LIFE BACK THEN
So, let me start by saying that, like every other grandparent, I find it rather obnoxious that the kids are always on some sort of social media; YouTube, Snap Chat, Instagram, and they watch the most ridiculous reality shows.
A couple of weeks ago my very mentally mature, 14-year-old granddaughter spent the night because her Mom was out of town. I watched her on her phone, pretty much the whole time, except for dinner. (In my daughter’s home there are no phones at the table.) I mentioned this to her and she said “Grammie, what did you do for fun when you were a kid?” Here was my opening!!!
Well, we attached roller skates to our shoes, with a special key, and skated the neighborhood, rode bikes out to the Geysers for a picnic, built forts, played hide and seek, climbed trees, went to the local pool, went ice skating in the winter and froze our butts off (but we loved it). We’d go house to house in the winter to see if they would hire us to shovel their sidewalks or ask for old newspapers that we could take somewhere, I can’t remember where, and got paid for them. These were a couple of ways we earned money.
We watched shows like Leave It to Beaver, Father Knows Best, the Mickey Mouse Club, I Love Lucy, American Bandstand and Lassie, just to name a few. When I spent the night with my grandmother she would watch Perry Como, The Ed Sullivan Show and Nat King Cole Show. I still love, love, love Nat King Cole. A night spent with one Aunt meant making oatmeal cookies and doing a huge crossword puzzle that took up a good share of her dining table. A night with another Aunt meant that I could experiment with makeup and wear her beautiful jewelry.
My teenage cousin would take care of my brother and me after school and she would take us to the “soda shop” on Broadway so she could see her boyfriend. They would give us dimes for the Juke Box and I would play Elvis, thinking he was singing “amoshacup”, really known as I’m All Shook up.
I could go on and on, but I must say that my Granddaughter listened. Later in the evening she came into my room and asked me if I had done half a dozen other things she had found on her iPad. She took the time to google things in the late 50’s and early 60’s and tried to convince me that she thought it was cool. I really think she has an old soul because I was listening to my play list and I have everything from the early 50’s up to the present, and all of sudden she said, “Isn’t that Frank Sinatra?”
I wondered how she knew about him and she said she had heard some Christmas music that he sang and she liked it. She never gives me a hard time if I listen to Motown. She likes many of the songs from the late 50’s and 60’s. Her favorite being “Put Your Head On My Shoulder”
(Paul Anka, 1963).
I think kids today are missing a whole lot, but I guess things change, not always for the better. I can’t even imagine some day when she is a grandmother and her granddaughter says to her “Grammie, what did you do for fun when you were a kid?”