Looking Back Again

Maybe it’s my recent milestone birthday, but I keep looking back. Please walk with me as I recall some things of years past. 

Do You Remember When?

  • Gas stations were Service Stations? The attendant checked your oil and cleaned your windshield as well as pumping your gas. I remember my Dad driving into the station and requesting “A dollar’s worth please!” That was approximately three gallons back then. 
  • There was one vehicle per family rather than per driver?
  • Funeral homes provided ambulance service?
  • Doctors made routine house calls?
  • Horses were used to farm?
  • Babies were born at home?
  • The deceased were “laid out” at home? That was before the parlor became a “living” room. 
  • Farm homes had smokehouses? They were not for smokers of cigarettes and cigars. They were for preserving (smoking) and then storing meat for the table.
  • You didn’t own a computer? 
  • You learned to used email?
  • Your phone wasn’t in your pocket?
  • You didn’t know who was calling until they spoke? 


A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Marcus Garvey


5 thoughts on “Looking Back Again

  1. I remember all of them. It took awhile to remember to get out and pump your own gas. You felt foolish, sitting there, then Realizing no one was coming.
    When I came to Louisville to start teaching in the summer of 1967, I went out to Southern High School to prepare my room. I stopped at the Gulf station at the corner of Preston and Blue Lick Road and filled up my tank (no, the attendant filled it up) for 25 cents per gallon. In 1976, I took my first cross country trip and we were shocked that gas in the National Parks was 75 cents a gallon.

    Or NO vehicle per family. We walked all over town– church, grocery, park, etc. My mother did sometimes get a cab on Friday afternoons to bring home the groceries.

    My sister was born at home. The doctor carried in a black bag and we were siting on the porch (my 4 year old brother and I was 2). My brother still tells that he asked the doctor what was in the black bag and he said a new baby.

    I had a couple of aunts who had babies die and I can still remember that tiny casket in the ” living room.”
    I had not thought about it being a “living” room now when we used to put caskets there.
    One of my grandmother’s parlor was shut off except at Christmas.

    When I was in the 4th grade (about 1955) I had an ear infection and the doctor came to our house to treat it. I don’t think I was ever in a doctor’s office (just dentist) when I was a child. We got our shots at the Health Dept.

    I can still see my Grandaddy Pottinger plowing the fields with a plow pulled by horses. Also my Granddaddy Reynolds made sorghum every year and the mules walked in a circle to turn the grinder for the sugar cane.

    My Grandaddy killed hogs every year and the hams hung in the smokehouse.

    Not only did we not know who was calling, if you had a party line, you could listen in on other’s conversations— I guess somewhat like speaker phones today.

    Rememebering all of these things reminds me of how many changes there were in my grandparents lifetime and have been in mine. I cannot even imagine what the next generation will see that we cannot imagine.

    Other memories— feather beds, rain on a tin roof, going to the well to get buckets of water, drinking water from a pump. Most of these were from my grandparents. We moved to town when I was about 5 or 6 and we had some of the modern conveniences.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Remember every single one of them. Mom never had a dryer and she hung the clothes on a line outside and had a clothes prop to hold the line up. Phone numbers had letters, like Cypress 4620. We had a “Front” room and a “Back” room. What a trip down Memory Ln!! Still not used to some of today’s newfangled contraptions, but learning….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the quote at the end. The Yoruba version is one I hold close to my heart
    “Odo ti o ba gbagbe orisun re yi o gbe” meaning a river that forgets its source will dry up.
    People only think about where they are relative to others and forget how far they’ve come from their roots.
    If you lose sight of the past, what are you building your future on?

    Liked by 1 person

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