back in the day

In the queue at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then…

I sat one day amidst my 3785466543 pairs of shoes lamenting how “poor” I was when I realized that back then most people had ONE pair of shoes and they’d better last.



  1. Freddie Sykes
    Posted December 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |

    I wish shoes didn’t last back in the day because I usually wore hand me down pairs.

    We have to recycle glass because we are running out of silicon, one of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s mantle. We have to recycle paper because it is not as if it grows on trees,

  2. Alan outback bacon czar
    Posted December 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm |

    I bember all of that, but I’m really an old fart.

  3. Hopefulone
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 6:04 am |

    I remember, when I was a kid, walking along roads near home seeking to find discarded bottles to get the deposit. It was treasure–exchanged for cash …for candy. Eliminating those programs was the big loss for me before I was old enough to mow lawns. I imagine there’d be some industrious clean-up efforts today with a 25-cent deposit involved.

  4. DougM (jackassophobe)
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 6:58 am |

    You had a whole pair of shoes?
    Y’mean … all to yourself ?

    Yeah, I remember financing lunch by picking up bottles along the route while working on my hiking merit badge.
    I also remember sorting hundreds’a ‘em bottles out back when I worked at a mom’n pop grocery store.

  5. LostLiberty
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 7:11 am |

    We lived next to the Pima Indian reservation in Mesa, my Dad built a side cart onto my old Schwinn so I could pick up aluminum and steel beer cans for 15 cents a pound.

  6. mech
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 7:33 am |

    This weekend I found some (quite good) eggnog in an old style glass bottle. It actually has a deposit if i take it back to the store.

  7. geezerette
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 7:53 am |

    Ladies were judged by how white their whites were and how you hung your clothes and what kind of clothes line you had– one hung from tree to tree sagging in the middle so the clothes almost touched the ground would not be good– or if you left your clothes out for many days — or if you used the chicken coop fence to hang them on—
    If we were lucky enough to have a job we saved our money all summer for school clothes and shoes— no job you went nekid I guess—

  8. Posted December 26, 2011 at 8:59 am |

    Remember that line about ‘every generation thinks it invented sex’? Now we’ve got “These snotty little bastards think they’re the first ones who ‘care’ about anything.”

  9. Posted December 26, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    Those diapers on the line say it all….. Rinsing the darn things out in the toilet Before you washed them, flushing the toilet and holding on for dear life because a plumber would charge you $25 to retrieve it.

    Second child we got Diaper service. A Godsend for queasy stomach Daddy…..

  10. Merovign
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

    Boy, remember back when clerks got fired for insulting customers?

    Good times, good times.

  11. Bruce
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm |

    I remember my Dad’s jeans frozen on the line. My Mom brought them in and stood them in the corner until they thawed.

  12. Buzz
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm |

    No doubt, Firehand, ‘cept I haven’t seen any evidence today’s “caring youth” care about a damned thing but themselves and acting like they care. (maybe they really believe it in their minds, but physical evidence is contrary)

  13. Posted December 27, 2011 at 9:13 am |

    Hey, but it’s the new standard: ‘Caring’ about something is the same as actually Doing something!

    And leaves more time for video games

  14. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm |

    HA! The, uuhh, *distinguished age* Porch peeps here had the same MOs as kids. Me an my cousin walked the highways near the farm with gunny sacks, picking up pop bottles. Primary source of income for fishing tackle at the hardware store in the nearest town. If our venture capital business bagged a handsome profit, we`d splurge on: some bubblegum, jawbreakers or a “huge” Baby Ruth candy bar(…bout 7 inches long back then…)

  15. Freddie Sykes
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm |

    Hey, LostLiberty. About 1970 I drove onto the Navaho Res from Arizona. For mile after mile, the shoulders were covered with beer cans.

    No wonder old Iron Eyes Cody was weeping,

  16. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted December 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm |

    When I was a kid, we didn’t lack for necessities, but extras were rare. Did the soda bottle salvage, cut lawns, caddied at the golf course, delivered newspapers, patched and repaired clothes, toys, most everything. Was really well off compared to Headmissie though. I had a pair of Sunday shoes, a pair of school shoes and a pair of play shoes, and Lord help me if I failed to change to the right pair for the designated activity. Same layout for pants, but I did have a few extra shirts. My bike was a used one-speed, with balloon tires, no chain guard and brush painted by my Dad.
    Like I said, we didn’t lack necessities, but money was tight and every pay day Dad divided up his cash into a box full of budget envelopes marked grocery, mortgage, life insurance, etc. I don’t think we had checks until about the time I left for college, and we had an icebox and a wringer washer until I was about ten years old.