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The Way Things Were

Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 08 - 09:19 AM
VirginiaTam 27 Nov 08 - 09:32 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 08 - 10:29 AM
Jeanie 27 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM
Amos 27 Nov 08 - 11:36 AM
kendall 27 Nov 08 - 01:02 PM
bubblyrat 27 Nov 08 - 01:17 PM
Jack Blandiver 27 Nov 08 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 27 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM
Waddon Pete 27 Nov 08 - 01:37 PM
sian, west wales 27 Nov 08 - 02:10 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 27 Nov 08 - 02:14 PM
VirginiaTam 27 Nov 08 - 02:46 PM
terrier 27 Nov 08 - 06:52 PM
pdq 27 Nov 08 - 07:03 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 08 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 08 - 07:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Nov 08 - 07:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 08 - 09:03 PM
Amos 27 Nov 08 - 09:15 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Nov 08 - 10:50 PM
Sandra in Sydney 27 Nov 08 - 11:30 PM
Bert 27 Nov 08 - 11:46 PM
catspaw49 28 Nov 08 - 12:15 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Nov 08 - 01:10 AM
Waddon Pete 28 Nov 08 - 05:00 AM
Amos 28 Nov 08 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Nov 08 - 11:01 AM
kendall 28 Nov 08 - 11:39 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Nov 08 - 01:13 PM
VirginiaTam 28 Nov 08 - 01:27 PM
The Villan 28 Nov 08 - 01:40 PM
catspaw49 28 Nov 08 - 01:55 PM
Amos 28 Nov 08 - 02:07 PM
VirginiaTam 28 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM
CupOfTea 28 Nov 08 - 02:21 PM
VirginiaTam 28 Nov 08 - 02:53 PM
kendall 28 Nov 08 - 03:22 PM
VirginiaTam 28 Nov 08 - 03:29 PM
Ebbie 28 Nov 08 - 03:42 PM
VirginiaTam 28 Nov 08 - 05:21 PM
Waddon Pete 03 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM
VirginiaTam 03 Dec 08 - 06:30 AM
maeve 03 Dec 08 - 06:48 AM
kendall 03 Dec 08 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,Val 03 Dec 08 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 03 Dec 08 - 11:32 AM
Folkiedave 03 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM
Big Mick 03 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM
Sleepy Rosie 03 Dec 08 - 12:17 PM
Bert 03 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM
Sleepy Rosie 03 Dec 08 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: The Way Things Were
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:19 AM

Do you remember sweet potastoes? No, not the kind you eat in a pie for Thanksgiving. The clay ones. It's funny that I've been reminded of sweet potatoes,the musical instrument twice recently. The other day I was writing about when I was a kid and the music that was around me. I was remembering going into Goodenough's music store and buying a clay sweet potato, with my friend Earl (the original owner of Herbert the rooster, referred to in the kitchen table thread.) We were getting older and somehow the nose flutes (remember nose flutes) seemed too unsophisticated for our tastes. Sweet potatoes are a wonderful ittle instrument (they're formally known as ocarinas.) They have a sound something like a small, hand-carried pipe organ. There's a scene in Meet John Doe where Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan play a break neck instrumental of what kids knew as the theme for the Lone Ranger, duetting on harmonica and sweet potato.

All good things seem to pass away. Over the years, sweet potatoes were made out of plastic instead of clay, and while they didn't shatter when you dropped them, they didn't have the same resonance. In case you've ever wondered why they don't make the pipes in pipe organs out of plastic, try playing a plastic sweet potato.

This thread will be whatever you was nit to be. Share memories of when you were a kid. I'm sure someone else has the same memories and will get a luagh out of remembering them. The memories can be musical, about movies, the war years, food, pets, or anything else that springs to mind.

After this gets started, just to give some variety to it, I'll write about creamed peas on toast.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:32 AM

Found this googling Sweet Potato ocarina

Sweet Potato Ocarinas were invented in Italy in the 1850s by Giuseppe Donati.

For around 80 years the Sweet Potato Ocarina was made in clay or metal. Picking up in popularity during the 1930's, plastic and wooden Sweet Potato Ocarinas were being made.


