Throwback Thursday — Slang

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren wants to know about the popular slang of our formative years.

Here are Lauren’s questions.

1. What were the words you would have used to describe something cool or popular?

Cool, groovy, far out, bad, outta site, a gas, boss, unreal, cherry

2. How about those things that were uncool?

Uncool, bummer, downer, a drag, heavy

3. What were the hairstyles of the day?

For guys, crewcuts, flattops, Princeton (hair on the top front of the head is long enough to style with a side part, while the crown of the head is cut short), and the DA (for “duck’s ass” as shown below).

For girls, all I can think of was the beehive and the pixie.

4. Did they have a name everyone used to reference them?

Names above.

5. What were the styles of the time?

I was never one who kept up with the styles of the day, but when I was going through my hippie days, I wore bellbottom jeans, flowered shirts, tie dyed tees, big belts, Chuck Taylor All-Stars (sneakers), wide ties, sandals, polyester leisure suits.

6. What word would you have used to describe something distasteful?

See response to #2.

7. What about peers you were not fond of or were not part of your tribe?

Geek, nerd, fink, panty waste, skuzzball, square, pig

8. Any phrases you remember that were used (or overused)?

Up your nose with a rubber hose, lay it on me, sock it to me, right on, keep on truckin’, gimme some, don’t Bogart that joint, peace out

Throwback Thursday — Loved And Lost

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie wants to know about our first loves and, particularly, about our first heartbreak.

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1. How old were you when you had your first heartbreak?

I was 18 (or maybe 19).

2. Who broke your heart – first names only?

Her name was Wendy. If she’s still alive, her name probably still is Wendy.

3. Do you remember how the breakup happened?

One night we were parked in my car making out and she, seemingly out of the blue, told me she was in love with someone else. I was floored.

4. Did you have a ring or token of your love? Did you return it?

No, there was no ring or any other “token” of our love.

5. Did you think this was true love?

I was a teenager, so how would I know what “true love” was? It was certainly true lust, though.

6. Did you play any sad songs to soothe the pain? If so, do you remember the name of the song?

After she dumped me, “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles became my anthem for how I was feeling.

7. If you were an adolescent, were your parents sympathetic or were they of the “it’s only puppy love” school of thought?

I don’t think my parents expressed an opinion on my lost love one way or the other. Maybe they thought it was just typical case of teenage angst.

8. How long did it take you to get over it all?

Believe it or not, it still haunts me a little.

9. Do you remember this person fondly or is it someone you prefer to forget?

I remember her fondly, even though she broke my heart. Besides, I always thought that she was a little out of my league, anyway.

10. After all was said and done, was it for the best or did you remain longing for a love lost?

I’d say that it was ultimately for the best. After all, a handful of years after Wendy dumped me, I met my soulmate, Mrs. Fandango.

Throwback Thursday — These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie said the she thought it would be fun to remember our adolescence and just think about a few of our favorite things.

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1) Who was your favorite relative? Not to play favorites, but who was the person you connected with more than others? Aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, or parent? Why were you closest to them?

That would have been my cousin Mike, the son of my mother’s brother. He was six months younger than me and we spent almost every weekend together. He would either stay over at my place or I would stay over at his. Not only was he my cousin, he was my best friend.

2) What was your favorite TV show? Share a clip if you can find one.

When I was young, my father and I bonded over westerns like Gunsmoke, Have Gun-Will Travel, Wagon Train, Bonanza, and Maverick. I also loved Rocky and Friends, but my father didn’t.

3) What was your favorite book or favorite family story?

I used to be into The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries.

4) What was your favorite, song, record, or album. Feel free to share a YouTube video of it.

When I was really young, my favorite song was Jimmy Boyd’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” When I was an adolescent, I was really into Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

5) Who was your favorite teacher? What grade were you in and what subject did they teach?

That was probably Miss North, my 10th grade biology teacher. She was hot!

6) What was your favorite subject (not teacher) in school?

I would say that my favorite courses were history courses.

7) Who was your favorite (aka best) friend? What things did you do together?

