Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Do You Remember?

Do you remember the day Dr. Jonas Salk's polio vaccine first became available to the public?

Do you remember the day John Glenn became the first man to orbit the earth in space?

Do you remember the day Nell Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon?

Do you remember when when gas station attendants always washed off your windshield and wiped it clean while your tank was being filled, and when compressed air was available free of charge at every filling station?

Do you remember picking wild blackberries in August, or homegrown raspberries and gooseberries, or harvesting apples and peaches, and sometimes cherries from backyard orchards? Do you remember when mothers and aunts got together to process this abundance, and put it all up in Mason Jars sealed with paraffin?

Do you remember when banks gave away calendars each Christmas Season?

Do you remember when husbands and wives entertained the family by reading aloud to each other in the evening –– often in front of a roaring fire on cold winter evenings?

Do you remember when families used to set aside special times during the week so everyone could listen –– with rapt attention –– to a series of favorite, eagerly-anticipated  radio programs?

Do you remember when frozen vegetables and fruits first became available, and suddenly “everyone” felt he just had to buy a home freezer?

Do you remember when families sat down at the dining table to eat dinner together every night, and family members actually talked with each other?

Do you remember when doctors made house calls in the middle of the night, if you had a vomiting germ or a bad stomach ache?

Do you remember when mothers collected dirty clothes in a laundry basket, carried them down to the basement, washed them by hand in deep gray laundry tubs with a slanted front, wrung them out by hand, put them back in the basket, then carried them up from the basement and hung them out to dry on a clothesline?

Do you remember when mothers baked small loaves of cranberry-orange-walnut, or date-and-nut bread and several different kinds of Christmas cookies each more beautiful than the next, then wrapped the loaves in waxed paper, and aluminum foil, put an assortment of the cookies in small decorative tins, put bows on each, then gave them away as Christmas presents?

Do you remember when small groups of friends and neighbors would get together and go door to door to sing Christmas Carols?

Do you remember when television news consisted of a 15-minute "Evening Report," and a 15-minute "Recap" at 11:00 PM?

Do you remember the last time you let yourself feel really GLAD about anything?


  1. Yes to All except the polio vaccine.
    Great list Free. Thanks for the posting.

    1. Just a gentle reminder that life in these United States really WAS a great deal kinder, gentler and more enjoyable before the SICK-sties set in –– at least for the middle and upper-middle classes of which I was privileged to be a member.

      It has always been tough for the poor and those despised, rejected and misunderstood, but it CERTAINLY has not gotten any BETTER for ANYONE, except the hypocritical, manipulative opportunists like Al Gore and the whole cast of would-be REGULATORS and DICTATORS riding aboard the Government Gravy Train sucking all the wealth and much of the vitality to of the culture.

  2. Replies
    1. You're a very naughty boy, Thersites. No Christmas cookies for you THIS year!

      You've made poor Santa cry. Shame on you!

      Boo Hoo Hoo!


    2. All right for you, Lou! St. Nick's gonna put coal in your stocking this year, and Knight Rupert's gonna switch your bare behind for sure!

      REPENT while there's still time, Ebenezer! REPENT!

    3. You really ARE absolutely INCORRIGIBLE!

      Well, be of Good Cheer ANYWAY. That's an order.

      <);^}> NO HO, BRO!

  3. Do you remember when small groups of friends and neighbors would get together and go door to door to sing Christmas Carols?

    I miss that. When did the custom die out?

    1. It was booed, mocked, insulted, thrashed, declared "unconstitutional," and stomped to death in the SICK-sties, of course.

  4. I never used the rub board for laundry. We used a wringer washer, then draped the clothes from the line -- and hoped that no bird had recently eaten berries with the purpose of splotching what was on the line.

    Never did buy a freezer. And, as far as I know, my mother never used frozen veggies.

    I rarely use frozen veggies, BTW. Exceptions and used rarely: broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, lima beans.

    1. Bird's Eye Frozen Peas, Corn, Peas & Carrots, Mixed Vegetables, –– and yes lima beans and succotash –– soon became staples in our house as soon as home freezers came in. Nothing has changed in the interim.

      Also, my parents realized that laying in a month's supply of steaks chops, chickens, turkeys, shrimp and fish fillets, etc. was a great convenience, and also saved money, because we could take advantage of sales at the supermarket and also make far fewer trips to the store thus saving time, wear and tear on the car, and the cost of fuel.

      Canned fFrozen lemonade, and frozen orange juice made from concentrate were popular for a while, but have virtually disappeared today –– at least I haven't noticed any for quite some time.

      It was nice to have a variety of favorite ice creams and sherbets on hand at the time too.

