Childhood Memories Friday: The ’60s

Having been born in 1964, most of my experience of the ’60s was before I had a lot of conscious memory. However, I enjoyed this video of the period:

Take Me Back To The Sixties

Some thoughts:

  • Yes, I do remember telephone party lines. Not only were there no cell phones, there were no push-button phones – they were all dialed on a rotary dial. Several people shared a phone line so sometimes you would pick up the phone and some other people would be talking! I guess one wouldn’t want to be discussing anything too private, huh?
  • The movie mentions hitch hikers being safe to pick up back then, but I always remember having a feeling that it was definitely not safe to pick them up. There was some story told, I think by my mom, of a relative who once picked one up and later saw he had a gun or knife …
  • We all watched the same TV shows – yeah, pretty true because we just had the few network stations – there was no cable TV with dozens or even hundreds of channels. Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy – ah, those are good memories. And chances were, any show you had watched last night had also been watched by friends. American Bandstand was mentioned as a big phenomenon – I recall watching it once or twice, but not often.
  • And speaking of TV, the rotating TV antenna – ah, there’s a memory. Sometimes it was fun to turn the dial and then run outside to see the antenna actually turning. Good times!
  • And while watching TV, what fun it would be to eat a pot pie or a TV dinner in an aluminum tray – it seemed like such a treat! Of course, these were eaten on a TV tray. I remember we had a set of 4 and each depicted a different season.
  • School was mentioned, and kids “flunking” a grade. Does this ever happen anymore? I don’t recall hearing about any kids in my children’s classes repeating a grade. Also mentioned were diagramming sentences, which I’m pretty sure no one does anymore. In fact, I taught it once during my teaching career (1989-1997), and none of the kids were familiar with it even then. It wasn’t in the book – I just did it on my own.
  • Along with the school topic, it was mentioned that kids then actually learned US history. One thing I’ve learned with my kidsĀ  is that it seems like they learn very little US history. Social studies classes seem much more focused on projects, citizenship, community helpers, etc – kind of sad, really, because I think history in general and US history particularly is so interesting …
  • Polaroid cameras were invented, and very popular because they developed photos in just 60 seconds! I thought these were very cool, but the quality of the photos is awful. 8-track tapes were mentioned as well, and I remember those too – we never had a lot, but did have a few …
  • Most homes had no AC – yeah, this is true. And southern Indiana could get pretty darn hot in the summer. I remember nights of the whole family sleeping downstairs in the living room on ground floor with the front door open (we did have a screen door). We had a ceiling fan upstairs, but all it seemed to do was circulate the hot, humid air.
  • No plastic bags then – hmm, interesting. I guess there weren’t. It mentions that taking out the trash was a real mess then. How was it done? Being just 5 or so, I don’t remember.
  • Woodstock is mentioned, along with rock and roll – honestly, I have no memories of this whatsoever. The Age of Aquarius came onto my radar in high school, when our Swing Choir performed it.
  • Finally, the point is made that Americans weren’t hyphenated back then – we were all just Americans. Those who needed government assistance were generally embarrassed about this and would strive to be self-supporting as soon as they could. Those who came from other countries were eager to assimilate and learn English as quickly as possible. So yes, I suppose it was a simpler time.
the '60s sixties, car and farmhouse

Me and my grandparents, 1966

How about you? If you have ’60s memories, leave some in the comments …

3 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: The ’60s

  1. I have memories of the 60s–I graduated from high school, then from nursing school, and finally from college in the 60s. As you can see, I was busy!

  2. You took the kitchen trash can out to the big aluminum trash can and dumped the mess. Then you soaped the kitchen can and rinsed it out!!

    My kids are stunningly ignorant of history. Even counting in the two homeschool years. They are just gobbsmacked by history. It makes me very fearful of the future.

  3. Yes we had to diagram sentences, in 3rd grade especially. It was so annoying and we all thought it was pointless..

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