents a pound -- three pounds for a dollar.
12) Girl Scout cookies were 35 cents a box and we were allowed to go
13) No ZIP Codes -- it was simply Cleveland 2, Ohio
14) Men took off their hats, everyone placed their right hands over
their hearts and sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at sporting events (and
to the original melody). [Sorry, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith -- when you
sang The National Anthem at the Indianapolis 500, the last line is not
"the land of the free and the home of the Indy 500"].
15) Boys did not wear jeans to school and girls did not wear jeans or
slacks of any kind to school.
16) Girls wore leggings (the heavy kind that matched the winter coats)
in early elementary school. What a dilemma! Either you tucked your
dress into the leggings and got it wrinkled, or wore the leggings under
the dress, which meant the shoulder straps had to go under the dress (or
skirt) and then get fastened and it was just too much trouble.
17) Cloak rooms at the back of each classroom. It was either a separate
room for coats, leggings, hats, boots, etc. or behind overhead sliding
doors (much like a garage door). There's a good photo of the cloak room
doors in room 309 at Almira School on the Almira page of the web site.
18) Mittens connected by a long piece of yarn that passed thru the arms
of winter coats, so that we wouldn't loose the mittens.
19) Going house-to-house on Halloween and saying, "Please help the
20) Putting together a Halloween costume using odd and ends from the
household. A favorite for girls was being a gypsy -- lots of jewelry,
makeup, hoop earrings and swirling skirts. A favorite for boys was being
a bum or hobo.
21) Getting dressed up -- really dressed up -- on Easter Sunday -- often
an entire new outfit, including a hat, white gloves and a corsage.
22) Taking the first bite out of the chocolate bunny in the Easter
basket -- usually the ears.
23) Passing out Valentine cards at school -- saving the best one for the
cutest boy or the prettiest girl.
24) Picking names for a gift exchange at Christmas in school -- with a
limit of no more than 25 cents a gift.
25) Singing Christmas carols at school, in church and while caroling in
By Lois Gollwitzer Dixon - Aug. 3, 2001
Reaction to Lois's "Do you remember when"........
Wow!!!! I've read lots of "Do you remember when"
essays--but none as well written as Lois's! The memories
she wrote about are ones that all of us from the WTH class of
1960 can relate to! As always, Lois has remembered
memories that I have forgotten about and rekindled them.
Thanks--Lois! I remember my dad having a car with running
boards! I remember shaking those blasted milk bottles to
mix them up--when is the last time anyone saw a glass milk
bottle??? I remember coal being delivered to our coal bin
in the basement and being scared to death when I saw that
roaring fire in the furnace! Mail delivery twice a day
before Xmas, full-service gas stations, no ZIP codes, no wearing
of jeans to school and leggings(Geez--I hated those!!!),
Halloween and our costumes(Geez--again--last year my daughters
paid $25 for a costume for the grandsons--who were 2 yrs. old
and 8 months old at the time!) OK OK, so grandma helped
pay for them and they looked so cute!! Getting dressed
up--really dressed up on Easter--I don't remember the last time
I got dressed up! Christmas presents at school and
caroling. Oh, Lois--I thank you so much for these
wonderful memories! I remember a commercial for
Rosenbloom's Dept. Store--One, you go to Rosenbloom's and clothes your
family Two--you save on budget terms, no extra--no siree and
Three--Rosenbloom's 321 Euclid. My phone number was ATlantic
that in Almira School, we did our banking in the
lunchroom and the teacher; Mrs. Lutz, over looked all of the
transactions and checked your bankbook when you left the room. In
Almira School, one would plant a garden and the teacher would come out
to your house to give you a grade on the garden. Dogtags--I know
all the guys had to wear them, not sure about the girls, and we would
rub some lipstick over them, and wipe it off, so the letters would stand
out in red. And the air raid drills where we would go out in the
hallway and crouch down with your hands behind your head. And the
fire drills, where we would all line up and go outside. I don't think
the Almira pool was ever used, something about cracks in it. Too
bad--that would have been fun, but they surely would have to had cleaned
and painted that place, it was a mess. Remember those half a heart
necklaces, that the guys would buy and give one to "his girl"
that meant they were going steady. Wow, I remember giving one to
my girl, but I don't remember who so was now, and when I go home, I
would hide the necklace so my parents wouldn't know about it.
