I don't write or draw, Just sitting here, thinking bout the good old days and typing my thoughts down. Don't know why I get so sentimental, maybe I'm just getting old. Anyway, does this sort of stuff stir up memories, or is just me.
When I was a kid.
I was born in the mid 50's and grew up in the 60's. We played all the bad guy/good guy scenarios, Cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and even Marines and ****. Pearl Harbor was something our parents talked about and we knew that we had been attacked by the ruthluss Japanese. Times were changing, soon the talk shifted from the Japanese to the Russians. Now we spent time weekly practicing hiding under our desks at school, sliding down the fire escape to freedom, thinking we would soon be attacked by Russia, as we and learned about the threats of Russia at an early age. We didn't realize that hiding under the desks or evacuating the school was something designed to make us feel safe, not be safe. We were taught to be proud of our country and our way of life. We heard about fighting to keep our country free. We learned that we were the leader of the industrialized world. We followed and depended on no one. We learned about textile manufacturing, steel mills, electronics, and even learned that Detroit was the leader when it came to building the automobiles that made our country number 1.
I also have a lot of my memories centered around the automotive industry, cars and trucks. My dad drove a truck over the road and when he would get in town from a couple weeks of being gone we would go for a drive in the family car. My earliest memories are of my family piling into my dad's Pontiac Catalina and going for a car ride. My dad bought a new Pontiac every year from a 1962 Catalina and his last new Pontiac was a 1968 Grand Prix. He then proceded to buy pickup trucks to haul trucking supplies and the 68 Pontiac was the last new car he bought. I was given the 68 when I graduated in 73 and since my dad new nothing about preventative maintenance, the car was all but worn out and soon it was sold. My favorite one of his new Pontiac purchases was the 1967 GTO that I years later had to have one of for myself. We didn't have Nintendo's, Ipods, computers, cell phones or a home phone for that matter. We had little transistor radios that received AM radio only and Our tv picked up 3 channels, which were hard to see through the interference. What we did have was a car. Our lives revolved around our car. On a summer evening when it was too hot to sit at home, if my dad was home, everyone got in the family car and we rode around town. The car gave us and the average family a way to get away from the house and to get out to see what everybody else was doing. It didn't really matter where we were going, as long as we were going. My dad loved to drive, we would drive a hundred miles to look at christmas lights, or spend a Saturday or Sunday cruising around Nebraska or Kansas country side just for entertainment. Nobody talked about miles per gallon, gas was 19 cents a gallon at the gas station half a block away, I could fill my minibike gas tank for a nickle. While most families went on a short vacation, we would spend 2 weeks putting 5-6 thousand miles on our car and I had seen most of the country by the time I was 12 years old.
For birthdays and Christmas we looked forward to getting replicas of our favorite cars, whether it was a model which needed put together or a little small car we could play in the yard with. This was before Hot Wheels. Hours, days and even weeks were spent just pretending we were driving our toy cars instead of pushing them around. I remember when the toys we anticipated receiving started to be Made In Japan. It didn't take long to realize if it said Made In Japan, it meant it would not last very long, especially if you took it outside and played with it in the yard. They just fell apart or pieces would just break off, they were throw away toys. I wasn't older than 10 when I realized Made In Japan meant Junk, and before even playing with a brand new car that said made in Japan and definately before getting a Japanese made toy dirty, I would try to trade it to a friend or neighbor for something else. Before long everything was made in Japan and before long the quality began to get better. I even managed to get an electric road racing set for christmas about 4 years in a row, although made in Japan, none of them would work properly, if even at all.
It was getting hard to find toys made in the USA and something not made in Japan.
In the real early 70's I was working in a truck stop in my home town and something happened. We had trouble getting gas and oil to sell. We were selling anybody that wanted gas a limit of 3 gallons, that would get you to the next town or around town for a few days. I remember the military vehicles coming in, driving in convoys, and we filled them up full, no questions asked.
The 70's seen the flood of electronics come into our country, mostly from Japan, stereos, tv's, watches, and about anything you might want. But something else was changing, The folks on tv were driving smaller cars, more local people were buying small cars, even my best friend had a VW bug. Suddenly the wave that brought us electronics from Japan was bringing us Cars. They didn't have that big comfortable ride, they didn't make you feel safe, and they sure didn't look as good as the cars we were used to either, but having just come through the oil embargo of the early 70's and gas prices beginning to rise, the little cars did get more miles to the gallon. It seemed that safety, ride and comfort were no longer as important, as how many miles per gallon the cars got. Now everyone talked about better mileage, smaller cars and lots of people were buying little Japanese motorcycles because they were getting extremely good gas mileage.