      When I was a boy, our refrigerator's freezing compartment could only hold two trays of ice cubes and two packages of Bird's Eye frozen vegetables, so the home chest freezer was a godsend. It traveled from New Jersey to Illinois and back, was with us in three different houses, and lasted almost forty years before it finally gave the ghost.

      Most refrigerators today have a large freezing compartment built in, so the need for home freezers has diminished considerably, although I see they are still available, and would be extremely useful if I were raising a large family.

  5. I remember going to the Bank with my Mom and they alway had a Santa there on every Christmas. Another thing that's gone.

    1. Yes, Sal. The Main Street of every town was strung with lighted garlands stretched across the pavement at frequent intervals every Christmas, and the town square always featured a beautiful manger scene and a large Christmas Tree. ALL the store windows looked like sparkling jewels –– even the Butcher Shop, and many of the stores had recordings of CHOIRS singing Christmas Carols and anthems. The churches all presented an annual Christmas Oratorio Concert with a pageant depicting Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus with angels and shepherds around them. The scent of pine was in the air, and a feeling of happy, eager anticipation pervaded the atmosphere everywhere we went –– or so it was for a fortunate little child.

      I'll never forget those days as long as I live, and shall always remember them with a gratitude that only increases with each passing year.

      Why all that loveliness was ever considered "wrong" I'll never understand.

  6. Lovely post! Not even the excrement spread by the irrelevant haters can ruin it!

    Go suck eggs, you off-topic loonies!

    1. Thank you, Conchita, but we took care of "them," good and proper, didn't we?

      When FreeThinke's away
      The goons will play,
      And so it's ever been,
      But when he gets back
      Trash gets the sack
      And no more will be seen.


  7. I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Till, ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound
    The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    "There is no peace on earth," I said:
    "For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    "God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

    ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

  8. An Old Man’s Winter Night

    Robert Frost (from Mountain Interval, 1920)

    All out of doors looked darkly in at him
    Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
    That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
    What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
    Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
    What kept him from remembering what it was
    That brought him to that creaking room was age.
    He stood with barrels round him—at a loss.
    And having scared the cellar under him
    In clomping there, he scared it once again
    In clomping off;—and scared the outer night,
    Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
    Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
    But nothing so like beating on a box.
    A light he was to no one but himself
    Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
    A quiet light, and then not even that.
    He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
    So late-arising, to the broken moon
    As better than the sun in any case
    For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
    His icicles along the wall to keep;
    And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
    Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
    And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
    One aged man—one man—can’t fill a house,
    A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
    It’s thus he does it of a winter night.

    1. Thank you! Another austere, meditative, elegiac Frost similar to The Death of the Hired Man. I'd never read this before.

  9. I find it amazing that the republican party, the one who once stood for principles and equality of opportunity at one time, has become the party of the wealthy few and powerful Wall Street executives amd hedge fund managers. A party with few core ethical standatrds and one that is willing to sacrifice true for the sake of ideological extremism and police state security.
    And even more shocking is that I found FT to be fine with that Hypocrisy !

    1. I doubt if it would do any good to tell you you are very sadly mistaken, but you are.

      I refuse to get into any silly, poinless shouting matches, so I won't attempt to correct you. I am, however, suspending judgment on Mr. Trump for at least four to six months. We should give him time to prove himself one way or the other.

      Yes, I supported him, because from what I've seen in the past 25 years the alternative was absolutely impossible.

      Try to remember this: "Politics is the Art of the Possible."

      Anyone who enters the field –– no matter how starry-eyed and idealistic he may be –– soon discovers that the laws of "REALPOLITIK" is the ONLY modus operandi available to him once he's entered the legislative arena.

      As you must realize, if you've followed this blog at all,I am unalterably opposed on principle to Collectivist Thinking all of which is rooted in Marxian dialectics.

      Liberty must trump Fairness and Safety every time, because –– as we have seen to our great sorrow –– giving way to "Doing the RIGHT Thing" in a WRONG way or for a DISINGENUOUS reason only extends and compounds the evils you are trying to combat.

      I hope Mr. Trump feels as I do. I believe I have recognized in him an ultimate form of pragmatism, and in this world, which regrettably belongs to "Caesar," there is no other way to function IF one hopes to achieve CONSTRUCTIVE results.


    2. Agreed, until YOUR liberty and safety infringes on MY liberty and safety. That for me as always been the rub.

      Perhaps reespect for not only ones own libertY and safety but respect for others libery and safety as well ought to be part of the discussion.

      Regardless of which political system or ideology is followed unless one has self respect AND respect for the liberty, safety, and rights of others (the whole) the system ultimately collapses.

      Doing the RIGHT Thing must be defined and measured against standards of ethical and moreal behavior to have any human meaning.

      Good stuff Free.