What is weird I think I remember getting a plastic one in a stocking one christmas when I was only little. I mean very little like 4 years old. I think it was bright yellow. I seem to want to associate it with a school bus for some reason.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 10:29 AM

Anybody remember nose flutes? They were a formed piece of plastic that you fit over your nose and mouth. You blew the air out of your nose, and changed the shape of your mouth to change the pitch. Not the most hygenic of musical instruments. No one ever asked to play someone else's nose flute.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Jeanie
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 10:45 AM

My dad had an ocarina - it was black, I have no idea what it was made of, but not plastic. He would have got it as a young lad in the 1930s, along with his mouth organ and piano accordion - all of which I remember him playing since as long as I can remember.

Ocarinas as very much still around, Jerry. All the children in Year 2 (6 to year olds) in the school I used to teach at learn to play the ocarina before going on to learn the recorder in the following school year.

I know there have been threads on the subject here before, but my all time favourite musical instrument of my childhood (and beyond !) is the very wonderful Comb and Paper. (It had to be that very cheap toilet paper in order to make the very best sound). It would appear that Comb and Paper playing is dying out: I had to introduce the children at that school to its delights a couple of years ago - they'd never heard of it. So much better than a kazoo.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Amos
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 11:36 AM

We had ocarinas in kindergarten. I, too, got ne in my stocking in the late '40s.

Other things from long ago: post-war margarine in plastic envelopes with the dark orange spot in the center. Cars with the starter pedal on the floor. Bazooka gum for a penny a piece. Paint that was thinned with turps and never came off your fingers. Men who worked with hand-tools that had no electricity, cutting boards with hand-saws and drilling pilot-holes with hand-braces, to set screws with hand-powered screw-drivers. Boys (including me) who built soap-box scooters out of handy scraps of timber,. Roller skates with keys. Christmases when people actually went caroling.


A


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: kendall
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 01:02 PM

We were too poor to afford instruments so we made a sort of kazoo. It consisted of a comb and a piece of waxed paper. The William Tell Overture was a bit difficult to master, but Old McDonald was doable.

One of our home made toys was an old wagon wheel tire, (made of steel) and a hand held fork made of wood with a spool between near the end. We would insert a nail through the handle, through the spool and through the other end of the handle. Once we got the rim turning it was easy to keep it going with the spool keeping contact with the rim.

We also made guns out of wood with a clothes pin (spring type) at the back. We would stretch a jar rubber from the tip of the barrel into the clothes pin, and when the pin was released the jar rubber would fly, but not very far.

Another thing, we made bows out of green limbs and we used the old flag sticks from the cemetery after the flags had been torn to tatters by the wind. By then, they had been so bent by the wind that they would not fly true, but the bows were so weak that they couldn't drive an arrow anyway.
Screw the good old days.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 01:17 PM

The sound of the Ocarina probably reached its zenith when it was used by Reg Presley of the English group " The Trogs" for their chart-topping version of "Wild Thing" (c.1964-ish). Unforgettable !


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 01:20 PM

Anybody remember nose flutes? They were a formed piece of plastic that you fit over your nose and mouth. You blew the air out of your nose, and changed the shape of your mouth to change the pitch. Not the most hygenic of musical instruments. No one ever asked to play someone else's nose flute.


In Plastic: Here

In Wood: Here

You pays your money, you takes your choice!


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 01:36 PM

More on ocarinas on my website:

http://www.campin.me.uk/Music/Ocarina/

They were never called "sweet potatoes" anywhere but the US, as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 01:37 PM

For a couple of coupons and couple of bob I got a plastic banana that played like a penny whistle! Still got it...still works!

My first public performance was thanks to the recorder and a bullish teacher. I was always a couple of pages ahead of the rest of the class (was about 9 at the time) and the teacher didn't believe I could play from the back of the book.

Showed him!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: sian, west wales
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:10 PM

My dad used to 'play' the jews harp. Yeh - I know: jaw harp, or whatever you want to call it. He actually called it a sturmant, as that's the word for it in North Wales. He was completely un-musical but you could always recognize 'You are My Sunshine'.

