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Some long for the good old days. Do you remember elevator operators? How about Toll Booth Attendants on the Garden State Parkway collecting dimes every few miles. How about the smiling door-to-door salesmen? Perhaps you remember the Gas Station Attendant who checked your oil and cleaned your windshield? “Aah, those were the days. Well, maybe not. I don’t miss rotary phones, or waiting for the TV repair man, only to discover the black and white Television set decided to start working when the repair truck pulled up in front of the house. How about trying to figure out which bulb was bad on a tangled set of Christmas lights? Yes, women wore hats and gloves to go to the movies and automobiles were still novel enough to call for a Sunday Drive (after church of course). Men wore hats and perhaps a flower in their label. Yes, a malt was 25 cents and in 1950 a subway token was 10 Cents (jumped to .15 in 1953). We sat on the front stoop in August because there was no air conditioning, and in November we could store milk and butter outside on the fire escape (just outside the kitchen window). Some say those were happier days. No, not if you were wounded at Normandy and still had headaches and nightmares, or were on a troop ship headed for Korea, or if you looked in the mirror and saw a black face, knowing that black people had their own “special” water fountain at city hall, and you had to tip your hat and say, “yes’m” and  “yes, sir” to a ruling class (if you knew what was good for you); and always had to remember your “place.” If you worked in a textile mill, your sinuses were filled with lint by the end of the day; if you were a coal miner, your lungs were black with dust, and if you worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, or for the railroad, your lungs were probably shot from exposure to asbestos. Doctors smoked like chimneys and we made ash trays for our parents out of oversized clam shells in “art” class in PS 100. And if you were seven years old and found that Father’s day card, with loving words from a son and a twenty dollar bill in it in front of the 60th Precinct, and felt bad for some old man (who you were sure was looking up and down the street for it, and would come back any minute), and you believed the cop who told you that you could “turn it in” and in 90 days claim it if the poor old man didn’t, only to find that the card was still there in the lost and found locker on the 90th day, only there was no twenty dollar bill or record of a twenty dollar bill. And the expression on the detective’s face, said “kid, you’re really not that smart, are you?” That’s when I learned an important lesson about sin and that Police were all too human.   The thing about the good old days was we were all looking forward, not back. I recommend living in and getting the most out of today. And as for crooks and crooked cops? “I’ve learned giving a ten dollar bill to the guy on the corner who asks for a dollar (if you can) makes even a bad day good, for both of you. These are the best days. Oh, yes we look back and remember all the things God taught us, (some the hard way), but “This is the day the Lord, hath made, let us rejoice an be glad in it.”   -id

 

 



 

 

 
 
 


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