Column: Readers list what they miss about yesteryear

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Al Batt, Tales from Exit 22

I asked readers what they missed. I appreciate the overwhelming response. Here are some of the responses. I wish I had room for all of them.

Tim Engstrom: I miss when people sent postcards to each other when they visited places. (I sent him a picture postcard from Alaska.)

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Helen Abramson: WCCO with Clelland Card and Maynard Speece. I can still hear Cedric doing his Birdy mit the jeller bill, hopped upon my vindow sill. Cockee shiny eye and said, &8220;What are we gonna have for breakfast &8230; Grandma?&8221; And Maynard&8217;s stories about his childhood on the farm.

Deborah Morse-Kahn: Playing red light green light at dusk down in the park by the creek until someone&8217;s mother called them home for supper. Coming home with jars of creek water and mysterious critters inside.

Rod Searle: I miss having the luxury of picking up the phone and calling the operator, Pearl, and asking her if she had seen my wife in town because I needed something at the hardware store. She said wait a minute. When she came back on the line she said the truck was parked in front of the bank and she&8217;ll transfer my call. That sort of service was better than having the car windows cleaned when we filled up with gas.

Jeanie Siewert: I miss: A&W root beer with a &8220;bite&8221; to it (current stuff is way too sweet), 29 cents a gallon for gas, pop in glass bottles, soda fountains, a soda fountain drink called

a &8220;phosphate,&8221; library card files, neighborhood grocery stores, stores being closed after 5 p.m. and on Sundays, those &8220;X-ray&8221; machines, with which one could see the bones of one&8217;s feet when new shoes were purchased, going barefoot all summer, high school sports that did not require year-round training for one sport, and the little dog that I had as a child.

Ron Windingstad: I miss our old telephone number: two longs, a short and a long. I miss dickchonnaries, they were better than spellcheck. I miss District 38, one teacher and at the most 17 students. Drinking water from a pail with a dipper by everyone was cool, as were the times the Gypsies used to come around. I miss being called Ronnie. I miss playing fox and geese in the snow; wooden skies and the giant 20-foot high hill in the prairies; and my horse Smokey who really didn&8217;t like anyone but me riding him. Henrietta, my favorite hen. I found her in a snow bank while riding to the store on Smokey &8212; she laid an egg a day for years. I miss communal bathrooms &8212; three holers, great for visiting. I miss the Sears & Roebuck catalog &8212; always better than corn husks. Wednesday night horseshoes and Sunday afternoon basketball games in the haymow. I miss 21-cent gasoline, 10-cent Nut Goodies, 5-cent flypaper, &8220;Sing-along with Mitch,&8221; on black-and-white television; Art Linkletter and Arthur Godfrey on radio. I miss hearing people asking us what we miss &8212; then you came along.

M.L.: Riding behind a car in a toboggan during the winter on the streets of Freeborn. Sock hops after football and basketball games. Swinging from a rope and jumping into the Matawan gravel pit. Drive-in movies. Looking for &8220;Spinner&8221; hubcaps in the ditches with my friends.

Emmett Smith: Books I didn&8217;t buy.

Rodney Hatle: Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. I happen to think Gene Autry was the better of the two.

Phyllis Meyer: Radio shows like &8220;Let&8217;s Pretend&8221; sponsored by Cream-O-Wheat, Jack Armstrong: The All-American Boy sponsored by Wheaties, Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny, Lux Theatre, and The Shadow.

I also asked if anyone had any surefire cures for the hiccups. I like to use either my high school yearbook photos or the picture on my driver&8217;s license as scare cures. As far as I know, none of these are medically approved.

Sam Cross writes, &8220;When you least expect it, have a friend dump a bucket of cold water (or other beverage) on your head. You see this happen to the winning coach at the end of football games. Cures his hiccups!&8221;

Hank Wessels sends this, &8220;It was always said when one had gotten the hiccups, think back to the last time you saw a white horse.

David Johnson adds, &8220;You never get them when you are alone. Take a teaspoon full of peanut butter.&8221;

D.P. writes, &8220;Eat a marshmallow (not mini). If one doesn&8217;t do the trick try another one. This has never failed my family, and we have never had to eat more than two marshmallows to stop the hiccups.&8221;

(A marshmallow has cured Hartland resident Al Batt&8217;s hiccups. You can read his column Wednesdays in the Albert Lea Tribune. He has a column that appears Sundays, too.)