Well, actually, that's the only thing he could play so, once you worked that out, you guessed correctly every time.

I've fooled around with a cheap-o one that someone gave me years ago, but not really got the hang of it. Then I came across Dad's in an old odds-n-ends box and, Good Grief! It's made of cast iron or something, and takes a team of oxen to shift the 'tongue'! How did he do it?

Still, I'd love to be able to play one like some of these French Canadian groups do. Wow. What a sound - in the right hands!

sian


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:14 PM

I remember when new machines/developments in technology (like cassette recorders from the early 1970s) were something to look forward to, rather than something confusing to fear and become frustrated by in struggling to get the damned things to do what they were supposed to do!


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:46 PM

Well I didn't call it a sweet potato. I don't know what it was called. As I was 4 and had delayed language development, I probably didn't call it anything. After googling and seeing the images I remembered having a similarly shaped flutey thing with holes in. It was plastic, tasted funny and reminded me of the yellow school bus that picked up my big brother. Same shape same colour. I probably pushed it around on the floor making vroom vroom noises, unless someone showed me how to tootle on it.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: terrier
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 06:52 PM

Can you help? A little bit of thread drift, but as a child, I remember an old film being shown on TV, don't know what it was about but all I remember was all the way through there were snatches of a guy playing a sweet potato whilst wandering through underground tunnels/sewers, possibly the Paris sewers (French arty film ?)Stuck in my mind, can't exorcise it. Yes, we called them sweet potatoes, I later found out the correct name. Mrs T has a tiny occarina on a necklace that you can actually play a tune on ( and it's made from clay).


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: pdq
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 07:03 PM

"There's a scene in Meet John Doe where Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan play a break neck instrumental..."

Gary Cooper was a professional musician in the late 1920s playing "Hawaiian" slide guitar. He was also a true-life cowboy before he became an actor.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 07:25 PM

Man, I go away for Thanksgiving, and look what this thread hath wraught.

Yeah, Kendall, wax paper was definitely the Stradivarius of paper and comb instruments. When they came out with Saran Wrap and Aluminum foil, I gave up.

And ukeleles! I had one when I was ten or eleven years old. It was my first stringed instrument. I really had a lot of fun with it. A few years ago, a woman gave me her husband's Martin Ukelele when he died. I was quite touched by it, as I didn't know the couple well, at all. It's kicking around here somewhere.

All of your memories ring true for me, Amos.

As for creamed peas on toast, when I was a kid I never thought of us as poor, because we had about as much as anyone else on the block. My Dad hunted and fished and we had a big garden, so we never went hungry for any long period of time. But, there would be dry stretches when Mom would have to stretch the money. When we hit them, we'd have a lot of creamed peas on toast and deviled beef on toast, if we could afford it.

And broiled meat? What was that. If meat wasn't fried, it wasn't food. When my Dad's stomach went on the bum, we tried broiling meat in the oven, but it never sattisfied my father. It didn't crunch when you chewed it.

Oh yeah, grilled cheese sandwiches also helped to stretch the budget.

And man, those pictures of nose flutes... made me get all teary-eyed. And runny-nosed.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 07:41 PM

I've got one of those somewhere. I mean the ones made out of clay. clay I'll have to find it and have another go at mastering it.

But the ukelele, I play mine most days, not to perform, but it's such a cheerful instrument to hold and play. I've tuned it like a fiddle, GDAE, which seems to suit me better.

Creamed peas - would that be the same as what we call Mushy Peas over here? Never tried them on toast, will do.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 07:59 PM

Hey, McGrath:

Creamed peas were made with a can of peas, heated in milk in a pot, and then poured over the toast. While they were called creamed peas, I think they were as often as not Milked peas. When I was a kid, the milk man delivered our milk in bottles and it wasn't homogenized. The cream would rise to the top, and in the winter, the cap would be sitting of a pillar of frozen cream when we'd go out on the porch to bring the bottles in.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:03 PM

We've still got a milkman, though he only comes three times a week these days, and he hasn't got a horse and cart these days, or even an electric milk float.

