The “Can Dos” were sitting around after music club with Mr. Dooley, otherwise known as Grandpa Dooley. Hector asked Mr. Dooley, “What was it like when you were growing up?”
Mr. Dooley smiled and said,”Very different than it is now. Why don’t you ask me questions about the way it was and I’ll do my best to answer.”
“O.K”, said Hector, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”
“We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up, said Mr. Dooley. All the food was slow.”
All the “Can Dos” laughed. “Seriously,” said Hector, Where did you eat?’
It was a place called “home,” Mr. Dooley answered. Mom cooked every day. When Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table. If I didn’t like what mom put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’”
Then Annie asked, “Did you have pizza?” Mr. Dooley smiled and said, “Pizza didn’t come to our neighborhood until I was a teenager. But, there was the soda shop where we all went to have an ice cream sundae or a cone or an ice cream soda. We could even get a malted to have with a hamburger at the soda shop.”
The kids looked puzzled and wanted to know why he didn’t have ice cream at home. “Simple,” he answered, “no refrigerators with freezers to keep the ice cream cold” The “Can Dos” were amazed…no freezers…no frozen treats…not even breakfast waffles.
“Tell us more,” said Yundi.”
“Okay,” said Mr. Dooley.
- I had a bicycle that was probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow)
- We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 19. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. There was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, which featured local people.
- I never had a telephone in my room.
- The only phone in the house was in the living room
- Milk was delivered to our homes.
- All newspapers were delivered by boys. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I got up at 6AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers.
- I walked or rode my bike to school.
- I had chores to do when I got home from school; then I could go out and play ball with my friends.
The “Can Dos” were all looking at him in disbelief and Arthur J said, “What did you do for fun without computer games, TV, cell phones and fast food?”
Mr. Dooley laughed saying, “Why I played outdoors with my friends; listened to the radio with my family at night; played board games with my brothers, and read books. And that’s the way it was!”