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Do you remember or will you admit you remember?

by xerpor / May 28, 2004 11:45 PM PDT

The other day I picked up a copy of his essay collection, "Tom Dodge Talks About Texas."

Well, one of those little pieces sent me off on a reverie almost immediately. It was about Big Jim Tidwell of Whitney - "The Fender Skirt King of Texas." And I thought, "Fender skirts!" What a great blast from the past! I hadn't thought about fender skirts in years. When I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term. Made me think of a car in a dress.

Thinking about fender skirts started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice. Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first.

You kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you. Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.

When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake."

I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed." Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore -"store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "worldwide" for granted. This floors me.

On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered their hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.

When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all that talk about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply "expecting."

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cackled. I guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all. It's hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper - "divorce." And no one is called a "divorcee" anymore. Certainly not a "gay divorcee." Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too.

Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!

Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffeemaker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "ElectraLuxe." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most - "supper."

Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.

Richard

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Re:Do you remember or will you admit you remember?
by Mary Kay / May 29, 2004 1:28 AM PDT

Ah, I remember it well. I just don't remember what I had for supper last night. Happy

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Me either. :-) BTW, I still call the fridge and ice box. -nt
by xerpor / May 29, 2004 2:32 AM PDT

Richard

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(NT) (NT) Wrong! It's the Cold Box.
by caktus / May 31, 2005 4:54 PM PDT
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Re:Do you remember or will you admit you remember?

Hi, Richard.

Good riddance to "career girl" -- and "old maid," too! And I wonder how many of those "donfirmed bachelors" were actually gay?

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re:Re: Dave, did you really mean to say....
by Mary Kay / May 29, 2004 1:54 AM PDT

And I wonder how many of those "donfirmed bachelors" were actually gay?

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Re: Dave, did you really mean to say....
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / May 29, 2004 12:29 PM PDT

Hi, MK.

Of course not -- I didn't notice when my finger hit the "d" instead of the "c."

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Old Maid.
by James Denison / May 29, 2004 2:17 AM PDT

And if they lived together they were "the sisters" or "aunties". If they were unpleasant, "those crones".

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I still use "emergency brake".
by James Denison / May 29, 2004 2:11 AM PDT

I had a 1966 Chrysler Newport with rear fender skirts in the 70's, bought it used. I wonder if they'll ever bring them back. I think when the newer decorative tires with white raised lettering and the introduction of "mag" wheels came along it led to the demise of the fender skirt. Suddenly the tires and rims used were becoming a decoration on the vehicle. Before that, other than maybe the "white walls", tires didn't add any eye appeal to the vehicle.

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Re:Do you remember or will you admit you remember?
by John Robie / May 29, 2004 4:45 AM PDT

And with the fender skirts were bar hubcaps, bumper guards, spotlights, and a large exterior sunvisor. Some models had 'running boards' that came with the auto. Port & relieve engines with chop and channeled bodies a good homemade project.

Hadacol cured all health problems.

'Zuit Suits' a popular style with some people. 'Paint On' women stockings.

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Re:Re:Do you remember or will you admit you remember?
by Rolway / May 29, 2004 5:11 AM PDT

How bout wolf whistles, exhaust train whistles, cut outs, glass pack mufflers with echo cans John. Course then you had the Drive-ins with the cute Car Hops on roller skates. Used to be Richards drive-up up here with Woo Woo Ginsberg, the Disc jockey. Good old days.:)

George

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Re:Re:Re:Do you remember or will you admit you remember?
by John Robie / May 29, 2004 5:29 AM PDT

Wow George, remember all those.

And to make a lot of exhaust engine noise on the old flat head Fords, just pull the (milled) heads and place a penny over the heat risers. Also to shoot out fire, drill a hole near the rear tail pipe and install a spark plug.

Wolfman Jack used to be a popular diskjock in later years. Down here Hank Williams (Sr) popular. The too young crowd to drink beer always gathered at the hamburger (or Pig Stand) Drive-In (where I met my 1st wife). Outdoor movie drive-in where the back seat viewing was popular with dates.

