Welcome to When Life Was Simpler


A5_200-x-301_small-1956 A3_200-x-249_small-November-1951 We’re Sue & Chuck, Welcome to When Life Was Simpler.

We’re going to celebrate those times when life was simpler through some of our favorite old photos, some of the restorations we’re done over the years, even some of the colorizations of a select group of our very old black and white images. We’ll even be putting up some of Chuck’s composite photo art.

So, why not stick around and join us for some fun times, lively discussion of things past and present, remembrances of times past, our not so politically correct opinions and possibly even some commentary on the stupid things we see going on today. We can’t promise you’ll agree with all, some or even any of our posts, but we think we can promise you won’t be bored.



The Clothes Line

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Nice, very nice.  I can still see my Mom washing and taking clothes out to the clothes line.  Of course all 3 lines had to be wiped clean to remove the black stuff (probably mold) and bird poop. She accomplished all of what was mentioned. Gary


You have to be a certain age to appreciate this. I can hear my mother now. If you don’t know what clotheslines are, you had better skip this.

1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes-walk the entire lengths of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

2. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites,” and hang them first.

3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?

4. Wash day is on a Monday! Never hang clothes on the weekend, or Sunday, for heaven’s sake!

5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know)!

6. It didn’t matter if it was sub zero weather. Clothes would “freeze-dry.”

7. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were “tacky!”

8. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9. Clothes in the basket, and ready to be ironed.

10. Ironed?! Well, that’s a whole other subject!
A clothesline was a news forecast To neighbors passing by There were no secrets you could keep When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link For neighbors always knew If company had stopped on by To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the “fancy sheets” And towels upon the line You’d see the “company table cloths” With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby’s birth From folks who lived inside As brand new infant clothes were hung So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could So readily be known By watching how the sizes changed You’d know how much they’d grown!

It also told when illness struck As extra sheets were hung Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, “Gone on vacation now” When lines hung limp and bare It told, “We ‘re back!” when full lines sagged With not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon If wash was dingy and gray As neighbors carefully raised their brows And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past For dryers make work much less Now what goes on inside a home Is anybody’s guess!

I really miss that way of life It was a friendly sign When neighbors knew each other best By what hung on the line!

Remember Citizen Band Radios

Remember Citizen Band Radios

For those of us of a “certain age” we can remember when CBs were all the rage…I came across a list the other day of some of the lingo and thought it would be fun to revisit some of the great ways we communicated and what they translated to.

So here goes…..

Hammer down…….going full speed

Drop the hammer….accelerate to full speed

Chicken coop…..Truck weigh station

Foot warmer….a CB radio with more than legal power

Wall to wall treetop tall….very good reception

Have you got your ears on?…..Is your  CB on?

*Handle…..code name of a CBer

Post….Milepost on interstate highways

Shake the  trees and rake the leaves….Lead truck  should watch for police and traffic ahead; rear truck will watch mirrors from the rear

Front Door……..Lead truck of several running together

Back Door……..Rear truck of several running together

Rocking Chair……..The middle  truck

18 Wheeler……..Tractor-trailer

4 Wheeler……..Automobile

PICKUMUP Truck……..A pick up truck

Smokey Bear……..A state policeman

Mama  Bear……..Female police person

County Mountie……..A county policeman

Local Yokel……..A city policeman

Tijuana Taxi………Marked police car

Plain White Wrapper……..Unmarked police car (any color)

Eye in the Sky……..Helicopter

Bear’s  Den……..Police station

Picture Taker……..Policeman with radar

Green Stamps……..Money

Green Stamp Highway……..Toll road

Monfort Lane……..Passing lane

50 Dollar Lane……..Inside lane on 4 lane highway

**8’s And Other Good Numbers……..So long and signing off

10-1……..Receiving Poorly

10-2……..Receiving well

10-3……..Stop transmitting

10-4……..OK, message received

10-5……..Relay Message

10-6……..Busy, stand by

10-7……..Out of service, leaving air

10-8……..In service, subject to call

10-9……..Repeat message

10-10……Transmission completed, standing by

10-11……Talking too rapidly

10-12……Visitors present

10-13……Advise weather/road condition

10-16……Make pick up at…

10-17……Urgent business

10-18……Anything for us?

10-19……Nothing for you, return to base

10-20……My location is…

10-21…….Call by telephone

10-22……Report in person  to….

10-23……Stand by

10-24……Completed last assignment

10-25……Can you contact?

