...the old Krystal Restaurants…with curb service. They served the burgers in a red plastic basket with wax paper covering them up for a dime each. Thick shakes and chocolate ice box pie for dessert.
...the Monkey Bar and Carousel, operated by Mr. Max at the downtown Harvey's Department Store.
If business was slow Mr. Harvey would let the monkeys run loose in the store.
...Chester's Department Store had a Mynah bird on the basement floor which would wolf whistle at the ladies walking by. Talking Mynah birds were a novelty in the late 50's and downtown Harvey’s, the Children's Museum and Jim Reed Chevrolet all had resident birds.
...roller skating at Hippodrome Roller Rink. Now Vanderbilt Holiday Inn is in that location.
...Varrallo's at the split of Highway 100 and 70 with the curb service. Best chili in town!
...Harvey's Department Store~ the toys and carousel were on the top floor. Parents were pulled by their kids to the top of the store and then "shopped" their way down. Near the carousel was a bench to sit and relax if you didn't mind sitting next to a (mannequin) cowboy. You could get Knox Berry Farm jellies and jams all the way from California from the shelves next to the cowboy.
...the Fifties and Sixties brought new freedom to teens and cruisin' was a weekend tradition. Shoney's and many other drive-ins became the meeting places of choice.
...the sorority girls circling Shoney's with the particular car honks they would blow. My sorority was PLS and our honk was: Dah…Dah…DahDahDahDah…DahDahDahDahDahDah! Anther long standing Nashville tradition was to blow your horn as you passed through the dark and narrow railroad tunnel on Thompson Lane.
...the little popcorn stand at Centennial Park where you could buy a little box of popcorn to feed the ducks.
...the old Children's Museum that had live alligators and a stuffed bobcat in it. Trouper the Clown visited all the schools for the Children's Theatre (I was so proud when my Mom played Trouper the Clown! I loved bragging on her). If you signed up at school for the Children's Museum, you got a pin with the image of a raccoon on it.
...going outside to visit the Bookmobile when it visited my school.
...Shakey's Pizza Parlors and the sing-a-longs on weekends. One side was for families and the other side served beer. My sisters and I loved going up to the big plate glass windows and watching the pizzas being made.
..Nashville's first major indoor mall....100 Oaks Mall, opened in 1968;
they had no food court by there was a hot dog place up by Woolco called La Petite Café.
...High school fraternities and sororities sponsored formals and summer "combos" in people's driveways. We had local bands play while we danced and hung out on the driveway of the home where the party was.
...spaghetti suppers and school carnivals!
...when high school seniors got an official cut day. They could go to Percy Warner Park or they could go to school. Of course the teachers were all at the park to chaperone.
...receiving the polio vaccine on little sugar cubes in the school gym; and taking the hearing tests in grade school.
...when Nashville had two daily newspapers, the Tennessean in the morning and the Banner in the afternoon. Papers were delivered by boys walking or on bikes and papers were placed on the front porch of homes.
...in grade school somehow we all brought in cigar boxes which held our school supplies and shoe boxes which could be decorated at Valentines to hold treasured cards.
...“Milk break" in elementary school and when being chosen to wheel the milk cart to all the rooms was a big deal!
..when girls FINALLY got to wear pantsuits to school (NOT jeans) in 1970!
...when there were patrol boys at remote corners a few blocks away from the school. They had yellow flags on wooden poles and usually a patrol lady was there to supervise. Patrol girls only got to work at the school on the porch.
..leaving my bike in a bike rack at school and not even considering putting a lock on it!
...when girls collected love loops off the back seams of the boys new oxford shirts.
...when phone numbers in Nashville and Davidson County had named prefixes. Telephone numbers were published as ALpine, CHapel, AMherst, CYpress, VErnon, CAnal, TUcker or COngress. In fact, I remember my grandmother’s number as VE2-4883/
...when Moms were at home when the kids got home from school.
...when I got my windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time. I didn't pay for air. And, I got trading stamps to boot.
...when the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum.
...when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals 'cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.
And with all our progress ... I just wish, just once, I could slip back in time and savor the slower pace ... and share it with the children of today...
...when being sent to the Principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.... Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we all survived because their love was greater than the threat.
...before the Internet or the MAC Before semi automatics and crack Before SEGA or Super Nintendo...Way back .... I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk…Red light, Green light…Kick the can… Playing kickball & dodge ball until your porch light came on…Mother May I?... Red Rover…Hula Hoops…(which I could never do; still can’t, and my 3 ½ year-old granddaughter can go for minutes with a hula-hoop! That’s just wrong!)…Roller skating to music…Running through the sprinkler… Catchin' lightning bugs in a jar…Christmas morning.... Your first day of school…Bedtime Prayers and Goodnight Kisses (“Night-night, sleep tight, and don’t let the beddy-bugs bite! I love you!”)…Climbing trees…Getting an Ice Cream off the Ice Cream Truck (again, my granddaughter gets to do this even now!)…A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers…Jumpin' on the bed (yes, we could have “more…monkeys jumpin’ on the bed!)…Pillow fights…Runnin' till you were out of breath…Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt…Being tired from playing…Your first crush…Kool-aid was the drink of summer (and every now and then we would have a Kool-Aid/Lemonade stand in our yard OR on the street corner—IMAGINE THAT—and people would stop by and pay us for a little cup of drink. We would sing, “Kool-aid, Kool-aid, tastes great…wish we had some, can’t wait!”…Toting your friends on your handle bars…Wearing your new shoes on the first day of school (Bee-Bops or Penny Loafers)…Class field trips…
It feels goods to go back and say, “Yeah, I remember that! There's nothing like the good old days. They were good then, and they're good now when I think about them”.
...decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo".
...mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do it over!"
..."Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
...it wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
...being old referred to anyone over 20.
...the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
...scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
...it was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.
...getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
...abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare"
...spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.
...the worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
...water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
...older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.
If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!!
One last thing I remember: My parents have always watched Channel 4 News (NBC). A few weeks back, I wrote a tribute to Dan Miller, a Channel 4 Anchorman twice over the years, who recently passed away while at the Masters Golf Tournament. He was currently our Channel 4 Anchorman. He is deeply missed. The following photo shows many of our reporters/weathermen/anchors over the years, and I remember every single one. Dan is the one in the top left photo. So, again, I will remember...and never forget...
I'm so grateful I grew up in a time where, even though we didn't think so at the time, life was slower, easier, safer, and loads of fun!