04-02-2016 01:25 PM
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  1. MSFTisMIA's Avatar
    We've got such a large and diverse community here, I'm sure a lot of people have done childhood memories. We'd love to hear them! So post a favorite childhood memory...the story can be as long or as short as you'd like. As always, only post what you feel comfortable sharing, and normal forum rules apply.

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    03-16-2016 08:36 AM
  2. MSFTisMIA's Avatar
    There are some homemade treats I enjoyed as a child. One is what some people may call a "peanut brittle". Pretty much you get brown sugar, peanuts and a few other things (grated ginger, for example)...throw it all in a pot so the sugar melts and gets everything sticky. You pour out the mixture on thin bits of parchment or cookie paper in evenly spaced blobs and let them cool. They ended up in circular style shapes, like cookies sort of.

    As a kid on a Friday night we would sit on the porch, especially on the summers. Every Friday night at a certain time, you'd hear the whistle coming up the street and well knew what it was. There was a young guy in the neighborhood who would push a homemade cart with a small, slow burning wood fire box at the end. What he would do is go up and down every street... selling peanut based treats. You could get roasted peanuts still in the shells that he was roasting in the firebox. Those were warm, unsalted and smoky in flavor. The problem is, you'd have to shell them yourself. And hanging from the side of the cart was this hung ring of the individually wrapped peanut brittle in clear plastic bags.

    So you'd stop the cart as he is going by...he'd never pull up to you front of your gate as a safety issue for him. If cars were passing he'd pull over into the other shoulder. Remember, this is traveling Street vendor with money on him - safety first. If you don't want any, you let him go by. He wasn't the only person who did this. Eventually, he added the coconut version to these where you'd grate the coconut into bite sized chunks and swap the peanuts out instead.

    Anyone who really knows anything about shrimp knows you can both freshwater and saltwater shrimp. Freshwater shrimp are slightly different. We used to eat these too from small clear plastic bags. These were cured, then heavily coated with peppers and spices. You eat these whole - head and all. Best ones to eat where the pregnant female shrimp too. Yup, a traveling street vendor was how I would eat these, outside of road trips to near where the shrimp farms are.

    Also, we had an ice cream man do this too, riding through with two large buckets of ice cream (surrounded by dry ice to keep the cream cold especially on blistering tropcial Sunday afternoons) on a bicycle. Same rules applied. We were working folk and never kept ice cream in the house growing up. I'd have ice cream either like this or when I went to mall. Mostly as a kid, this was how I ate ice cream...one a cone from a traveling weekend street vendor.

    We got to knew our street vendors like this so even though there were quite a few traveling ones, we always bought stuff from the same guys. The young guy and his brother sold the coconut and roasted peanuts - Friday evenings. A middle aged man sold the ice cream - Saturday evenings, but mostly Sunday afternoons. And an wiry old man with a white beard on a Honda 50 bike sold the shrimp - Sunday afternoons.

    So you saved your lunch money during the week and got the OK from parents to stop the street vendor when he we riding by at his scheduled time and got your favorite treat.

    Good times...

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    03-16-2016 08:42 AM
  3. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Besides the ice cream trucks, we used to have convenience stores called Lawson's when I was a kid. Lawson's was the only place to buy milk on Sunday back in the 70s, since the grocery stores were closed on Sunday.

    Lawson's sold individual Popsicles, and they had flavors that didn't come in the boxes of multiple Popsicles. Lawson's was acquired by Dairy Mart in the 80s. Dairy Mart became Circle K. The Popsicles disappeared when the Lawson's name disappeared. 😞
    03-16-2016 02:04 PM
  4. MSFTisMIA's Avatar
    So I'll throw out a second memory, as this story I often tell alot.

    My aunt who I lived with used to come pick me up from school. Because she didn't drive, we always took the bus. So I was 7 at the time and pretty used to the routine, and learned the route visually pretty well. There was a bus stop we would wait at and there was a street vendor who sold food and small toys. Of course she got to knew my aunt and kept an eye out for me and the other few kids who used to take the bus to get home.

    One day my friend decided, "hey! Let's take the bus ourselves to get home!" Now, I was a little skeptical, so I slept on the idea. So the one time my aunt ran super late, I decided I would take the bus myself. So I waited and waited and and waited for her at the bus stop. When I felt she wasn't coming, I took the next bus home. I told the street vendor that if she saw my aunt, to tell her I took the bus and went home. So i flagged down the next bus, paid my fare to this quizzical look on the conductor's face, got off on my stop and walked the 15 minute walk home alone. Not scared one bit. The part that worried me the most was making sure I got off at my stop - luckily, it was a major transit point so I didn't have to ring the buzzer myself that day.