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Re:Re:Re:Re:Do you remember or will you admit you remember?
by Rolway / May 29, 2004 5:55 AM PDT

Yeah, Yeah, Boy you Must be a Blast out of the past the same as me. I remember that Wolfman Jack also. All we ever listen to up here was. WWVA (Wheeling WV), WCKY {Cincinnati} and of course the Grand Ole Opry.

Speaking of that exhaust. We used to burn the glass pack mufflers out with oily rags to carbon them up before installing them on those flat head Fords. What a rap they would give off. Beautiful sound. Neighborhood did'nt appreciate it, but we did'nt hang around too long after.:)

George

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Hey!
by Evie / May 27, 2005 10:22 PM PDT

I remember Wolfman Jack.

Does that make me old? Wink

Evie Happy

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(NT) (NT) I still listen to **** Biondi occasionally.
by Kiddpeat / May 28, 2005 3:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Hey!
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Aww, not really.....
by John Robie / May 28, 2005 6:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Hey!

Wolfman Jack started around here in the 1960's. He used to come from a radio station just across the border in Mexico around 150 miles from us. That station could only operate in Mexico because of its tremendous power that reached out across the US and could sometimes be heard as far as Alaska. He was the Rock & Roll champ DJ in those days and eventually had his own TV show in the 70's.

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Speaking of spotlights.
by Kiddpeat / May 29, 2004 8:09 AM PDT

We had a local lake with fairly secluded parking areas in the forest preserve. Couples would go there to park and watch the submarine races. A buddy and I would go there occasionally, and, leaving the motor running, shine his spotlight into a car to see what was happening. We had more than one fun chase arising from that activity.

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wow! almost a year to the day
by jonah jones / May 27, 2005 9:19 PM PDT

i just recieved that same email from a friend in the US....

just proves that the good things linger on?


jonah

.

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How about
by TONI H / May 27, 2005 9:35 PM PDT

"stove pipe" pants, frilly dress shirts for men with cuffs to match, Continental ties, "sizzle pants" outfits that were micro-mini skirts with panties to match, "earth" shoes, and thongs were things you put on your feet instead of up the crack of your butt (were "wedgies" the first thong)? (Stilleto shoes have come back numerous times but were all you could find, other than 'flats', for about 20 years)

As for the muffler idea that louder is better....actually punched holes in the exhaust to get that rumble.

TONI

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(NT) (NT) I was a DORK now I'm a GEEK
by gmc / May 27, 2005 11:16 PM PDT
In reply to: How about
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50's Geek!
by tldees / May 28, 2005 4:56 AM PDT

Had a 56 Crown Vic, with the wide piece of crome across the roof. Remember those? Fender skirts, power steering and seats! It was a real gas! I had a CB radio and an 8 track...AND every 8 track ''CCR'' ever made! By the mid 60's gas was about 31 cents for ''High Test'' Could get five in the trunk and go to the drive-in for the friday nite double feature! Finally Sold the 56 and got me a 67 "442"... Geeked it out with an "in-dash" 8 track and a bigger CB! Wooo..

I sure do remember! And I'm still "THE GEEK!"

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(NT) (NT) Welcome to Speakeasy, gmc and tldees!
by Cindi Haynes / May 28, 2005 5:13 AM PDT
In reply to: 50's Geek!
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Thank you!
by tldees / May 28, 2005 10:58 AM PDT

Cindi, thanks for the warm welcome! My hats off to whoever came up with the "speakeasy"...
Does anyone know what a "smoke-out" is?

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(NT) (NT) Something to do with dirt bikes?
by xerpor / May 28, 2005 12:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you!
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Dirt Bikes?
by tldees / May 28, 2005 10:48 PM PDT

Noope!

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(NT) (NT) A rib burn-off type competition???
by TONI H / May 28, 2005 9:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you!
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MMMM! Smoked ribs!
by tldees / May 28, 2005 10:52 PM PDT

But no...Has nothing to do with food!

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(NT) (NT) getting rid of bees or 'varmints'?
by jonah jones / May 28, 2005 10:55 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you!
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(NT) (NT) Hint-Whoever gives up first is the loser...
by tldees / May 29, 2005 12:56 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Street Dragging??
by Rolway / May 29, 2005 1:06 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) No...But it does have somthing to do with your car...
by tldees / May 29, 2005 1:09 AM PDT
In reply to: (NT) Street Dragging??
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