Things I Miss

Having passed the milestone of my 60th birthday last January, I reflected on the many changes I have witnessed in my life. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, yet I embrace the new technology (embrace I said, not understand). However there were a lot of things that I found to be better than they are now, and I’m glad to have lived in that era. Following are a number of things that I lament that may never come back.


boyBeing A Kid- When you are a kid your mindset is completely different than that of an adult. Hence while you have responsibilities, they are much less noticeable and demanding. You see the world through innocence, ignorance, and naivety. You don’t know what a mortgage payment is, or a paycheck, and you are comforted by the security of your family and home. Worries are relevant to what age you are but they are worries you usually don’t have when you are grown up. As you watch your own kids and grandchildren grow up, you pull from the memory bank of your childhood to relate better to them. Sometimes it works, sometimes the mindset can’t be recaptured. I speak only for myself here, as I realize unfortunately not all childhoods were as happy as mine.


leavesBurning & Smelling Leaves In The Fall– I can remember raking leaves to the edge of the street and piling them high. Then stuff some newspaper in the sides and light them. The odor of burning leaves had almost a medicinal effect as it enveloped your sense of smell. Raking didn’t even seem like work because the goal was to get them piled for the burning. Damn stupid environmental laws.


ventVent Windows In Cars– Those little vent windows in cars were great. If you wanted a breeze aimed at you, you opened and adjusted the air flow to hit you. Was good for smokers and in the rain you didn’t have to get wet like you do now, when cracking the window open is the whole length of the window. It also served as a defogger when adjusted right. Damn Detroit






parkUnorganized Sports With Neighborhood Kids– We would get together at the park and choose up teams. Yeah there was always the kid who got picked last, but we let him play. And it wasn’t always the same kids on the same team all the time, we mixed it up. If there was a dispute or lousy call we worked it out and continued playing. If the other team was shellacking us, or us them, we didn’t stop the game, we humiliated each other and gloated. But at the end of the game we all walked off the field friends with vows to get even next time. But as I said there would be different makeups next time. And guess what? We did all that and had fun without any parents, coaches, or officials around. Damn Busybodies


fishMy Old Fishing Hole At Perrys Pond– Ok technically it wasn’t Perrys Pond which was over a bit, but Mill River going through Perrys Mill. We had special places to fish but usually wound up circling the entire body of water. I spent a lot of time fishing there, some days we caught nothing, other days we couldn’t miss. I remember one day we caught 22 largemouth bass. Mostly we caught sunnies, bluegills, yellow perch, or bass. Every once in awhile we would hook a pickerel, or white perch, or rock bass. Looking back it was amazing how many different types of fish went through there. I took my son a few times when he was small but even then the perimeter was overgrowing with brush, and I imagine today there may be one or two openings to cast your line. But I remember the haven it was for me and the fun spent there. Damn Nature Overgrowing.


swimSwimming At Fairfields Beaches– As a kid I used to swim a lot in the water usually at Sasco Beach. Maybe it was never that clean as I didn’t pay attention to that sort of stuff back then, but you wouldn’t catch me dead in that water today. Damn Polluters



nunNuns In Habits– While I’ve renounced organized religion, I remember going to St Thomas church every Sunday and then to the school for religious classes and seeing all the nuns in black habits. They lived in the convent right next to the church. While some came across as Attila The Hun most were soft spoken and very grandmotherly. The habits to me symbolized religion and meant obedience and respect were in order. Damn Womens Lib


gridlockRoads In Town Without Gridlock– I can remember when I first got my license. I lived off of Mill Plain Rd and can remember pulling out of my street onto that road and even though I did, you did not need to look to see if any cars were coming. Ok that’s a little exaggerating but the point is that traffic was so light back then that chances are a car wasn’t coming down the road. Today almost every intersection on the Post Road is gridlock. At noon forget about crossing Unquowa Rd to the Old Post Rd. Damn Population Growth


sawThe Smell Of Sawdust– My father was a fireman in Fairfield when I was growing up. As with all firemen, they held a second job or occupation. My father was a carpenter. He built the addition to our house and did many jobs throughout his life. He worked down in the basement (we called it the cellar growing up), where all his saws, tools and benches were. He could take any old pieces of wood and make some beautiful furniture out of it. Coffee tables, desks, tables and benches still grace all of our houses leaving his mark behind. Whenever I get a whiff of sawdust it brings me right back down to that cellar. Unfortunately I didn’t inherit my dads genes in that department, having neither the patience or mechanical skills necessary. Damn Genes Going Haywire


boxFull Sized Packages Of Anything– Product shrinkage today is ridiculously out of control. It’s enough to give anyone a stroke going shopping today and every trip find something else that is smaller in size. With some products the manufacturers succeeded in making them small enough that you are forced to buy two of them. Then when they get the public used to the smaller size, they come back with the regular size they use to be, only now they have the audacity to label it “Family Size”. I’m a capitalist all for making a buck, but don’t resort to ripping the consumer off. Damn Greedy Sons Of Bitches


opTV Sitcoms Where Kids Act Like Kids- Enough with giving kids lines that are uncharacteristically something a kid would say. Nothing else to say about this except bring back Opie Taylor who knew how to act like a kid. Damn Hollywood Know-It-Alls






Ok that’s my rant for now. There will be another column of some more things I miss as soon as I remember how much I miss them.

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