There was this commercial on TV that played all the time, it was for
Aluminum siding and windows, the number was GArfield 1-2323...Would you
believe they still play the same commercial with that same phone
number? Plus those gardens were planted at everybody's homes, then
the teacher would come to each house to grade your garden, and how we
hurried to pull the weeds before she would come out? I still
remember my combination number that was on the lock on my locker in High
School-- 11-35-6. What about Knock-Knock jokes?
|Linda--Remembers her old phone number,
when the first thing she saw when she got TV was Howdy Doody, the big
polio scare in '53' and '54' when we couldn't go swimming because they
thought it was transmitted via water. The basement at Wilbur
Wright or maybe Almira. They had a swimming pool there but it was
never filled with water. The story going around was that some kids
drowned and they had to close the pool. We, of course, thought it
was haunted and that their ghosts ran around that area. I think we
had to go down there when the weather turned bad or if we had air raid
drills. Remember those? Glad our children will never have to
go through that scare! Remember we always wore a strand of pearls
when we wore our cardigan sweaters buttoned up the back. Remember
tennis shoes with nylons. Halter tops with shorts?
|Lois--Remembers "double dare" when if you dared someone to do
something, it was usually something risky and then you had to do it
first. Candy cigarettes, Beeman's Pepsin gum, When we lived in
BrookPark, Ohio (1963-1973), we were on a telephone party line with
neighbors two doors down from us. On W. 97 St., our phone number
was AT 5835; later the "1" was added. The AT stood for
Atlantic. WOodbine was also pretty common. Peppi's Pizza was
ME 1-2828. I watched Howdy Doody. i think my little brother
watched Beanie and Cecil. Uncle Karl had a powder blue 1953
Studebaker. I drove it once. Cars back then didn't have
power steering or power brakes. We still have a reel-to-reel tape
recorder in our basement and I think it still works. I remember
that lady in rags that always talked to herself. She lived on
Almira in a double house just near the NW corner of West Blvd. She wore
layers of raggedy clothes and galoshes, even in the summer. She
always carried a shopping bag and talked to herself all the time.
I, too, remember banking in the library! Couldn't wait to be in
the sixth grade, so i could write in the passbooks! And to be a
school patrol guard! Gee, we felt so important "letting the cars
know when they could go!" I think Mondays were banking
days. We would bring our passbooks and money from home and each
class would quietly line up at a table. Sixth graders deposited in
the passbooks. Don, you're right--Mrs. Lutz would check each
bankbook to make sure it was correct. Society for Savings was the
bank that brought this to the schools. My dad gave me 50 cents
each week to put in my account. Remember Andy, the
shoemaker? There were a few shops on Almira, just west of W. 98
St. Andy never used claim checks for shoes left with him--he had
an amazing memory. Everyone walked home for lunch--school was from
9-12AM and then 1:30-3PM. The Almira Tavern was on the NE corner
of Almira and W. 97 St.
|Joy--Remembers: The Army Store
leather "bullet bags" that were the rage as girls' purses in
high school. And who remembers the submarine races? (Not me,
of course) Phone number: WOodbine 1-9536; locker 4-15-14,
voice in the GA 1-2323 commercial Jimmy Dudley; gardens are still part
of the greater Cleveland curriculum( my nieces had them), but I don't
know the program's sponsor.
Fashions of the
50's--modeled by West Tech graduates.
|The above pictures of
the Indian's baseball players were taken in 1955 and 1956 by Lois
From left to right: Al Smith, Art Houteeman, Bob Feller, Don Mossi,
Hegan's car, Herb Score(55), Herb Score(56), Jim Hegan, Rocky Colavito,
Joy and Rocky, Lois and Rocky, Sandy and Rocky 2001.