10-26……Disregard last information

10-27……I am moving to channel….

10-28……Identify your station

10-30……Does not conform to FCC rules

10-33……Emergency traffic at this station

10-34……Trouble at this station, help may be needed

10-35……Confidential information

10-36……Correct time is….

10-37……Wrecker needed at…

10-38…….Ambulance needed at….

10-39…….Your message delivered

10-41…….Please tune to channel…

10-42…….Traffic accident at….

10-43…….Traffic tie-up at….

10-44…….I have a message for you (or)….

10-46…….Assist motorist

10-50…….Break channel

10-70…….Fire at…

10-73…….Speed trap at….

10-75…….You are causing interference

10-77…….Negative contact

10-82….…Reserve room for….

10-84…….My telephone number is…

10-85…….My address is….

10-200……Police needed at…


Excerpted from News From Macy’s New York

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were  recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana.  In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.  When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up  newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their Moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then!

Remember When We Could Cruise and Drag

As I was listening to our oldies station, they were talking about the big June event in Modesto, with all the old cars, music groups,  car shows and cruisin down the main drag. For those of you who don’t know Modesto is where the inspiration for American Graffiti came from and that movie brings back memories for all of us who love cars.

Between hearing the info on that event and reading about drag and bracket racing, made me think back to my high school days, I know amazing at my age that I can actually still remember them!

While no one ever condoned street racing we all know it took place. Even more than street racing, I can remember spending all day Saturday, washing, waxing, polishing and cleaning the inside of the car so it was in tip shop shape Saturday night to cruise with.

For so many of us back then there were places to go and show off our cars. We had streets to cruise on and show off our cars. And yes, we also had those places where we drag raced them.

But we also had tracks you could go to and drag race on. I can remember, Central Islip’s and National Speedway to name a couple. Today’s car lovers don’t really have that luxury. Maybe some areas of the country do, but here in California for the most part it is gone. Not the tracks, but the ability for the average Joe to use them for fun. The police  here have curfews and don’t want any kind of cruising activity to take place. Drags have been outlawed on the roads, as well they should. However, the raceways (the ones that are left), won’t even accommodate those who wish to drag race. They are strictly for those with the big bucks and the big buck drag racing cars.

What a shame, as I know of many kids who would love to have an outlet or place to go to showoff their car and their skills as drivers. Like so much else today, it is just another bastion we have lost. Very sad to those of us who grew up in an era when all of this and much more was available.

So for those of us who have the memories of what it used to be like, be sure to share those with the youth around  you today and let them live vicariously through you.

We would love to hear your stories, drop us an email so we can put yours up.

The Meaning of Spring and Summer

Spring and Summer mean different things to many people. For some it means getting the garden ready for planting, for others they have spring cleaning on their minds, for many it’s time to start thinking about Summer vacation plans.

For many it is home improvement time, fixing lots of those things outside that we let go over the winter, painting, and a whole lot more. As all of us know, house repairs and improvements can take on a life of their own. Before we know it the Summer is gone and we are still working on them.

For those of us with a love of cars, it means taking the car cover off, taking it off the blocks it was on over the winter, or just taking it out of the garage. For those of us who are lucky enough to have a heated garage or live in a great year round climate, it means putting the finishing touches to it. For those of us who have procrastinated over the winter, putting it in gear to get it ready for the Spring and Summer shows and events; or just getting it ready.

For those of us who live or have lived in those parts of the country where snow is part of our winter, we can’t wait for Spring and Summer to arrive. We lived in upstate New York and once Spring arrived we couldn’t wait to get outside and just hoped that it meant no more snow. Usually by May, we were safe, although I do remember one year with a storm in early May.

However, once the nice weather arrived, in our case, many years back now, the Vette was taken out of storage and we started to get it back in shape. Lots of outdoor time with getting the little things fixed, fluids checked and filled, and maintenance work done before we got to the washing and waxing. I can remember spending the whole day cleaning the inside, washing it, waxing it and then going out to the local eatery and showing it off.

For the rest of you, it doesn’t matter, whether you have a hot rod, street rod, or just a driver, Spring getting here tells you, you need to get started. Even for those  who don’t show or do events, this is still, for many of you, your favorite time of year. Why, for the reasons talked about above, the washing and waxing and just being able to work on our cars.

