"THE BEULAH MAE & MARVIN O'DELL MC CLURE YEARS"

Page Four

     
Radio was our entertainment

     In the rural areas and small towns  there  was  not  much  in  the  way  of
     entertainment or money, so most  nights  the  entire  family  would  gather
     around the Philco radio and do  whatever  they  had  to  do  (homework)  or
     enjoyed doing (reading,  sewing,  cracking  and  eating  hickory  or  black
     walnuts and popcorn), while listening to the radio. If a person didn't have
     anything to do, chances are good that they would be staring at  the  radio,
     as we do TV today.
     The radio (theater of the mind/furniture that talked) was everything to  us
     after the R.E.A. (electric company) was extended into our area. There  were
     several programs that I listened to after school. Such  as  "Little  Orphan
     Annie", "Dick Tracy" and "Amos-n-Andy".
     We also listened to "Don Winslow of the Navy", "Lum &  Abner",  "Fibber  Mc
     Gee &  Molly",  "Truth  or  Consequences",  "Henry  Aldridge",  "Gunsmoke",
     (William Conrad was the voice of Matt Dillon) "Gang  Busters",  "The  Green
     Hornet", "The Shadow (the shadow knows), "Inter Sanctum", "Jack  Armstrong"
     (the all American boy), "Jack  Benny",  "Red  Skelton",  "Burns  &  Allen",
     "Edgar Bergen & Charlie Mc Carthy", "Buck Rogers" (most kids had  a  secret
     code ring and we waited each episode for the secret message).  And  we  all
     knew that the "Lone Ranger" was soon to follow, when we heard  the  William
     Tell Overture and the announcer would say, "And  now  we  return  to  those
     thrilling days of yesteryear!" 
     The "Grand Ol' Opry" was a favorite of  just  about  everyone  on  Saturday
     night from eight until midnight. There were daytime soaps, such  as  "Johns
     other Wife" and "Stella Dallas" for a couple. Delores Chaney  always  tuned
     in the "Top Ten" every Saturday, to see what the  top  songs  of  the  week
     were. 
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Babies - no time for spoiling them

     Most mothers used sugar tits as a baby pacifier, which was a piece of cloth
     or an old sock with a spoonful of sugar in the end of it. This was for  the
     baby to suck-on, when it became cranky. Public breast feeding was a  common
     practice at this time. All babies wore belly-bands  (a  strip  of  material
     wrapped  around  the  babies  tummy,  to  prevent  the  belly  button  from
     protruding).
     Toys for children were called play purties  (pretty).  Soft  drink  bottles
     were used for nursing, with a red or black rubber nipple, that fit over the
     lip of the bottle. The Grapette bottle seemed to be a favorite, due to  its
     small size and light weight. Diapers were made from old rags  and  some  of
     the mothers used a drawer from a chest for a baby bed.

Gas Prices and Gas Pumps

     The gas pumps at this time were the round ones with the  glass  tank
     at the top. This tank had to be completely filled, because the first gallon
     was at the top. Gasoline was only twelve cents a gallon. The people at home
     still talk about the man that went crazy and spent ninety six cents to top-
     off his tank with  gas.  Most  people  didn't  travel  very  far,  so  they
     generally only requested a gallon or two. This was when "full service"  was
     full service. The attendant would do a 6 to 8 point check  and  considerate
     it part of the service. All state road maps were free and most stations had
     a city map taped to a wall to assist customers  in  finding  their  desired
     destination.

     This was years before directional lights  and  brake  lights,  so  you  can
     imagine how unpleasant it was when a person had to  roll  down  the  window
     during the winter months or it was raining to give  a  hand  signal  for  a
     turn. 
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Attracting Customers was different

