Mar 7, 2016

5 Things a 20th Century Retro Dad misses seeing..

Breakfast Cereal commercials.

Most of the breakfast cereal commercials today are ridiculous. On Saturday mornings, I used to look forward to watching Monster Cereal, Cap'n Crunch, and Fruity Pebbles commercials just as much as the cartoons! I even used to record them with my cassette recorder, so I could listen to them again after the kids programming had finished for the day. They were incredibly fun and entertaining to watch, and I haven't seen any that are nearly as good in decades.

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis

These three icons always seemed to be everywhere when I was a kid! I'd always see them on movies and TV, even when they got up there in years. I always wanted to be like Frank as a kid, because I saw him as a tough guy and gentlemen. As these three members of The Rat Pack passed away one by one, they took with them a bit of magic that the entertainment world would never get back.

The Old School Jack in the Box restaurants

The food, the characters promoting the products, and who can forget that awesome clown that you had to talk into to order your food! Some of my earliest memories were of me and my old man going to Jack in the Box for an afternoon snack. I'd giggle with delight as he pulled up to the clown head and start talking to it. Marketing just seemed so much more creative back in the day.

Real Cars

A dying breed. The shiny chrome, the elegant curves, and those fancy emblems written in cursive. I appreciated a well built piece of Detroit steel from a very early age. Remember when a 5 MPH fender bender was just that, and not a $3,000.00 repair? I still plan on tracking down an old Ford Falcon like the one above to restore someday. This beauty can easily seat six people, and with a finely tuned six cylinder, can be a pretty economical car. Yes kids.. they just don't make them like they used to.

Good old fashioned diners

I practically grew up in my old man's barber shop, and right next door was a real down home, honest to goodness diner. To this day, I can still vividly recall how the strong smell of the freshly brewed coffee would fill my nostrils the second I walked into the diner. As we took our seats, the jumbled aroma of eggs, Tabasco, hash browns, sausage, pancakes and toast would circle around my head making me hungrier by the minute.

It was a fairly small diner with about eight tables, four booths, and a counter with four bar stools. On the rare occasion.. me and the old man would sit at the bar to eat. To me, this was always a special treat. I loved sitting next to the enclosed rotating cake and pie display that always housed freshly made pecan, apple, cherry, and lemon meringue pies. The waitresses would step behind the bar to make a fuss over me, and made sure I always had plenty of chocolate milk. I never understood why the old man preferred to sit in a booth rather than a way cool bar stool until recently. These days, it's my little one who begs for us to sit on those types of bar stools. The first thing I start thinking about is how my back is going to feel afterward, but like the old man.. I occasionally give in.

It never ceased to amaze me how Dad was treated like royalty in that place. He'd get his coffee topped off at what seemed like every fourth or fifth sip, would get free pieces of fresh made pie, and sometimes.. a free meal all together! One time when my mother dropped me off at my Dad's shop for the afternoon, he was sitting in one of his barber chairs just finishing up a plate of food from the diner. A few minutes after he finished eating, the owner came in the back door of his shop, picked up the plate, silverware and cup, and took it back to the restaurant. I remember thinking "Wow! Eating in a barber chair.. people coming to serve you.. this is the life!"

It wasn't just the regulars that were treated good though. That busy little diner had a warm and friendly atmosphere, and you could practically "feel the love" a midst all of the hustle and bustle. My old man is now retired, and his barber shop long gone, but that little diner is still in business. The next time I have a day off all to myself, I just may have to take a drive three towns over. After writing this post, I've got a real inkling to see if the magic is still alive at that little diner.


  1. Hi, this is TR.
    I also miss some of those things.
    I also miss the art that was done on pinball machines, + on LP music record's covers.
    I miss the art style, on those things. *shrugs*

    1. I know. SO much effort put into those things. A commercial artist could have made a lot of money back in the day.


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