And it's skimmed milk for us, more's the pity. I live in dwindling hope that someday there'll be a bit of research that says that whole milk is better for us than skimmed milk after all...


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Amos
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 09:15 PM

Not to mention galoshes in winter with those irritating metals hook-clasps which you could never adjust with your mittens on. Frozen milk in glass bottles with the cardboard-disc tops pushed up by the expanding cream. STanding in line in grade school for Polio vaccines. American Flyer sleds and baloon-tired bikes with coaster brakes and no gears.
And DC comics for a dime.


A


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 10:50 PM

Not even to mention long-johns hanging out on the line in winter, frozen solid and looking like so many crucifixion scenes.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 11:30 PM

I recently saw an old wringer machine in the window of a white-goods shop. It looked so old & shbby next to the fancy new ones!

I don't particularly remember wash days, which were much easier here than in countries with cold wet snowy winters, but I do remember when everyone had clothes lines across the yard, raised on clothes props.

But in 1946
Lance Hill developed the Hills Hoist & Australia & later the world had a better clothes line. You could SPIN around on it (if mum wasn't around!)

I have a scar on my left hand that was caused by the ice chest door - dunno how I managed to catch my hand in it, nor do I know when I did it, or even remember what the ice-chest looked like, tho I;ve seen pics of ice-chests. Nor do I remember the specific falls that left the scars on my knees.

But we were tough then - we played in the paddocks next to our house, land set aside for the highway that wasn't built until about 10 years after we moved & 20 years after my parents bought the place. We also had a creek in the paddocks & once some kid reported a DEAD SHEEP in the creek a few streets away - kids flocked from everywhere to see it. Most of that creek was put into pipes while we lived there (1959-66) but I recently went past the dead sheep section & saw that bit is still a creek.

We had the best bonfires of all as dad managed a garage & brought home old tyres & other good stuff. The Gough st gang tried to steal our tyres, but the William St gang defended it. Fireworks nights were fun.

Ah, the good old days when we walked or biked to school & all this only 15 miles from the CBD, & in deep western suburbia where we listened to the radio, sang at parties & kids envied those neighbours who had TV (introduced to Oz in 1956, but we didn't get one till 66)

sandra


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Bert
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 11:46 PM

Cleigh where are you?


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 12:15 AM

Jerry, you've been around here long enough to know there is nothing new at the 'Cat. In this case though I am ashamed of you for not knowing that one of the long time mascots of the Mudcat Cafe is a clay ocarina. Back in '99 we were on a thread called "Where Do All Kazoos Go" and Rick (Fielding) mentioned he had a rosewood kazoo. Now you knew Rick......and only Rick would have a rosewood kazoo......You'd expect no less! After he mentioned it I ragged him a bit with the following post:


Rick....Rick.........Bro........Mudcateer.........pard.......We need to talk.

You bought a ROSEWOOD freakin' KAZOO???? Kong Kazoos don't cut it huh? A Rosewood Kazoo...is that East Indian or the even more humbling Brazilian? Did this guy offer you anything else? Jade Ocarina? Bubinga and Padauck Slide whistle? Madagascan Ebony Nose Flute? A Tiple maybe?

Well that'll about do it! I mean Karen has offered to let me get one of the animal ocarinas, but I'm holding out for one where I blow up a possum's ass. But a rosewood kazoo?   Two questions left...........First, is this guy still around and second...Does He Have Anymore???



That crack about the possum's ass and all was a throw-off line......just a joke. But a few days later "Barbara Blessings" offered to try and make one! Thus was born CLEIGH O'POSSUM. Yep.....There he is and if you'll notice unnderneath his tail, the player does indeed blow up the possum's ass! Cleigh spends most of his time in his place of honor next to his friend the armadillo and the Little Pissant in a display case in our dining room, but as you see he has gone on a few trips including the one to Niagara Falls where he got to meet Rick and even gave Brother Fielding the chance to have a little toot up his ass! (Scroll Down to Third Photo)