    I sat on the porch since the house was locked up and an hour later, my aunt showed up. Turns out, when I got the bus to get home, she was exiting the bus across the street to come get me and missed my by a matter of minutes. So after a long yelling lecture about safety...

    That was it. She never came and picked me up from school again starting the next DAY. She set a curfew I needed to be home by and that's how I got started with public transit...

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    Last edited by MSFTisMIA; 03-17-2016 at 08:36 PM.
    03-16-2016 02:22 PM
  5. Guytronic's Avatar
    What I remember is our neighborhood and how easy life was way back then.
    Even though we lived in a medium sized town the street we lived on was like a small village.
    There were no mysteries and even if someone wasn't the most popular person everyone still found a reason to like them.

    I can still see all the houses and name everyone that lived in each house.
    So glad to say I lived and grew up there.
    ...more to come :)
    03-19-2016 10:01 PM
  6. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I was in the circus!

    No, I didn't run off and join the circus when I was a kid. The newspaper The Cleveland Press which has since gone defunct had a contest, and my parents entered me.

    I won, and I got to ride on an elephant in the circus parade and hang out with the clowns. It was so fun, and I wasn't scared of the elephant even though it was huge, and I was only 7 years old. That was so much fun.
    03-19-2016 10:21 PM
  7. Guytronic's Avatar
    We had a neighbor that was a real blacksmith.
    His day job was as a machinist at a military base in town.

    We'd always go over and watch him shoe the horses in his big 'ole barn garage behind the house.
    03-19-2016 10:27 PM
  8. halflifecrysis's Avatar
    Discovering my best friend in the 1st grade lived just a street over (which seemed like another world away). I also remember the paper girl occasionally sticking around and playing star wars with me. Lastly getting Optimus Prime for Christmas (1983? Maybe)... A great memory.
    03-19-2016 10:28 PM
  9. Guytronic's Avatar
    We had the same mailman for over 20 years.
    I came home from California on leave and Mr. Hall the mailman was still walking the route.
    03-19-2016 10:32 PM
  10. Guytronic's Avatar
    I remember watching the Beatles live on Ed Sullivan at 12 years old.

    My sister and her friends were going nutz and screaming the whole time they were playing on TV.
    I was at a loss...
    03-22-2016 03:58 AM
  11. Mad Cabbie's Avatar
    Getting my Raleigh Chopper for Xmas in the 70's! Cool bike but dangerous as he'll to ride. Gear change on the frame. Many grazed knees! And then....adding a playing card to the rear of the frame, just touching the spokes, so it sounded like a motorbike!!

    All this tech these days, kids won't experience what us 'senior' guy and girls did! Meeting people face to face and interacting with them, seems to be a dying art. Far easier and less effort to Facebook them. Sad times indeed.
    Guytronic likes this.
    03-22-2016 04:20 AM
  12. Guytronic's Avatar
    Going from 8tracks to cassettes!
    Those 8tracks were always flying around inside the car.
    There was no way to contain them other than a grocery bag.
    MSFTisMIA likes this.
    03-22-2016 04:24 AM
  13. MSFTisMIA's Avatar
    Going from 8tracks to cassettes!
    Those 8tracks were always flying around inside the car.
    There was no way to contain them other than a grocery bag.
    My uncle is a huge music fan. I remember as a kid on the radio they would play certain genres only on certain days on one of my favorite radio stations. He was a huge folk music lover...we would rock to Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, etc by cranking up his old school stereo system. This was the good stuff he had...(pro level equipment that you'd rent with a DJ at a party) with the old school great sounding Sony speakers and the amp and the tuner and the radio as their own separate components. He could never fully crank it up...the set was so loud that if he did you could hear it at the top of our street (and we lived in the middle of a long and windy street).

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    Guytronic and Laura Knotek like this.
    03-23-2016 09:01 PM
  14. Guytronic's Avatar
    This may sound crazy and dangerous.
    As a kid I grew up in an age where owning guns was pass.

    Everyone I knew had guns we had guns hanging on a nails in the old garage.
    We used to shoot at targets in the vacant lot my dad owned next to our house.

