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Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Time Gone By

(If you must have politics, please keep scrolling)

Believe it or not, life here in Northern Virginia in the 1950s was much like what is depicted in the video below — without the Western flavor, of course (hat tip to Paladin of Jumpmaster 263):

More photos HERE.


  1. Interesting. I edited my grandpa's extensive collection of 8 mm home movies, and it was almost hypnotic going through them, seeing live action windows into the past, a time I had only heard of in stories.

    I like the background music they chose for this. Unobtrusive and it accompanied the subject matter well.

  2. I grew up in an industrial city, but I remember when milk was deliverd to our house by horse draw enclosed wagons. When the milkman was carrying the milkt to a house, we kids would climb into the wagon and steal ice. Yes, I also remember the aroma of the horse droppings in the streets.

  3. I think we all have a time in the past, each generation, that we think was better, simpler, but not sure I would want to go back. Well, maybe, if I could be 20 years old again, ha

    Right Truth

  4. A "Four hole" Buick and ladies dressed up to shop. Doesn't get much better.

    I grew up in St. Paul, MN which was much more urban, but all the little towns around us were just like this.

  5. The first thing I thought was how ghostly those images are!

    I wonder about the people in them. Are some still alive? What are their stories?

  6. Conservatives On Fire,
    We still have a dairy that delivers milk all around the D.C. area. I don't use the service, but I know a few people who do.

    Maybe I should consider signing up with such a service. I remember how much of a convenience the milk delivery was because we used that service when I was growing up. My grandmother used one dairy's delivery service for even longer than my parents did. If I recall correctly, my grandmother used to get more than milk delivered: eggs, bread, butter.

  7. Odie,
    Looks like home everywhere in the fifties..


    The students whom I teach cannot believe that the D.C. area was much like what is depicted in the video. Now, the D.C. area is one big edge city. That change certainly doesn't feel like progress much of the time in spite of all the many conveniences and has resulted in a lot of stress, particularly on the highways and byways.

  8. Adrienne,
    ladies dressed up to shop. Doesn't get much better.


    When I was growing up, getting all gussied up to go shopping was the norm!

    I well recall shopping in downtown D.C. during the Christmas season and especially on Christmas Eve. Much good will toward others and so festive! Shopping out here in the suburbs wasn't much good until well into the 1960s.

    I suppose that some people here in the D.C. area still go shopping downtown. But the elegance and the comraderie that we enjoyed back then are long gone.

  9. Silverfiddle,
    My family didn't have any kind of motion picture camera -- we were too poor, I guess. But everybody did have a still-pictures camera of some sort. I have a lot of family pictures.

    I admit that I am usually overcome with melancholy when I start going through family photos. All those dead people, people whom I loved (unless the pictures are of ancestors whom I never met). And even when I look at those ancestors with whom I never had a personal connection, I see no-more landscape or houses. I'm sure that I romanticize too much; those times and places were not easy living. But I see in those pictures something intangible that we've lost the more modern we've become.

  10. Brooke,
    Are some still alive? What are their stories?

    Good questions.

    I rather imagine that there are not a lot of happy endings. People age; people go through hard times, some of those hard times their fault and some not. The world moves on -- that's just the way that it is.

    A few years ago, I visited a small town that I always thought that I'd like to live in. You know what? The small-town atmosphere was gone! I can handle the physical changes on Main Street, but the people were different too. Rush, rush, rush. Rude, rude, rude.

    There must be places that aren't like that, right? Where? Maybe on top of a mountain or out in the boonies.

  11. Right Truth,
    not sure I would want to go back. Well, maybe, if I could be 20 years old again

    We DO have a life of ease in the 21st Century. But that life of ease comes at a price beyond the monetary price. A big part of the price is lack of personalization.

  12. Bunkerville,
    The Thanksgiving season is naturally a time of memories, isn't it?

    Anyway, I'm all worn out with politics. I do grow weary of bashing my head into the wall!

  13. All those small Main Street business were all boarded up when the WalMart came to town...

  14. This era was the best, from 1950 to 1980.
    I live a lot in the past now.
    i long for these days even though i know they are gone forever.
    It was a era where your neighbors were your friends....like family almost.
    No drug culture , the liberals were around but they were'nt frothing at the mouth crazy like they are now.
    Families still mattered, the normal family of mom amd dad and the kids.
    Pepole were humble and innocent to a certain degree.

    We were'nt rich but we were happy.
    We had everything we neeeded on the farm.
    Us kids could roam without worry of someone kidnapping us, and we learned how to grow up without all the garbage thats in our culture today.
    The biggest thing about those days is that people were more honest.
    That is a virtue that is almost non existent now a days.

  15. Remember too it was still a predominantly white world.
    may nice be nice to say it, but forced integration has made all the difference. It ruined the public schools, and has in every way blighted the nation, and if you don't think so, you're a sap.

    Dick Wilde

  16. Integration ruined nothing. Its when they eliminated "tracks" and started pretending that all students were "equally ignorant" that the schools went to 'H.

  17. @AOW -- We DO have a life of ease in the 21st Century.

    I'm not so sure. Some might say we have a life of convenience but why are we rushing around?

    We have an abundance of consumer goods but is it worth the anxiety and alienation?

  18. Duck,
    I wasn't really thinking of consumer goods.

    First of all, I was thinking of the automatic washer and dryer. I well recall what doing the laundry was like before those machines came along. That wringer washer! Hanging all those clothes on the clothesline and hoping that the birds didn't drop all over the freshly washed clothes -- followed by hours and hours of ironing before certain fabrics came along. I thought first of laundry because today is laundry day in the AOW household.

    Next, I was remembering the shoveling of coal into the furnace and those hours of piano practice that I endured in the summer without air conditioning.

    Finally, frost-free freezers for our refrigerators. What a blessing such frost-free freezers are!

    BTW, I'm one of those folks without an automatic dishwasher and central AC. I do wish that I had both of those devices that help to provide a life of ease.

  19. Thersites,
    they eliminated "tracks" and started pretending that all students were "equally ignorant"

    IMO, racial integration did have something to do with those matters, however.

  20. Paladin,
    I agree with all the points that you made!

    Thanks for weighing in.

  21. The "something" was a presumption of "literal" equality that testing results did NOT bear out.


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