And then of course dear Jerry, you should have been aware that the Neil Young Center for the Terminally Screwed, which offers free treatment to all 'Catters and free transport aboard our Insanevac Chopper, has long used the noseflute as a form of treatment. I mentioned that again only a few years back in this post:

Subject: RE: BS: The Socialization of Necessity
From: catspaw49 - PM
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 07:52 PM

Amos and Wyzzy ... You two should know better and recall that reproduction now rates right up there with breathing. Remember the discovery made by Dr. Cajones at the NYCFTTS while he was doing the brainwashing for the CIA? He was training crazed tiple and noseflute bands you might recall to aid in world overthrow when he found a previously unknown channel between the sinuses and the gonads. One of the nose flute players had a cold and when he sneezed while playing the Oscar Mayer Wiener ditty, his balls exploded.

Slag, you need to read up on these things before you post. The Neil Young Center for the Terminally Screwed has led the way in many social problems (the chief one being Neil himself) and answered age old questions about our culture as a whole.





Established in 1999, the NYCFTTS also trained crazed tiple and noseflute bands for the CIA as a means of world domination. I had this to say about it back in 2000.................



The NYCFTTS is a clinic facility located in Montana and supported by the Mudcat in conjunction with the CIA. Patients are treated through the use of tiples & noseflutes and the CIA uses the crazed tiple-noseflute bands as a means of world overthrow since their powers of assassination have been curtailed.

Elizabeth Dole lost out in her chances for the presidency because her husband, known to all through his TV ads, had a problem with ED (erectile dysfunction). A crazed NYCFTTS band was sent and when Ol' Bob was getting out of the shower one morning, they played the Oscar Mayer Wiener song outside of his window, causing an immediate erection. In his exuberance, the senator ran from the house and through Rock Creek Park in his shorts screaming, "Its a WOODY!!!! I GOT WOOD!!!" This of course obliterated any chances Ms. Dole may have had.

Cletus was a member of that group, having been sent to the Center for his own addiction. While using the computer one evening he happened upon the infamous dancing gerbils and stared at the screen for 9 days in a row. Paw and the Reg boys (Rick Fielding's half brothers--Reg, Reg, and Reg) were overcome with grief and missed him so much that they took off to Montana to get Cletus back. Their sense of direction was a bit off and they wound up in Silver Springs, Maryland where Bill D. threw them off his lawn and sent them back in the other direction. Along the way they began arguing and Paw and the Reg boys like to came to blows. This arguing peaked in Fredericksberg, Maryland where they all accused Reg of not having the sense to poor piss out of a boot with the instructions on the heel. Then Reg accused Reg of the same thing and Paw accused Reg.....well, you get my drift.

Anyhow, they sat down on a railroad track and took off their boots to see who could do it and they were merrily whizzing away not noticing a Norfolk-Southern freight bearing down upon them. A passing news crew filmed this whole thing and luckily a State Trooper happened to pass and saw the disaster about to happen and shoved them out of the way. They were saved, but their boots were lost and I was called to retrieve the whole damn bunch. Before I could get there they had become such celebrities that a local store had given them new boots and they were off after Cletus again.

Once again though, there sense of direction failed them and they wound up at Sandy Paton's place in Connecticut where Sandy sold them the soundhole out of a Larrivee and sent them happily on their way. They did eventually get back here and Cletus was released after participating in an experiment at the NYCFTTS to cure the common cold using nose flutes for that as well.


Hence the NYCFTTS is a bit of the Mudcat Icon as well. I hope this has been helpful. All of this stuff is on the threads....just enter Cletus, Paw, Buford, and the Reg Boys, or Neil Young in the Supersearch. Are you still curious about Cleigh O'Possum? The ASSparagus farm? Fly-By-Nite Industries and the Amish-Australian Pitchfork Moustache Tuner? The Little Pissant? Want to buy a Gordon Bok Fan with the special switch that turns it on towards morning?Anything you need to know, feel free to ask.

Play your cards right and one day YOU might get to blow up a possum's ass!!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 01:10 AM

Thanks for the history lesson, spaw.