     All of the service stations gave free glassware for  x  number  gallons  of
     gas. Some people  consider  this  "depression  glassware"  as  collectibles
     today. The soap companies included wash clothes, hand towel and bath towels
     in their boxes of laundry detergents. Some of the hot cereal companies also
     included glass-ware in their boxes. Grocery stores gave points toward a set
     of dishes. The Criterion Theater in the Bluff had a dish night  each  week.
     There were more than a few pieces of broken china left on the  floor  after
     an exciting or suspenseful movie.
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Every One Had A Nickname
    Qulin was a great place for nicknames, which is  probably  true  with  most
    small towns. Many of the nicknames  were  related  to  a  persons  physical
    appearance or disability and were not complementary, in many cases. Besides
    the usual Shorty, Slim, Red, Lefty, Aunt, Uncle, Mom,  Pop,  Granny,  Buddy
    and Billy Bob. There was Elephant Ears (no explanation  needed)  Bo,  Dink,
    Tinker, Bug (her dad, Oney Scott,  frequently  said  that  she's  a  pretty
    little girl with a pretty little figure, stand back boys till  she  gets  a
    little bigger. She also had debilitating Polio at an early age. So Pop  had
    a special fondness for her.) Tootsie, Bushel and a Peck, Pee Wee, Lady Bug,
    Rusty, Cat,Big  Pig,  Ltl'  Pig.  Dusty,  Gentle  Jim  (was  a  gentleman's
    gentleman), Bonehead (we had a lot of these) Junebug  (she  was  the  stuff
    that fantasies are made of) Crome dome (his head looked like a peeled onion
    and felt like a Mexican hairless), Lucky (couldn't pick a winner in  a  one
    horse race), Fly Catcher (always  had  his  moth  open),  Jaybird,  Fe  Fe,
    Wolfman,  Patches  (ugly  to  the  bone)  Bird-dog,  Owl  (laid  out   most
    nights/didn't come home),

    Filipino Baby (one of our teachers). When I told him that I  didn't  intend
    to order any of my senior school pictures  he  said,  "The  camera  is  too
    honest, isn't it?" Don't you hate a smart mouth teacher? I will admit  that
    he taught a great course in aeronautics. He was an instructor  in  the  Air
    Force during WW 11.

    Sissie Bug, Pug & Pug-ugly,  Heavy  Harvey,  Skeeter,  Hollywood,  Peg-leg,
    Squirrel (was goffy as a bed bug), Jaws (our iceman), Boots (she frequently
    said that I looked like a movie star and when I played along by asking  her
    which one, she would always say Bugs Bunny. So it's no wonder that I  never
    liked her or those ugly boots.) Fat-man, Bottle Britches (our shoe-cobbler,
    who was murdered) Happy, Fuzzy,( a real jughead) Spit-fast,  Bird-legs  (we
    knew that the girl could sing, because she had bird-legs), Blindy, Big Mama
    (Claudie would say that she was built  like  a  $40.00  racehorse),  Dugan,
    Dough Belly (that boy could sing), Coondog (was a shade tree mechanic,  who
    could jerry rig just about anything).  Yankee  Dollar,  Chicken,  Puncture,
    Beefsteak Scooter, Frog, Cheese-bubble, Tick  (cute  as  a  button),  Moose
    Possum (was the hulley gully (how many)  king.  He  could  generally  guess
    close to the number of marbles or coins that a person was shaking in  their
    cupped hands. To gamble with him was to lose.) The same could be  said  for
    Red Glass when it came to pitching pennies.
  
    Cadillac (M.C. of a small band), Badger, 4-H, Bunny,  (a  dishwater  blonde
    with wonderful "lumps and bumps") Torch (liked matches) Penny, (cuter  than
    a bugs ear) Babyface (a little doll) Pretty-boy (loved  to  sweet-talk  the
    girls) Little Bit (wasn't as big  as  a  piss-ant)  Shando,  Hotrod  (could
    really kick those old cars in the tail), Slewfoot  Sue,  Moonbeam,  (always
    had her tickle box turned over)

    Just a few more are Dub, Step-and-a-half (had one leg that was frozen at  a
    90 degree angle at the knee).  And then there was Twinkle-toes with his Gene
    Autry boots and ten gallon Tom  Mix  hat  (loved  to  scoot-a-boot  at  the
    Rendezvous, Fairway, Snowballs, Club 67, the Blue Moon, King of  Clubs  and
    Uncle Claudie's  favorite,  the  Redeye  Saloon).  And  finally  there  was
    Precious, the one we all wanted to take home to Mama.


(c) Taken from: "My Memories," written to my children, nieces & nephews. Charles McClure in Owasso, Oklahoma
(c) and Contributed by: Charles McClure


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