Open Topic: They Don’t Make’em Like That Anymore

I was thinking of how a while ago that the subject of suspenders and stockings came up at the Café. Now how did that happen? Who knows..but that’s the Café for you 😀

To me memories and reminding oneself of the past is a very good thing to do as without the past how to appreciate the future, and the present for that matter. The things that come to mind and which make me smile include…

~ when vegemite came in glasses ~ when magpies would steal the cream from the top of the milk ~ when you could buy broken biscuits by the bag ~ how my first bike came from the local tip ~ walking to school to save the bus fare ~ having 1 shilling and sixpence to get into the pictures and having enough left over to buy an icecream and a White Knight ~ when the only people who wore blue denims were Rockers ~ being a Sharpie when everyone else was a Rocker, and being a Mod when everyone else was a Sharpie and not remembering one single thing about any movie that I ever saw at the drive-in.

Please consider this an open thread.

79 comments on “Open Topic: They Don’t Make’em Like That Anymore

  1. After guitar lessons I used to grab 20 cents of fish and chips in Bank Street near tha Adelaide railway station. For that princely sum I’d get three pieces of fish and heaps of chips.

    OK, I acknowledge that id get the same for about the same given that 20 cents would be $20 in today’s money, but there’s one big difference. In those days I would get fresh local fish and delicious home made chips. These days they cook frozen fish from the Mekong Delta and disgusting frozen chips. Both tasteless.

  2. I’d kill for a potato scallop cooked in fat like they used to.

    Oh! What’s that pain in the chest?

  3. I guess we’ll all be outing ourselves with this thread. I go back quite a few years before the mods and rockers of the sixties, Min. But your comment reminds me of the Teddy Boys of my day.

    I have a vivid recollection of a boy in our village, Malcolm, whom we had all known as a cissy and crybaby when he was little. He was the first Teddy Boy in our village to make a statement with his drainpipe trousers, long drape black jacket with velvet lapels and collar, and of course the bootlace tie with brothel creeper shoes. All that along with his DA (Duck’s Arse) hair cut caused a furore. I think it was all bound up with his being arrested on a charge of indecency, for some suspected homosexual act or loitering in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was a lot of tongue wagging and tut tutting and sympathy expressed for his poor widowed mother; not much for him that I recall.

    If you project yourself back sixty years it says something about the progress we’ve made in social tolerance since then. It also says something to me about Malcolm and his courage in wearing what he wanted to back then around 1952 and what he must have endured throughout his childhood. I had a bad enough time being ‘different’ in talking ‘posh’ and staying on at school, wearing a gym slip and white socks long after my peers had left at fourteen to get a job, able to buy nylons and New Look skirts.

  4. Can beat’ya Migs…dig your own potatoes 🙂 Them were the days in Beech Forest (Otway Ranges), the men would go ahead digging the spuds and we kids were sent along behind to pick up the chats.

    And Handyrab that just reminded me of the dripping jar. Everything had to be cooked in a good 1/2 inch of dripping.

  5. Patricia, I can understand this. From the earliest time that I can remember I was expected to leave school as soon as I received a basic skills education that being knitting, crochet, basic book-keeping and shorthand typing.

    At the end of 4th Form I said that I wanted to stay on and do 5th Form. My mother was reluctant (very) but was eventually convinced that if I did 5th Form that I could get a job as a secretary.

    A secretary was somewhat more prestigous than a clerk or a typist as a job and so my mother agreed. But there it stopped. Anything other than 5th Form for a girl was considered uppity and/or a waste of time and income.

    I can’t remember anything at all about any gay connotations – everyone loved Liberace but anything approaching anything of a sexual nature simply didn’t exist…at least in working class Hawthorn.

  6. And widgies. Teddy boys was England, bodgies and widgies was least I think so.

  7. There was a copy of the ‘widgies diary’ circulating when I was in high school. First taste of erotica.

  8. I saw South Pacific seven times…you gotta have a dream cos if you don’t hav’a dream how you gonna have a dream come true.

  9. I intercepted a couple of notes at school that contained secret messages about girls who wanted to lose their virginity to me, but as a shy little virgin myself I went red and ignored the messages. One of those girls grew into a drop dead gorgeous sex siren. Epic fail.

  10. The thing I remember most of the 60s was that people were friendlier and communities had a community feel about them. We actually knew our neighbours!

