Monday, February 25, 2008

T.I.F. challenge

I'm old enough to remember:

*when racial segregation was more or less standard in the South
*girls had to wear dresses to school, unless the temperature dropped below freezing.
*even little boys wore hair oil or Brill Cream (one of my strongest memories from 1st grade is walking into school on a rainy day, the smell of Brill Creem (sp?) heavy in the air).
*air conditioning was not yet so common, even in Austin, Texas. It wasn't as hot then as it is now, but hot enough! In the late Spring, fellow students sometimes fainted away during choir practice and in the summers, the only way to survive was to spend every afternoon at the pool.
*those wonderful Mexican bakeries on the border--maybe they are still there? The screen door with the Buttercrust sign would slam gently behind you and there'd be that warm, buttery smell of empanadas and rosquitas and molletes...Mmmm.
*a half pint carton of chocolate milk cost 5 cents at the corner store, 2 cents at school. An Eskimo Pie or Dreamsicle cost 10 cents.
*smoking was still very common. At the university, it was pipes, especially. Summer evenings at the outdoor theater (10 cents), where you'd sit on white wooden benches to watch things like 1,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the smell of pipe smoke contributed to the romantic atmosphere.
*a married woman who worked outside the home was kind of unusual and you wondered if her husband was ashamed that he couldn't support her.
*Drug Store soda fountains. My sister Mitzie and i used to always split a grilled cheese sandwich.
*we wore lace veils to church. My grandmother had a drawer full of them and let us pick the one we wanted to wear and bobbypin it into our hair.
*corporal punishment was still allowed in school.
*if you went beyond "second base" as a teenage girl, you could kiss your reputation goodbye, simple as that.
*as little kids we spent most of our time playing outside, exploring.
*It was possible for a five-year-old to walk across campus unaccompanied (altho strangers usually asked me if i was lost and then regretted it bcs i'd end up telling them my life story--was a fearless and loquacious little kid).
*the Berlin Wall going up--i remember it being all over the news for a few days. There was an interview with a woman whose sister happened to be on the "wrong side" of the wall when it happened. She was crying, as if she thought she'd never see her again. I was only 2 and a half then, about the age I was in the photo above, but for some reason this made an impression on me--maybe bcs i had five sisters myself.

The photo above is of some of my family. The only one I have that includes all eight siblings literally would not fit on my scanner! I'm the one with the inflatable frog. I still remember a particular afternoon/moment, floating around in the sparkling water of Ramsey Pool on that frog, being pushed and pulled around by older siblings, most likely Ronnie and Ruthie.


Belém said...

I loved to read your memories. Times are so different now that we almost forgot what happened in the past. Thanks so much for sharing this and the lovely picture of you and your family.

Elaine Adair said...

What a nice story, but you threw me with "loquatious" .. I gotta look it up again - haven't seen that word in a while! LOL

Barbara C said...

What a great picture of you and your family. Your mother is so beautiful.

Your memories are so vivid. You really evoke the time and place.

jude said...

a beautiful composition.. thanks for the comment on my blog....

Lisa Boyer said...

The smell of Brill Creem...I'd forgotten about that! What a riot. I had to wear dresses every day, too, but they were very comfortable, weren't they? With a pair of shorts underneath, the playground wasn't off limits, either. I didn't mind at all. Very fun post. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

Quilter In Paradise said...

oh wow! I remember a lot of these same things... gives me warm fuzzys.

disa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.