Speaking of which it’s that time of  the year again to get out the bucket, the rags, and start cleaning up the car, for us before we we sold it, it meant our Cougar! We  would  be busy till late Fall, have a great Spring and Summer everyone! We will have our memories and our car mags to remind us of those wonderful times. Enjoy yours!

What We Have Lost

We have lost quite a bit over the years. The milk man, who used to deliver milk, butter to our homes and put them in the metal box by our front door or in many instances would knock, walk in (we didn’t need to be as paranoid back then) and give it to my mom. Many times they would put it on the table or even in the ice box (what a refrigerator was called back then). Yes I know technically they are different but that was our terminology then for a refrigerator.

For those of you who remember the milk man,   you can also probably remember the bread man. Another profession that is obsolete today. Today we all get our bread from a grocery store or some of you might even go to the bakery. For those lucky of us to have grown up in the era of this profession (we did our growing up in the 50s, 60s and 70s) we remember, getting nice fresh bread. I particularly loved the crusty loafs or the powdered bread.

Lost in many areas of the country are bakeries, butchers and little produce stands. I can remember growing up my mom stopping at the grocery store for canned goods, cereals and some household products only. Our meat came from the butcher, our fish from the fish market, and our cakes, pies and donuts from the bakery. We would stop at the produce stands when they opened up for our fruits and vegetables, plus we had our own garden in the backyard. Today you are hard pressed to find these businesses, at least on the West Coast where we are they are non-existent. While the supermarkets of today are nice and convenient, we have lost the quality and service the individual stores used to provide.  The produce stands have for the most part been replaced by big U-picks, farmer’s markets, and large co-ops.

Another thing we have lost over the years is doctors making house calls. Yes, they actually did this as part of their practice, there wasn’t a extra fee for it. It wasn’t  part of a new type of plan that only the very wealthy could afford. Back then most doctors, at least ours, really cared for their parents. Yes we paid them, but they had time to listen ( we weren’t just a number). They got to know their parents. Plus most people could afford doctors and dentists back then.

I can remember our doctor coming to our home on more than one occasion when one of us got ill and the normal St. Joseph’s aspirin and mom’s remedies didn’t take care of it. Unlike today where a new drug is a doctor’s answer to everything, back then common sense was employed first.

We have also lost our neighborhoods, and the safety they used to provide. The neighborhood welcoming a newcomer. The neighborhood kids playing together. Yes, moms watched and knew where their children were, but they didn’t have to worry about them playing down the street, or riding their bikes without supervision. The neighborhood block parties. All of us getting together for the major holidays and having parties. Maybe not everyone came every time, but a large majority of us did. It was a time of celebration, relaxation and just plain fun. As we wrote in another article today we don’t even have time for game nights any longer.

And probably most sad of all, we lost our ability to keep our word and promises without having to resort to lawyers and contracts. I can remember a time, where your handshake was your bond. When we didn’t live in a sue happy society and people took responsibility for their own actions instead of always placing the blame elsewhere.

Remember Game Nights

We were watching the news the other night and couldn’t believe it when they did a story on Express Monopoly. Yes, you did read that right, Express Monopoly. Apparently families can’t take the time for a full game night anymore, plus we are told that they get bored and a game will only hold their attention for a limited period of time. Wow, how sad, that we can’t even enjoy ourselves anymore without putting a time limit on that too.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find this a very sad commentary on where we are today. I understand we all have busy lives and we need to use our time wisely. However, if we put time limits on the things we enjoy, and our down time why even bother.

I will keep my memories of Saturday game nights of Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, puzzles, Parcheesi, and card games, thank you. If we ran out of time, the game was set aside and we picked it up the next weekend or game night we had.

For those of you too young to know what I am talking about, game nights were usually on a Friday or Saturday night, most often on Saturdays. We would have an early dinner and then decide what we wanted to play. We all got to give our input and the game that got the most interest was the one we played, but everyone got their say. Plus since we had a large block of time [usually 7- 9, (when we were younger); 7-10 or 11 pm as we got older], everyone got to play a game of their choosing. I must admit, however, when Monopoly or Risk was chosen that was usually an all night deal.

Least you think only families played games or that I am talking of only the 50s and 60s, I am not. When we were in college (both undergraduate and grad school) we had game nights with our major advisors and fellow students, and this was in the 70s and 80s. In the 90s we had some great game nights with friends. In many parts of the country today, many groups of people,  young and old, get together for game nights, and no I am not talking about casinos or Bingo parlors. People usually meet at one another’s homes for game nights, both board and card games.