Hey, Sandra: We had a Maytag washing machine with a wringer on it that we used most of my growing up years. Ours was very modren, having a motorized wringer, creating all sorts of horror/fantasies about getting your arm caught in in and having it come out 3 feet wide and a quartet inch thick like in a Warner Brothers cartoon.

We had an ice box, too.

And here's a song I wrote that covers some of the stuff mentioned elsewhere in this thread:

We were all much smaller then, and everything was bigger
There was a kid lived down the block, had a dog the size of Trigger
Our priaries all were empty lots, our mountains just a hill
And for a dime at the candy store, a kid could eat his fill

Chorus:
And the three mile crick was four miles long, back when I was young
And I knew the words to every song known to the human tongue

Cowboys all were honest then, their horses all were trusty
And when they slept out in the rain, their guns never got rusty
And when they fought, they never lost, but they never won the girl
And the buttons on the shirts they wore were simulated pearl

We'd listen to the radio and drink our ovaltine
Decoding secret messages with our Captain Midnight rings
And for a box top and a dime, we'd wait a month or more
For a hand-tooled belt that glowed in the dark, just like Lone Ranger wore.

Back When I was Young

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 05:00 AM

Washing machines? I remember we had a gas copper where you boiled all the washing! Steam everywhere! Then there was the fun of putting the suitable items through the mangle to get rid of all the water. Great fun, but keep your fingers out the way!

My first stringed instrument was a uke....happy days with the Frances, Day and Hunter Songbooks that had uke chords above the music!

Must get another one one day!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Amos
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 10:09 AM

Hauling coal in a scuttle--an unhappy memory for a small boy.

And a huge national industry of ashtrays. AIrplanes that were ALL smoking section, as were theaters and restaurants.

And a lot more bars in the cities than you see now.


A


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 11:01 AM

Spaw, thanks so much for the history of the NYCFTTS. Reading your post was a good start for the day.

In my kitchen I happen to have two soundholes from Larrivee's. They have been repurposed to let water out of the double sink.

I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: kendall
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 11:39 AM

Amos, you had galoshes? They were called overshoes back home. We couldn't afford overshoes, hell, we couldn't afford UNDERshoes.
We went bare foot even in winter...had to wrap barbed wire around our feet to get traction on the ice.
Screw the good old days!


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 01:13 PM

"For the good old days are still to come
Though the hard times are not over."

                                  Fields of Clover

Jerry


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 01:27 PM

tiny occarina on a necklace that you can actually play a tune on ( and it's made from clay)

I have one of those. a our hole one. Bought in a visitor centre gift shop either in Glen Coe or Kilmartin Glen. I still hav the box, which calls it a song stone. I suppose because it is size and shape of a beach pebble.

Lovely little thing and easy to play

I used to make all kinds of musical instruments.

Asian string instruement - Various size elastic (rubber) bands stretched over tissue box.
Tom tom - Quaker oatmeal carboard tubes with a cut balloon over to make a skin.
Shakers - cardboard paper towel tube with dried beans inside.

I tried and tried to make the comb and tissue paper kazoo, but could not get it to work. Just made my lips tickle.

I loved my swanie whistle. I had a red one.

Does anyone remember clackers? Two heavy plastic balls suspended from string and ring. You were supposed to swing them in a way that made them clack together above and below your hand. They banned them in the schools and with good reason. You could knock your teeth or a nearby kid out.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 01:40 PM

When I was 21 I saw Tom Jones live at a Birmingham UK nightclub, with his band. Women threw their knickers at him. They don't do that anymore :-)

For the UK men.
Remember getting on the open back of the bus with your mates, and it was your turn to be the first one to follow a young lady in mini skirt up the stairs. Ah those were the days :-)

Remember going to the barbers shop, and the barber coughing at the end of cutting your hair and asking if you needed anything extra for the weekend LOL :-)

Remember getting a large turkey being given to you at Christmas by your company. Those were the days.

Remember when you rushed out of the cinema at the end of a film, so you didn't have to stand to attention whilst they played the Queen. No need to worry about that anymore.

Remember when syphilis/gonorrhea and crabs were all you had to worry about when you were a teenager. They seem like a mild cold these days.