    3. Naturellement, ca va sans dire.

      A society uninformed, unenlightened –– and unrestrained –– by basic Christian precepts, ideals and principles is doomed to dissolve in the clamorous din of endless dissension and fruitless argumentation.

      Freedom is not free. It cannot thrive among peoples unconstrained by self-discipline. After reaching his or majority, however,
      the self-discipline just be voluntary. The Spirit of Charity, Good Will, Tolerance, Respect for Others, and Understanding cannot be coerced. Cannot be made mandatory.

      A paradox to be sure, but isn't that the very stuff of life?

    4. t-il

      After reaching his or majority, however,
      the self-discipline just be voluntary. The Spirit of Charity, Good Will, Tolerance, Respect for Others, and Understanding cannot be coerced. Cannot be made mandatory.

      True. However, a civil society has an obligation to set societal standards of decency and conduct for all who voluntarily CHOOSE to live in said society. Actions have consequences and those who do not respect the rights of others, right which include life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness are accountable to the rest of civil society for their actions.

      In short, one has the right do whatever he or she damn well pleases in so long as it does not infringe on others rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Put another way, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    5. You certainly have a remarkable penchant for stating the obvious, don't you? Someone who just likes to hear himself talk –– or see his idea thoughts in print –– no doubt.

      Not to worry. There are many such here in Cyberspace, but WE have had enough of it HERE –– at least for now.

  10. Merry Christmas to you, sir! And to all your readers.

    We needed a post like this to heal the wounds of a bitter campaign year.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

    1. Thank you most kindly, Mr. Schmolenski, and may I say, "The Same to You!"

      Wesołych Świąt!

  11. Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
    From tender stem hath sprung!
    Of Jesse's lineage coming
    As men of old have sung.

    It came, a floweret bright,
    Amid the cold of winter
    When half-spent was the night.

    Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
    The Rose I have in mind:
    With Mary we behold it,
    The virgin mother kind.

    To show God's love aright
    She bore to men a Savior
    When half-spent was the night.

    This Flower, whose fragrance tender
    With sweetness fills the air,
    Dispels with glorious splendor
    The darkness everywhere.

    True man, yet very God,
    He came rom sin to save us,
    When half-spent was the night.

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  13. A good friend of my wife and I passed away last February. He had a little 12 year old dog, a whippet mix, like a short, fat, white whippet. He bequeathed her to us before he died, so now she's our fat little whippet. This dog is a daily miracle in and of herself. She has more health problems than a junk yard dog in Chernobyl. Just the night before last we thought we were losing her again, but sure enough, the next morning, I was greeted by this happy, loving fun little dog, blind as a bat, sleeps most of the time, but sure enough she always makes time to come and cheer me up and be this silly little dog, and she's still quite active and happy. I'm glad every time I see her face.



    1. That's very sweet Jersey. You're ding the Lord's work, whether you choose to looks at it that way, or not.

      I told you He works in mysterious ways. ;-)

      Saints don't all stand stiffly in stone niches staring vacantly into space.


      Talk with you soon, eh?

    2. Oh, I always try to do good Christian things. Big Jesus fan, ya know! I know it's not the most religious sentiment, but I do mean it. ;)

      Merry Christmas!

      Yeah, we'll talk soon. I promise. Trying to make quality time with the wife before she strangles me! :)


  14. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 - 1882

    The holiest of all holidays are those
    Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
    The secret anniversaries of the heart,
    When the full river of feeling overflows;—
    The happy days unclouded to their close;
    The sudden joys that out of darkness start
    As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
    Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
    White as the gleam of a receding sail,
    White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
    White as the whitest lily on a stream,
    These tender memories are;— a Fairy Tale
    Of some enchanted land we know not where,
    But lovely as a landscape in a dream.

    1. A beautiful Petrachian sonnet by Longfellow perfect for this time of the year reminding us that the quiet, contemplative side of Christmas is the wellspring from which true joy and goodness flows.

      Thanks again for another fine addition to our poetry collection.

  15. I remember some of that stuff.

  16. Free, do either of the above posts have any redeeming value?

    I'm the Anonymous that adds poetry now and then.

    1. Thank you for the poems. We appreciate poetry a great deal, as you probably now, but when it comes to managing the blog, that is a duty I reserve solely for myself.


  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Jon,

      If you can't learn to respect OUR rules, and abide b them, I'm not gong to let yu post here anymore. I've told you –– and everyone ELSE –– REPEATEDLY that comments MUST pertain to the material contained in the POST.

      You ACT like a MINDLESS ROBOT programmed internally NOT to be aware of and NOT to respond to anyone but yourself.

      Not only that, but you are little but a fount of negativity.

      I must insist you either REFORM, or REFRAIN from commenting here.

      Thanks for your future cooperation.




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