  11. Migs…just how did you manage to intercept a couple of notes about girls wanting to lose their virginity to you?

    Migs (Min whispers an aside), I would suspect that the girls actually wanted you to find those notes.

  12. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 17, far too fat and frumpy for any boy to be interested in me.

  13. I love this song, but it was during the earlier days of technicolor and so everyone ended up looking like cooked lobsters.

  14. I was the first boy at high school (an all boys school) to have my hair bleached completely blonde and eyelashes tinted!

    I had a job as a “shampoo assistant” at a city hair salon after school.

    The girls used to love giving me a new “do” all the time and I fkn loved it!

    I was also one of the few boys at school to wear the upmarket uniform of a crisp white shirt, school tie and formal blazer. Everyone else just wore matching grey pants and an open neck shirt.

    The other boys, not to mention the teachers didn’t quite know what to make…

    But you know, it was the early 80’s, what can I say..?

  15. Indeed I have Min! Recently I’ve taken to wearing 3-piece suits – trousers, jacket and waistcoat.

    As I’ve always maintained, money can’t buy class.

    You only need to go to queensland to find that out! 😉

  16. Re ‘money can’t buy class’..agreed reb, just to let your inner-class shine through 😉

  17. it..something about those gorgeous rockers.

    And here is one from me..a mellow evening song for you.

  18. I love that performance Handyrab.

    Hence my constant respect for David Bowie.

    He’s always had a self=deprecating sense of humour.

    As well as Keith Richards, who once said that the only good thing about being famous is that you might get a good table at a restaurant, that is otherwise “fully booked.”

  19. Handrab, those nylon pedal-pushers were murder. And that’s not even to mention how it took 2 days to get a hairbrush through the beehive hair’do, take out 56 hairpins.

    This is somewhat later…take notes fellas 🙂

  20. I was always bullied by the other boys in school because I was different. Very quiet and mysterious. The girls liked me though. I learned at an early age that women prefer a thinker than a loud mouth.

  21. Same here Migs. I was always bullied from when I can remember because I was different. Yet I couldn’t work out why I was different.

  22. It was the night of the year.

    First there was the collecting.. saving every penny…
    Then there was the building, usually in one of the vacant blocks..
    Then there was the testing, a few to make sure all was dry…maybe an old letter box, or tin can…
    Checking daily what else would be needed to make the night…a potential time bomb under the bed..
    Then there was the excitement as the first flames took hold…
    Then, there was the disappointment, as an errant spark shattered your dreams… and scattered the people around….even before the old tyre, set at the top, sent a black plume into the air…

    Ah, cracker night

  23. My grandfather was in WWI but apart from Anzac Day, you wouldn’t know…never a word spoken.

    Why do we persist with the idea that WAR will solve things…

    Sixties idealism….

  24. Handyrab. I was just remembering why I got into so much strife when I was a kid..and this was for asking Why to everything.

  25. The former mayor of Whyalla made a 1/16th replica of his out of machsticks of his house that would be his new letter box. The same colour, the same furniture. Took 16 matches and thousands of hours.

    The Saturday paper on its front page had a picture of the proud mayor leaning on his letterbox and the house as a backdrop.

    That night a mate of mine – then a rebellious kid – jammed it full of threepenny bombers and blew the shit out of it.

    The mayor’s letterbox made the front page of the local paper’s next edition.

    Many years later the mayor was a client of mine and it was difficult for me to keep a straight face.

    Now that I’m older and more sensible I recognize it was a horrible thing to do. But funny at the time.

  26. Migs, and the mayor was a client of yours because….he needed to know how to build a new letter box from matchsticks? Obviously prerequisite knowledge for all public servants.

  27. Just to keep in the good books with the boss..not one of Gordon Lightfoot’s best known songs, but I like it a lot.

  28. Just logged onto and the main story had “the opposition says . . .” Quickly logged off.

  29. Miglo, suggestion number one, don’t look at ltd news on a Saturday night 🙂
    Spoils a good party.

  30. Anybody been following the Eurovision Song Contest?

    I know the final is on tonight and ABC News has already spoilt it by announcing the winner and place getters without warning.

    Why I bring it up is that I was mildly impressed with a handful of songs last year, but am even more impressed with what was on offer this year. Get past all the pizazz and effects going on around the performer(s) and there were some good numbers there. I was also impressed with some of the choreography, this also has improved over the years and can be quite spectacular, even detracting from the performer/number.