Remember putting your hand up your girlfriends legs and undoing the suspenders LOL :-) Ah those were the days.

That should get things going :-)


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 01:55 PM

KENDALL said....."Amos, you had galoshes? They were called overshoes back home."

When I was a kid back in the '50's, a lot of older folks like my grandparents referred to them as "Rubbers." So as I "came of age" I began to wonder how and why you'd get one of those on your dick.

And thanks leenia! We've had a great weekend so far and Cleigh sends his love!


Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Amos
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 02:07 PM

In my part of New England, rubbers were different--they were shoe-shaped things that pulled over your feet by stretching. Galoshes, now, were large black rubbery tunnel-like affairs with these damned clasps--a hooked bit sliding into a holed bit which then got folded over to close--which would come loose the minute you started wading through deep snow. Another crude invention of the age was a pair of mittens joined by a long elastic that was clipped onto the bottoms of the mittens. The elastic ran through both arms and always irritated your shoulders.

Having lived in San Diego for over 24 years, now, icicles are also part of the "way things used to be" for me. I remember them fondly, at a safe distance.


A


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 02:17 PM

I loved my galoshes. They matched my little beige raincoat. Mom bught is cause it matched my hair.   My hair was beige, my face was beige..... no wonder I was so flipping invisible. Didn't speak and blended into the back ground...

I don't like this thread anymore.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: CupOfTea
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 02:21 PM

Sometimes, things still are the way they once were: I got a turkey from my employers that was so big -well over 20# - that I wrenched my back trying to tote the frozen caracss home!

This thread makes me want to dig through the old pictures, for I'm sure I have some shots from a long ago Fox Valley fest of an "odd musical instruments" workshop that was merely a vehicle for hilarity between Art Thieme and Dan Kedding... noseflute, jawharp, bowed or whacked saw. I know my noseflute was purchased after this session, but I still don't play it.

My personal oddest instrument was the wide blade of grass stretched between thumbs in a praying hands sort of posture that was blown with most startling results- rather like a large, angry bird. You could do a few notes before the grass blade shredded and you'd have to readjust- moving a long blade of grass between the thumbs, or getting a new one.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 02:53 PM

I can do that with grass and even though I am 50 years old I still do. I still play with my food too. Ice cream sculptures. Why shouldn't I?

I used to be able to cup my hands together and make ocarina like notes by blowing between my thumbs. Sadly RA in my hands prevents this.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: kendall
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 03:22 PM

We used to take a blade of grass , stretch it between our thumbs and make the most hideous noises. It sounded like a small animal being gutted alive.

We lived on a steep hill and our well was close to the road. We were among the last to get plowed out when it snowed, so one time my brother and I hauled countless buckets of water from the well and sloshed it down the hill. It froze and we took our sleds and were able to slide for at least a quarter of a mile.
The man who drove the snowplow and sander was not happy with our little invention, and we were not happy with his spoiling our slide.

Those "Grups" ruined everything.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 03:29 PM

I used to roll grass up into a bit of cigarette paper and put one end in a stone and light the other end. And toke through the stone end. My stone had a rose painted on it. Then I had kids and had to put away childish things.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 03:42 PM

"...hand-powered screw-drivers." Amos

Remember the 'yankee driver'? A few years back I picked up one at a yard sale in memory of my dad.

Remember flutes made of springtime willow branches and the taste of the fresh sap?

Speaking of sap, the oozed amber from cherry trees. The only chewing gum we had, most of the time.

"Does anyone remember clackers? Two heavy plastic balls suspended from string and ring. You were supposed to swing them in a way that made them clack together above and below your hand. They banned them in the schools and with good reason. You could knock your teeth or a nearby kid out." LtS

Liz, made from sealskin and stuffed with grasses, in Alaska those are called 'Eskimo yoyos'.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 05:21 PM

That wasn't Liz the Squeak... that was me


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM

....and then there was the wind up gramophone! Ours had doors on the front and you could get a great "wa-wa" effect by opening and closing the doors!

Trouble is...what do you do with all the old 78s these days?

