By Ellen Coffey

Sometimes I think about the things I’ve seen change and wonder how many others today can remember the same changes.

Seems like yesterday soft drinks all came in glass bottles. We often put a package of salty peanuts in our sodas. And your local grocer delivered, even running tabs for neighborhood customers.

Remember when phone calls were a dime and phone booths were on every corner? We carried dimes in our pockets for phone calls. Most young folks wore penny loafer shoes. 

Our Papa insisted we check out the nearest phone booths. We obeyed putting dimes in our shoe’s ‘penny’ slots 

“Just in case you need to call me to come get you” Papa warned.

Who remembers shoe shine stands in hotel lobbies, airports, train and bus stations? Shoe shiners back then were kept busy, as no self respecting man wore scuffed up shoes in public.

Men often wore suspenders and most carried utility pocket knives. And most were good at whittling. 

Knives with bone, or pearl handles could set you back big bucks. And some still do. 

The impression of a popular back-pocket whisky flask could be seen in many a man’s pants. 

Affluent men smoked cigars or pipes in public.

Remember, before panty hose, lady’s nylon stockings were held up by a contraption called a garter belt?

Women carried gold or silver cases called compacts with small mirrors, loose powder and a felt puff. Blush was called rouge and came in small round compacts too. And tiny tubes of sample lipsticks could be found on cosmetic counters of department stores.

Women went out in public wearing head turbans or scarfs that tied under the chin, often to cover up hair curlers. 

Do you recall the “home” hair curling permanents by Toni? 

They featured twin girls. One twin would use the home product. The ads ask customers to guess “Which twin has the Toni?”

What about gas stations? 

Remember when customers didn’t pump gas? You purchased gas from a full service station. You never even got out of your car.

The attendants wore matching uniforms and they checked your water, oil, cleaned your windshield and pumped your gas. 

All for the price of the sale of your gas. 

You may even get a premium gift, of dishes or towels, with the purchase of a full tank of gas and a car wash.

There were also some Tigers in Circus Animal cages, at some gas stations, advising customers to put a Grrrr . . . Tiger in their tank. 

Saturday entertainment? Yep, families got out of their cars to watch the huge Tiger pace back and forth. We watched as we waited for our old station wagon to receive a hand car-wash and a tank of gas.

Who ever heard of grade schools being referred to as Grammar schools? What about going to the principals office for chewing gum in class. Lord, Lord . . . that was a school offense of the greatest magnitude. 

That’s just a few things that crossed my mind while waiting for my appointment.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll add some more to the list next week. 

I suppose most changes make for good conversation.

For now enjoy today’s changes , Y’all

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