    No one was ever hurt and we were always taught to hit what your aiming at.
    Meaning never use a gun for bad intent.
    Of course this is from 50 years ago...
    Times have certainly changed.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-23-2016 09:24 PM
  15. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    My uncle is a huge music fan. I remember as a kid on the radio they would play certain genres only on certain days on one of my favorite radio stations. He was a huge folk music lover...we would rock to Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, etc by cranking up his old school stereo system. This was the good stuff he had...(pro level equipment that you'd rent with a DJ at a party) with the old school great sounding Sony speakers and the amp and the tuner and the radio as their own separate components. He could never fully crank it up...the set was so loud that if he did you could hear it at the top of our street (and we lived in the middle of a long and windy street).

    Approved by Z3 Tablet Compact!
    That reminds me of the block parties they had on my street when I was a kid. Everyone would come out and get together with all the neighbors and there was a neighbor who had a good stereo system that he would play (same guy who made his house all spooky with strobe lights and eerie sounds on Halloween). There weren't any cops needed or any security. Everybody just had a good time.
    Guytronic and MSFTisMIA like this.
    03-24-2016 12:19 AM
  16. Guytronic's Avatar
    Drive In theaters on a warm night...
    All kinds of fun.

    The very first time I watched Star Wars was at a Drive In.
    (I wasn't a child then though)
    sahib lopez and Laura Knotek like this.
    03-24-2016 12:32 AM
  17. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Drive In theaters on a warm night...
    All kinds of fun.

    The very first time I watched Star Wars was at a Drive In.
    (I wasn't a child then though)
    I loved drive in theaters! They always had a double feature.

    I'm glad to see drive in restaurants are making a comeback. We've always had Swensons here, but now we also have Sonic.
    MSFTisMIA and Guytronic like this.
    03-24-2016 12:38 AM
  18. MSFTisMIA's Avatar
    I loved drive in theaters! They always had a double feature.

    I'm glad to see drive in restaurants are making a comeback. We've always had Swensons here, but now we also have Sonic.
    I went to a drive in AMC in West Orange NJ, a few years back. Very swanky...problem was that there was no movie my now ex and I wanted to watch, so we left. We made plans to go back but never did...

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    Guytronic and Laura Knotek like this.
    03-24-2016 08:38 PM
  19. MSFTisMIA's Avatar
    So, as a kid growing up, this was the time of year...you flew homemade kites. Now, there were store bought ones, but them things were trash. You know you were a good life flyer if you could fly a box kite.

    I flew a few kites as a kid...it was a great feeling. Then when you saw the pros with the large kites that they'd fly 50-100 feet up in the air, you'd be in awe. Sometimes they'd tie the long ends of those big kites to poles and leave them up in the currents for hours at a time. What was nice was where I grew up was on a plateau between two large mountain ranges. That meant that this time of year got great wind currents which were perfect for kite flying...

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    Laura Knotek and Guytronic like this.
    03-24-2016 08:42 PM
  20. Guytronic's Avatar
    I flew a few kites as a kid...it was a great feeling.
    That reminded me of these :)

    balsa.jpg

    Used to come in a plastic bag from the drugstore for 5 cents.
    03-24-2016 09:18 PM
  21. MSFTisMIA's Avatar
    That reminded me of these :)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Used to come in a plastic bag from the drugstore for 5 cents.
    My favorites were the WW2 models, especially the ones with the plastic propellers attached. The ones I was used to werre made out of styrofoam, not wood...but man, they flew pretty well...

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    03-24-2016 10:26 PM
  22. Guytronic's Avatar
    My favorites were the WW2 models,
    I tried and failed to find a picture of the ones we used to actually get.

    I noticed they sell for about $2.99 now at the hobby place I frequent.

    Even the Estes Rocket kits have skyrocketed in price (pun intended)
    The engine cartridges for those things are now over the counter because they're explosives.
    Heck I used to buy that stuff right off the hanger at Walgreens :(
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-25-2016 12:02 AM
  23. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    These were a favorite cheap toy.
    419iwm4afdl.jpg
    Of course they're $7 from Amazon now.
    Guytronic and MSFTisMIA like this.
    03-25-2016 01:13 AM
  24. Guytronic's Avatar
    Awww jacks!
    Arthritis prevents me from enjoying them now
    03-25-2016 01:33 AM
  25. Guytronic's Avatar
    Since toys came up...
    erectorset.jpg

    I adored my Erector set.
    Kept me busy for hours.

    I honestly believe having a few toy sets like these drove my fascination with building, fabricating and DIY.
    Laura Knotek and MSFTisMIA like this.
    03-25-2016 01:39 AM
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