With memories playing a big role this week, I remembered a Rolltop Roundup I wrote back in June 1973, about some of mine. Remember this is written from a viewpoint of 46 years ago, when Eastman Kodak was a powerhouse. 

Somewhere back in a corner of a desk drawer in my boyhood home is a baseball.  I never got to play with it. It’s a big league ball, and it was signed by Babe Ruth. But time has taken its toll, and you can barely make out the handwriting. If you didn’t know it said Babe Ruth you wouldn’t know it was a priceless memento. 

I saw the Babe only once. Old, sick, he stood on spindly legs and waved to the crowd which was paying tribute to him in St. Louis. It was in the days before Big League ball ever came west of the Rockies. The Babe was the guest of honor that day in 1948. 

My wife says that when I’m on a trip I’m so busy taking pictures I never have time to enjoy the scenery. That’s OK. With the pictures, I have the rest of my life to enjoy it. The other day when old Navy friends came to town we dug out the films and had a good laugh over how young we looked then. 

Those of you who have taken a trip to Europe have probably come back loaded with post cards and pamphlets showing the art galleries, churches and castles you visited. Can you imagine coming home from Europe with nothing to remember it by?

Old radio shows are becoming the in thing with the old nostalgia set. The William Tell Overture, followed by Hi-Yo Silver, Away, sends shivers up my back. So does the Great Gildersleeve’s laugh and Fibber McGee’s closet. I only wish I still had my Little Orphan Annie decoder. It’s probably worth its weight in gold now. People are paying big prices for Nostalgia. I wonder what I did with that old issue of Superman comics?

The kids will look at you funny if you tell them you can remember nickel ice cream cones. “So what?” they may say, until you add “two scoops.” If you want to confuse them entirely, tell them about climbing into the rear of the ice truck to get frozen chips to suck on. That’s what kids did when they didn’t have a nickel for ice cream – and plenty didn’t.

Remember when the milkman came every day?  And the postman always came twice a day – with stamps only three cents and post cards a penny. How we fretted when the post office department reduced delivery to once a day.

We even had our groceries delivered. All my mother did was pick up the phone and order. The laundryman picked the bundle of shirts up off the porch. Nobody ever worried about them being swiped.

Everything that is old to us now was brand new in those days. Can you imagine when we’ll look back on our modern TV sets as though they were as antique as the crystal radio. Today’s dishwashers will have a place in the museum along side the scrubbing brush, and your automatic clothes washer will be side by side with the wringer washer that always used to trap little kids’ fingers.

And you’ll wonder at those weird looking automobiles that people say used to create something called smog. They’ll have them in the Smithsonian along with the smudge pot.

Don’t laugh, kids. Someday you’ll look back on this year with nostalgia.


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