Olden Times

My grandmother had a gift, and she left it behind.

“Each generation asks Grandparents about Olden Times and I’m sure we all think—My Olden Times weren’t so long ago—but to them it has been ages. Mine were the twenties—roaring they were called—To me they were very quiet—learning years—the old songs, to play casino, dominoes, and solitaire. The common man just was beginning to have a car or a Tin Lizzie. Everyone took part in the driving. Once when I was asked, ‘Is there a car coming?’ I replied—’No only a Ford,’ which seemed to be a joke worth repeating. Short dresses seemed a scandal. I had not seen anything else. The first short hair cuts were being worn. I remember Grandmother saying, ‘How can those women stand those short sleeves in this weather?’ Fashion was stealing in on practicality.”

my Grandmother Catherine Savage
My Grandmother’s Words. Priceless.

My Olden Times were the seventies. Dad loved cars, still does. The one I remember most (before the Silver Anniversary Corvette) was his Volkswagen bug, green, I think. Mom had a series of Cadillacs, and the family would road trip in style. Dad at the wheel. My mother riding shotgun. Johnny Cash and Creedence Clearwater Revival on eight-track. Liz, Scott, and me in the backseat. So many miles to pester each other, especially me and my brother. Eventually we would see the entire lower forty-eight, even if we just hopped out at the state line for the photo opp. And, the big wheel would keep on turnin’.

39 thoughts on “Olden Times

    1. That’s so sweet. My grandmother’s house was always full of people. My mom was one of five, and they gathered on Sundays. I always had fun with my cousins, and then we would be back on the road (5 hours to home). We probably did that once a month or so.

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    1. I need to do New England again. I was six when we made that trip, but I remember Philadelphia, DC, NYC, and Niagara Falls. We skirted through the other states. I finally made it to Alaska (#50) to visit a friend in 2008.

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  1. Wonderful experiences, Crystal. These and other stories you’ve shared earlier are enough to fill a memoir, and I’d wager you only are on “Part A” of your journey. Think of all the experiences yet to be which will enrich your story. And of all the lives your narrative will enrich.

    The miles gone by in the Caddy launched fond memories of similar experiences in my own past. It also made me consider we may be the last generation to experience the great family road trip. On a regular basis, at least.

    To be sure, this smacks of creeping old fogeyism. “Things never will be that way again.” Still, changing family dynamics and evolving transportation realities probably mean it’s unlikely the whole family will load up the car for a cross-continental adventure.

    Sigh….

    …and lots of warm memories too. Thanks for that!

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    1. To think…the last generation to experience the great family road trip. Such a nostalgic statement. We were so close to New Mexico and Colorado and frequented those states. For growing up in the middle of nowhere, we happened to be in the middle of everything.

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      1. Definitely, Crystal!. The Central time zone is aptly named, as you were just an adventure away from most everything. Good point too, about having a fondness now for what our childish selves dismissed as “a whole lot of nothing.”

        We had friends and family around the country, including grandparents who retired to Florida when I was eleven. Those connections launched a dozen road trips at least, including lots of great experiences along the way. “Kids these days” have no idea!

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  2. This warms m heart Crystal, what a precious keepsake! Clearly your love of writing came from this lively woman! Sounds like you come
    from a large, gregarious, and loving family! 💕C

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    1. Once I took one of my best friends with me on a trip to OKC to visit my grandma with my mom. I’m not sure how old we were, probably about 8th grade since my older siblings were out of the house at that time. Anyway, my friend used the word “lively” for my grandma. The things you never forget. You nailed it. ❤️

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  3. Thank you for sharing a part of your world!!… family and friend never leave us, they occupy a special place in our hearts to visit whenever we wish!!… “Life gives us brief moments with another, but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a lifetime, So live that your memories will be part of your happiness.” (Author Unknown)… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

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  4. I’m so glad you shared this! What a thing of beauty to have such amazing memories and keepsakes. Loved the photos! I think my olden time would be back to rotary phones & sitting on the yellow pages instead of having a car seat 😅😬

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    1. These are a few of my favorite things! I come from those days of rotary phones, too. We didn’t have the yellow pages in the car, but I just now remembered sitting in the middle on the arm rest.

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