Now for those of you who at this point are shaking your head and calling me an old fuddy duddy who wouldn’t know a computer game if it hit her in the head, NOPE, wrong. I play a large variety of computer games, as does my husband. However, in my humble opinion they will never ever replace those bonding times with my family on game nights, my husband when we played board games, or my friends over the years who we got together with and had game nights with.

So why not give a game night a try and for more than a half hour. You just might find out what you are missing.

Favorite Car Song and Why

I have a number of favorites, however, my all time favorite is Hot Rod Lincoln by Commander Cody.

Since living in an extremely cold climate means taking your Corvette off the road in the winter months, a winter car is a must.

So in September we started looking for a car for winter and found a beauty, a 2 door dark green 1976 Lincoln Town Car, 5035 lbs with a nice big V-8 (460) that rode like a dream, and talk about hauling a**. I can still remember the night we picked it up. With only having the Corvette, Chuck did most of the driving. Since I hadn’t driven in a while, I told him to take it easy since I hadn’t driven in the dark for quite sometime. Well, anyone who has even driven this car knows that 30 feels like you are crawling and before you know it you are up to 50 or 60. So, yep, you guessed it, there we were on the back roads and Chuck is punching the Corvette to keep up with me. I was in heaven, with all that horsepower and car around me again. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Corvette, but since my first car was a 2 door 1962 Chevy Belair being in a big car again put me in seventh heaven, and this one was even bigger and faster than my first one.

Of course when we got home Chuck had some choice words for me, however, it all turned out all right. And what a winter car it was, we never got stuck and believe you me Rochester gets a lot of snow. Watched many a car spin it’s wheels in the parking lot, while that big Lincoln plowed through it like it was nothing. Never missed a day of work in it either and it started up even at minus 40 and 50 wind chill, and the heat, ah the wonderful warm air it put out, just couldn’t beat it. It did yeoman service for us.

We had the Lincoln for our three remaining winters in Rochester, before moving out west. We sold it to a college student going to school in NJ. It was still in tip top shape, just some minor rust, which is just part and parcel of living on the East coast with cold, snow and salt.

Would love to find another, as we would snap it up in a minute. While not a hot rod Lincoln, it still brings back very very fond memories.

My other favorites, Little GTO, 409 (of course), and the ultimate car song for those of us that live recklessly, Deadman’s Curve.

So tell us your favorite and why. If we get enough replies, we’ll dedicate a section of the  car song favorites.

If Abbott & Costello Were Alive Today

If Abbott & Costello were alive today, it would sound something like this…….

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 17%

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 17%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 17% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%…

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 17%?

ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 17% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed?

ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.


ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.


ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 17%. You don’t want to read about 17% unemployment do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!


Originial Author is unknown

Life Lessons, A Three Step Process

Something I wrote back in 2004 that still applies today for so many.

I have come to the conclusion that no matter what you want out of life there is a three step process.

The first step is to make a decision. You need to decide if you want to lose weight, stop smoking, save money, find a compatible mate, spend more time with your children, start a business, volunteer… you get the idea. Whatever it is you want to do, the first step is to decide and I mean really decide that you want to do it. Just talking it to death is not making a decision, making the effort and moving forward after making the decision is. So first, write down the decision you have made.

The next step is the big one, the big “C” and that is to make a commitment to your decision. The commitment is the stumbling point for so many. They talk and talk about the decisions, I’m going to lose weight, I am going to start exercising daily, I am going to stop smoking, etc.

A commitment means taking the steps to fulfill the decision you made. Making a plan to move forward. If your decision is to spend more time with your children, decide what days and time you will spend with them and make up a list of the things you could do with them. Or if you decide to volunteer, make a list of your interests, and then match that to a organization that needs volunteers.

If you have decided to start a business then make a plan on how you want to proceed. If you have decided to save money, you need to make a concentrated effort and a commitment to do so.

The commitment is how you are going to implement the decision and you must stick to your commitment or you are back in the decision stage and that is a “no man’s land”.

Okay, you made a decision, and have committed yourself to that decision, now the last step is to Succeed. Don’t think you are done. As a former smoker I know that you have to still commit yourself every day so you can continue to succeed. Same goes for those of us trying to keep weight off, and probably the best known continual effort is that of the alcoholic.Think of AA and the ongoing process.

So, make your decision, commit to it, and you will succeed, provided you continue to commit to your decision.

Wishing you the best in whatever decision you make!