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 06:30 AM

you auction them on Mudcat Auction


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: maeve
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 06:48 AM

We play the 78s, sometimes on our wind-up gramophone, other times on a good stereo.
Our ocarinas- turtle, horse, dolphin and Sweet Potatoes- reside in a drawer in our sideboard when not in use. My mother taught me to play tunes using my hands like an ocarina. The blades of grass make a satisfyingly loud shriek to warn the chickens away from the road.

We have just retired our wringer washer and ordered a high efficiency washing machine. I hauled wash water to it and dirty water from it for nearly 2 years. Three different scrub boards, a canner to boil out stubborn stains, and a laundry fork have been my mainstays for ten years. I still get a laugh from the frozen laundry on the line.

My Yankee driver was my dad's and it's still in use. We chew spruce gum rather than cherry. We haul coal in a scuttle for the kitchen stove, cut and carry our own wood for the parlor stove and pick up pinecones for use as fire starters. Most of our hand saws are for cutting; the rest are for music making. We still fix what breaks, including garden tools, clothing, axe handles, baskets, and machines.

My bantams still hide their eggs, too, in the time-honored chicken tradtion. Just found a frozen clutch under the big pine.

maeve


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: kendall
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 08:09 AM

A friend and I built a raft to go exploring down the tidal bay near our house. We worked on that thing for days, hauling fresh cut small trees, and when it was finished, it was too heavy to move. I wonder if it's still there...


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 11:10 AM

While y'all are talking about occarinas from olden times, are there any Gemshorn players around these days?


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 11:32 AM

When I was a small boy, during early WWII, I lived in a rural area of Central California. Rationing was in full flower and almost all essential items were scarce, especially gasoline and rubber. People made a lot of their own clothes, often from muslin feed bags or other "found material." My mother made soap in the back yard, using lye and animal fat. We had chickens, cows and pigs and grew most of our own vegetables. On the radio, we could hear Spike Jones using a slide whistle to great effect with his "City Slickers." Cheap instruments, often homemade, were certainly ubiquitous. The ocarina, or "sweet potato," kazoo, homemade reed flute and cigar box mini-guitar were among them. Everyone needed relief from the tension and fear. Music was one of the outlets many shared in trying to accomplish it. Necessity was the mother of many musical inventions.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

Remember the 'yankee driver'? A few years back I picked up one at a yard sale in memory of my dad.

I am still using mine - in that I ever use a scewdriver you understand!!

Some of the bits in the handle at the top are missing otherwise OK!


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM

When I was an apprentice carpenter, one of the required tools in the kit was the Yankee screwdriver. I have several of them in different sizes. Using them with a standard flat bit for slotted screws was a bit of an art form. I still favor using handtools over power tools where possible. Keeps me in touch with the work.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 12:17 PM

The smell of dry mud and sun-baked dog shite on concrete in the summer.
Evenings hanging around outside the chippy vent to keep warm, while boys in drainpipes and girls in white mini skirts with scabby ankles smoked fags and flirted.
Dumped Tesco trolly's used as stepping stones over 'the flume.'
Boney little girls with sallow skin and gold hoop earings.
Slender boughs torn from freshly planted saplings.
Boys being chased by the police for playing and scaveninging at the dump.
Wherever bindweed and rosebay willowherb carpeted wasteground.
Stealing roses from next doors garden for experiments in alchemy.
All those secret mysteries that only a childs feral mind may know or speak of.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Bert
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 01:20 PM

Collecting shrapnel. The big boys always had the best collections.

Air raid shelters. The smell of fresh concrete still brings back the memory.

Playing on 'The Debris' (a bomb site).

Many bomb sites had brick built water reservoirs on them. They always seemed to have one drowned cat floating in them.

Mittens on a string that went through your coat sleeves.

German prisoners lining up to get their glass of beer, which was their payment for working on the farm.

Going down the village to buy five 'Weights' for one of the prisoners.

Making an oboe by squashing the end of a dandelion stem. If you got a good one you could make a couple of extra holes down the stem and get more than one note.


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Subject: RE: The Way Things Were
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 01:35 PM

Remembrance of things past...
Thanks for that Bert, beautiful living images. I'm there.


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