sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Nostalgia

I hate it when old geezers post stuff that young people never experienced and will never ever understand. Notwithstanding that, I will engage my inner hypocrite and slither down memory lane.

One of the cool things about Saturday growing up was the Helms Bread truck. It showed up early in the morning (often interfering with Johnny Quest or other important cartoons), and honked the horn on our street. 

Helms sold bread, but they also sold doughnuts. The cooler held bottles of milk on ice, that were colder than those bottles left earlier in the morning by the milk man. (in that era, there was no such thing as a "milk person") The best thing about morning delivery milk was the four inches of cream on the top of the milk. And if you were quick and very clever, you could innocently pour all of that cream onto your Wheaties, before anyone was the wiser.

Times have past and that sort of service will never be seen again. Today you'd worry about he Helms Bread truck selling marijuana out of the back or sneaking various opioids to addict America's youth. They'd take flat screen TV's in trade for drugs. That sort of thing. 

Today you'd need to armor the driver in a steel cocoon to keep him (and the drugs) from being carjacked by a rival gang. Drivers would need to be armed.

When I was a kid, the milk man dressed in white and wore a bow tie.

In that time, you had to worry more about neighborhood boys taking your trashcan lid and using it as a shield in mock medieval sword battles after the kids saw "Prince Valiant" or "Ivanhoe" at the movie theater. Today it's more a matter of virtual sword fights on X-Box.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be...


22 comments:

  1. Them's were the days, eh. The milk man wore a bow tie? I think that's fabulous. Bring back the bread van! Time calls for a little bit of retro nostalgia and I think people wold love such a thing. Just keep a big gun under the stacks of coke.

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    1. I remember living in England and having the milk delivered every day from a cart drawn by a donkey. I don't know if that has changed, but I expect that it is. I sincerely hope that there is still rich cream on top of the pint bottles of milk.

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  2. Why, why, WHY do they not outfit vans like that anymore??? This is the best thing I've seen in a long time! I'd never heard of Helm's bread truck, but I do remember the importance of Saturday morning cartoons. More trips down memory lane, please. :)

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    1. Fresh bread, hot doughnut and ice cold milk were the staple of at least my generation.

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  3. When I was with Coca Cola, our uniform was whit shirt and pants with green stripes, and as a superisor, I had to wear a Coke tie. No so now days. As for the bread truck back then, I bet it was the most pulled over vehicle by cops in the state... just for the free doughnuts. I know I had to hand out free Cokes all the time.

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    1. Well done!! That means that the police won't have to hang out at doughnut shops and they will get back to work quicker.

      What's wrong with a cleanly pressed uniform and a company tie? (I know that you will say, "nothing") It's time that we return to that standard. AND at the same time, school teachers need to wear "business attire." That means ironed shirts, ties, pressed slacks and polished leather shoes. The lesbian teachers can wear the same thing I guess (in the name of "progressive values"). Straight teachers can wear dress suits, or nice blouses with skirts. (I told you that I'm a dinosaur).

      I'll never forget my daughter's graduation. There was a man with scraggly unkept hair, beard mid-chest, worn out shirt and levis that tucked under a large belly, with over-run track shoes. I asked her why the janitor was on the stage. She said, "he's the math teacher." Ahhh - tenure.

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    2. HAHAHAHA But not surprising for a college professor. They live in their own ego.

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  4. I remember the milk man, and definitely there was no milk person. By crackee, I'm so old, I remember the ice man, who drove around in his ice truck and delivered with ice tongs big blocks of ice that people would put in their ice box to keep their food cold. Us little kids would chase after the ice truck, and the driver would always give us some shards of ice that chipped off of the blocks he delivered. Ooooh, those were great on a hot summer day in 1959.

    Beat that, you young whipper snapper.

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  5. Fredd. My Dad cut ice from a reservoir in Rollinsville, CO., for the Estes Ice Company, Denver, CO, The ice was stored in a large building. Lots of fun for a kid to go sliding over the blocks of ice.

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    1. I think that you just beat Fredd.

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  6. I remember a "rag and bone man" coming around, complete with a very dirty horse and cart. That was in Oxford in the early '70s -- gone now, like the spiked pith helmet.

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    1. RIGHT, the rag man (a tinker) used to shout, "Any old rags". They also accepted bones. I forgot about that. Scotland in the 70's.

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  7. I remember the "junk man" coming around, and a guy who would sharpen anything you had.

    Our milkman used to put the milk and dairy stuff we ordered in an insulated box on the back porch.

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    1. I remember the knife and scissor sharpeners too. They did a good job. When I was in Colorado on vacation a couple of years ago I ran onto a mobile knife sharpener on his trailer in a parking lot in Telluride (To-Hell-You-Ride). I had him put better edges on some blades. You have to keep those guys in business.

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  8. Bought back a lot of memories, LL. The ice man and the ice house on Main Street, the scissors man, the junk man driving the horse and buckboard which had bell on it so you could hear him coming (so did the vegetable wagon), morning and afternoon delivery of mail, the photographer with a pony, soda fountains, penny candy and of course, the bread and milk men. Oh, and Morning, Afternoon and Evening editions of newspapers.

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    1. The photographer with a pony did a brisk business in my neighborhood. I have one of those photos with me on a pony, wearing a cowboy hat. I must have been about four.

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  9. I remember when I went to grampa's barn and milked the cow to get milk, and fluffed a hen to get eggs, and cut asparagus to eat it, but then we were in the back of beyond. There was the occasional lost tinker...

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    1. I did all of those things. At the time I thought it was normal.

      Now the new normal means that you buy those things at the store without giving a second thought toward the source. It leads to a lack of gratitude that is present in the present generation. They don't connect the steak to the steer who gave his life for it.

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  10. In Scottsdale, it was Henry the milkman, white uniform, bow tie and…well wait, a milkman hat! I was pretty sure I wanted to be a milkman, Henry had Popeye sized forearms carrying those crates. I thought he worked for Shamrock? Pretty sure, I had a bunch of Shamrock toys, too bad Jonny Quest didn't have a pause button back then…my favorite character was, well...

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    1. Shamrock in the Phoenix market (I moved to Mesa when I was five) and Altadena in much of the Los Angeles market.

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    2. Back here, Shamrock is a tattoo guys from Boston have...

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    3. In Ireland, I think that the feed the babies Guiness. At least they've always told me that it's "like mother's milk".

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