Aside from my cousin Mike, my two best friends were Mickey and Pat, two neighborhood kids. What did we do together? Everything. We were like the Three Musketeers: one for all and all for one.

8) What was your favorite way to pass the time?

When I wasn’t hanging out with Mickey and Pat or my cousin Mike, I used to play a game I invented that I called Baseball with Cards. I selected cards from two different decks and combined them to replicate statistical facsimiles of baseball games. Aces were home runs; Kings, triples; Queens, doubles; Jacks, singles (one-eyed jacks would advance base-runners two bases, two-eyed jacks, one base); deuces were walks; tens, strikeouts; nines, sacrifice flies; and the rest of the cards were outs. I’d sit and play baseball with cards for hours on end.

9) What was your favorite holiday? How did you celebrate?

It was probably the Fourth of July/Independence Day. We’d always have a big family gathering in the backyard with tons of food (grilled burgers and hot dogs) and all the extras, great desserts, and then we’d head to the go see the fireworks display in town.

10) What was your favorite toy or possession? Doll, camera, radio, bicycle?

I was a real bicycle enthusiast and my pride and joy was when I got my three-speed Raleigh English Racer, similar to the one pictured below.

Bonus: What was your favorite adventure? Family trip, amusement park, field trip, or vacation perhaps.

We lived in a suburb of Washington, DC, so heading into the city and visiting the sights, like the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial, was always fun. I especially liked going to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and to the U.S. Army Medical Museum. That was a freaky place.

Throwback Thursday — Transitioning

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Maggie noted that “part of growing up is finding you own way of self-expression.” To that end, she asks us to talk about “Transitions and Modifications.”

Here are Maggie’s questions.

1) Think about your first haircut. Were you the kid that cut your own hair? Did you go to a salon or did your parents cut your hair? Did your parents save a lock of your hair?

My mother probably cut my hair when I was still a baby. But after I grew up a bit, maybe old enough to start school, my parents took me to a barbershop for haircuts.

2) How about shaving? Fathers often teach their sons to shave. Most girls I know, decided for themselves when to shave their legs and their underarms. Some cultures do not shave at all.

My father taught me how to use an electric razor when my facial hair started to sprout at around fourteen. But at one point, probably when I was a freshman in college, I switched to shaving with a Gillette safety razor with double-edge “blue blades” after a girl told me my stubble, even after using my electric razor, irritated her skin.

After I switched to the Gillette razor, she said my face was as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Booyah!

3) Did you alter your clothes? Cut jeans into cut-offs? Cut the sleeves off t-shirts? Wear graphic tees? Tie-dyes? Sew patches on your jeans?

No, at least not as a young child.

4) Was there a time you remember challenging the authority in your household. Do you remember the first time you found your voice?

I probably went through the typical teenage rebellion phase, but I can’t recall a specific incident. Sorry.

5) What about piercings? Girls getting their ears pierced was a rite of passage for girls. Then boys started getting one ear pierced. As time passed, piercings became more mainstream and accepted.

To this day, and I’m in my 70s, I’ve never had either any piercings or any tattoos.

6) Did you walk on the wild side? Smoking? Drinking? Did your parents know?

I took up smoking cigarettes in high school and, yes, I did keep my cigarettes hidden when I still lived with my parents. I would also drink beer when I crossed over into the District of Columbia from my neighborhood in the Maryland suburbs because the drinking age in DC was 18, versus 21 in Maryland.

7) What about tattoos? Did you get a tattoo while still living at home? Did your parents approve?

As I said in my response to number 5, to this day, I’ve never had a tattoo. Why would I want to deface this bodacious body?

8) What about language? Was swearing allowed in your family? Did you use the same language around your friends as you did at home with your family?

Certain “swear” words, like damn and shit, were “tolerated” in our household. But most of George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say on TV were forbidden in our house, as well. However, with my friends, nothing was off the table.

9) Think back to high school. Girls, did you iron your hair? Did you color your hair? (using Sun-in counts!) Guys, did you grow a beard or moustache? Did you grow your hair long? Feel free to share a photo of yourself back in the day.

