Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

What I Miss from Days Gone By

Dorothy Long

Thinking back, one can become nostalgic for the good old days. Not all of it was better. We’ve come a long way because of modern technology. None of us would probably want to go back in time, but there are things we miss.

I decided to list what I miss. Your list may be entirely different.

I miss old fashioned candy, penny candy and a clerk scooping and weighing mouth watering chocolates. Also, favorite gum, Yucatan, Black Jack, Cloves and Charcoal. Some now show up as limited flavors at hefty prices.

If you are old enough to remember pop in glass bottles and soda fountains, what a treat. Along with hand dipped ice cream cones.

I miss the freedom to feel safe to walk or ride a bike. Growing up our main source of transportation was feet or bikes. We felt safe both day and night.

Thinking back to Rock and Roll and big named bands stirs up great memories. I cannot comprehend the lyrics of today’s hits.

I miss children playing outside. Who can forget Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, Red Rover, and jumping rope? Also sandlot ball games with scraped knees and torn clothing.

I miss dressing up for church and other special occasions. Along with Sunday dinners with relatives and friends. Along with Sunday drives and, in nice weather, gathering for picnics.

I miss tea parties. Even the popular tea rooms have disappeared.

Where have family TV shows gone? On antenna TV, one can catch Beaver, Father Knows Best, and Happy Days. I miss movies with no violence or obscenities, and drive-in theaters. Drive-ins could return, as people practice social distancing.

How about Green Stamps, comic books, and band concerts in the park?

A highlight of earlier childhood was the circus coming to town. PETA has said no more.

I am hungry for food at Mom and Pop cafes, my mom’s fried chicken, apple pie, and divinity candy. My mouth waters.

No longer do children deliver May baskets, something we looked forward to for weeks.

I miss the smell of a real, fresh cut Christmas tree, decorated with bubble lights, angel hair, glass ornaments and icicles. However this year real trees are making a comeback.

I still remember the smell of fresh sheets taken directly from the clothesline.

Most of all, I miss the love shown for our great country and respect for all human beings.

These are what I miss from days gone by.

The Mystery of Our History

Barbara Schwartz

There is an old saying that “History repeats itself.” In response, the only thing that I can say is “I hope not.”

As we look back on the last one hundred years and see the historical markers: the wars, famines, sickness, terrorist attacks, pandemics, and religious and cultural persecution, I hope that our children and grandchildren will never have to see any of this.

But I fear that I am wrong.

For example, just take this last year of 2020. It started off like any other year with anticipation of yet another wonderful time coming up.

But, was it? Little did we know that a month or two later, we would be faced with the pandemic of all pandemics and that we would be facing quarantine, isolation, and loss of anything normal. There would be no celebrations of anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, proms, graduations, and the usual expectations of exploring college with the normal excitement of fraternities and sororities and meeting new—sometimes lifelong—friends in college.

The year 2020 also brought the worst election campaign that I have EVER seen. I’ve been voting for over 50 years, and have NEVER seen a campaign as negative and nasty as this one. No matter who wins or which party prevails, I fear that we will not be doing well with our country’s division. I only hope that whatever happens, we will do our NORMAL thing of uniting the country and living as one people with the same goals. The mystery remains with the questions unanswered in 2020.

As our children look back at history some fifty or one hundred years from now, will they have the same feelings of trepidation and despair that we have now, or will they be facing what we used to think was normal? Or will they look around and think that there is another old saying other than “History repeats itself,” and that one is “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

There’s the mystery, folks…


Larry Blackledge

When it comes this time of the year, I tend to reflect on the past. The picture I conjure up in my mind’s eye is of a young family growing up together, finding their way through the wilderness of life. With the young parents as the leaders on this journey, they took forks in the road—some right and some wrong.

One turn they took that was destined to be in the right direction was when they took a teenage boy into their home. A family with three boys and two girls, and now a new family member, their first teenager. Oh God, you say. Nowadays that word stirs fear in the hearts of most parents. Naive! Did I say we were naive to say the least, but we thought we were up to the task. We had to set rules and parameters that were beyond what our kids needed for their age. The one constant rule was that we were family, all family. What was good or wrong for one, was the same for everyone.

Here and now I would like to commend our kids for their positive attitude and acceptance of Will. Oh didn’t I introduce our oldest son: William P. George, III. Now some 33 years later he goes by Patrick. To me, his dad, he’ll always be Will. Personally, I think Will was a good fit for our family. I know for myself, and speaking for Diane. The two years Will lived with us. Oh yes it was only two years. I’ll say right now we all poured a lot into those two years; a lot of good memories, good work and plain old good times. As I was saying, I think it was much longer than two years.

I would like to say now to Will I am very proud of you, for all your accomplishments, from a childhood that would have ruined most people; those that can’t seem to get beyond the scars of a bad childhood—you had many legitimate excuses to fail. But I want you to know that being the person you are and having the intestinal fortitude to stay with a positive attitude is what has brought you through the bad times, the trials and tribulations, to where you are today. Diane and I can only take a very small amount of credit for what you have accomplished. We only tried to guide you in the right direction. As they say, we handed the ball to you, you ran with it and scored.

Diane and I would like you to know that we are proud of the fine adult you have become. The compassion and thoughtfulness of others is only a small part. I hope this note will shed some light on our feelings toward you and how proud of you we are. Thank you for being such a wonderful son.

Larry and Diane