I grew my hair long in college. I grew a beard and mustache after I was discharged from the Army. I still have a beard and mustache, but my long, flowing hair abandoned me long ago.

10) Many people think our authentic self is the person we were as young children. Are you still inherently the same person you were as a child or have you changed your personality and demeanor along the way?

I would say I am not anything like I was as a young child. I was naïve and trusting without an ounce of guile. Not I’m a jaded, cynical, skeptic.

Throwback Thursday — Learning Skills

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren noted that, as kids, we are exposed to a huge variety of learning experiences. We can never succeed unless we are willing to make a commitment to the process. Hence, she asks the question about our experience when it comes to “learning new skills”

Here are Lauren’s questions.

1) When did you learn to ride a bike? Were you self-taught or did someone teach you? Any major injuries on the way? Did you master the skill? Do you still ride? If applicable, did you teach your kids?

I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I think I was pretty much self-taught. My first two-wheeler was a Schwinn. But my pride and joy was when I got my three-speed Raleigh English Racer, similar to the one pictured below.

I will say that I mastered bicycling, although not competitively…just for fun and pre-driving transportation. I didn’t get what might be called “major” injuries. Just minor scrapes and bruises. I do still bike. Last December my wife and I sold our Trek bikes for two electric bikes, so we’re still going strong, even at our advanced age.

Both of our kids are avid cyclists, so I’m going to take credit for teaching them, even though I probably didn’t.

2) Did you learn to play a musical instrument? At what age? Who taught you? How often did you practice? Were you in band at school? How good were you? Do you still play? If applicable, did you encourage your kids to play?

One of my biggest regrets is that I never learned to play a musical instrument. I was in a band in high school, but I was a singer. And in college I was in a barbershop quartet. Our daughter doesn’t play any instruments but our son taught himself to play harmonica and ukulele. He also dabbles in piano playing.

3) Did you sing in a choir in church or at school? At what age? How often did you practice? Did you enjoy it? How good were you? Do you still sing with others?

I sang in a school choir in junior high school, a band in high school, and a barbershop quartet in college. For the junior high chorus, we practiced 2-3 times a week. Our high school band’s practice was sporadic, as was practice for my college barbershop quartet. How good was I? Well, let’s put it this way: I no longer sing with others or in public.

4) Did you have formal instructions on speaking a second language? Were you fortunate enough to be raised in a house with two or more languages? Did you learn a second language in school? Are you fluent in more than one language?

I took French in junior high school. At home we only spoke English. Je parle un peu le Français, mais je ne parle pas couramment.

5) Did you to play on a sports team or learn martial arts? At what age did you start? Did a parent become a coach? Did you practice at home? Do you still play sports? If applicable, did you encourage your children to play on a team?

I played Little League baseball and Midget League football in elementary school. I was also on a bowling team and a mixed softball team with work colleagues after college. When my kids were younger they were on local and school soccer teams. These days I watch, but do not play, sports.

6) Did you ever take dance, tap, ballet, baton, cheerleading, etc. lessons? When did you start? How long did you take lessons? Did you practice on your own in addition to the lessons? How skilled did you become? Did you encourage your children to do the same?

My parents made me take ballroom dancing (waltz, foxtrot, jitterbug, cha cha) and I hated it. I probably went for two years. I never practiced and I was never a very skilled dancer. My wife made me take dance lessons later in life and I hated it then, too. I did not encourage our kids to take dance lessons.

7) Did you learn to roller skate or ice skate? Did someone teach you or did you take lessons? At what age did you learn? Did you become skilled quickly? Can you still skate? Did you teach your children.

I did learn to roller skate in my pre-teen years. No lessons, purely self-taught and I was a decent roller skater. My friends and I would often go to an indoor roller skating rink on weekends. I tried ice skating, but was never very good at it. Nor was I good at rollerblading (in-line skates), although that’s what my kids preferred. I no longer roller skate, as I would prefer to not break any bones when I would inevitably fall on my keister.