  31. Huh! I haven’t seen a cardigan in my 8 years in Canberra. I don’t think the shops even stock them. I’m a two piece suit dude, and jeans on Friday. 🙂

  32. I haven’t been following, Mobius, but here’s a European song I really dig. Lots of glitz and glamour.

  33. Great thread guys, loys of memories here!

    Min, as a kid in the UK (11 I think) I got on a bus into town and went to see South Pacific … tree rows from the front all by myself … I can rember it now!

    I remember playing at country dances here in QUEENSLAND (that’s for the Taswegian Glaswegian!) and talking the band out of fights “… ’cause I didn’t like the way you looked at my girlfriend, mate …!”

    Contrary to popular belief and myth … most band members didn’t have time for “relationships” … work, practice and gigs take up a lot of time!

    My most influential song of the early sixties!

    (why can’t bands play and harmonise like this now – I guess because another “skill” has been lost!)

  34. TB, I saw South Pacific seven times.

    My best friend in the last couple of years of high school was a Chinese Muslim girl..multicultural family and her older sister used to compare QClub (Melbourne) and so I got to know a lot of the young fellas. One of the nicest of these young blokes was Beeb Birtles when he and Daryl Cotton were with the Zoot. Nice blokes with a passion for music.

  35. Beeb Birtles when he and Daryl Cotton were with the Zoot. Nice blokes with a passion for music.

    Min, “a passion for music” probably didn’t leave much time for passion for girls … as I mentioned above …

    … I met Darryl at The Scene in Brisbane in ’67/68 (long time ago) … my band also played at either The Scene or The Bowl with MPD, The Twilights, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Purple Hearts, The Pacifics, Normie Rowe (went to Normie’s farewell at Cloudland – what an arsehole he turned out to be!) … etc … etc

    … great times … I remember loading my drums into my FJ Holden across the road from The Scene in Adelaide St and MPD (Mike, Pete and Denny) being “fronted” by four young blokes – MPD just cleaned ’em up (Mutant Ninja style! —musos were/are supposed to be poofy, remember?) …

    … another time – loading my drums in the car … an unmarked cop car screeched up behind us and another in front … looking for drugs … I was a third year apprentice at the time – I couldn’t afford a bloody lemonade let alone drugs … the detectives wanted to check my drums with a KNIFE! I “gently” explained that if they had anything in them all they needed to do was hold them up to a light! They did — luckily!

    As I said … a great thread for mem’ries guys, many thanks!

  36. TB, yes I knew MPD too. At QClub ‘drugs’ consisted of kids drinking the cooking sherry or the old lady that used to hang around in the park outside the gig with a suitcase.

  37. OMG! Purple Hearts. I saw them at The Scene in Adelaide. Saw Zoot too at a nightclub in Adelaide too. Wish I had have seen the Twilights – Young Girl remains one of my all-time favourite songs.

  38. I saw Marcia Hines in Jesus Christ Superstar which would have been around 1970 and interestingly she was the first black woman to play Mary Magdalene anywhere in the world. Another co-star was Jon English, and Reg Livermore. I can’t find anything from that time…and this is isn’t even a close approximation, but just to give a clue.

  39. Life in the 21st century has taken a turn for the worse becasue it appears that Sunshine biscuits have disappeared off the face of the planet. Going forth the human race will be denied the pleasure of howing into their Chocolate Creams or Custard Creams.

    Damn Arnotts bought them out and must have done away with them.

  40. I like this one very much. Ok, so it’s sooky sentimental and very green and very unrealistic..”can you paint with all the colors of the wind”.

  41. Goanna Oil..I’ve got some Migs. Cures everything, sad about all the goanna’s that were slaughtered to going into the makings of it tho’. 😉

  42. I remember when it was OK to skin your knees when you fell over in the school yard. You balled your head off for 5 minutes until you realised nobody gave a damn because it was nothing to cry about anyway.

  43. The message I was trying to deliver above is that people today get themselves in a knot over things that don’t matter. The caring of others has been replaced with the me, me, me fixation.

  44. “Love’s the engine of survival”. Thank you Leonard Cohen.
    Thanks to everyone for their contributions…..Reb’s my winner.

  45. 😳 sorry Miglo. I loved 20 miles; you were on the list last night but I didn’t post…………sorry sorry sorry.
    You’re in a diferent league 🙄
    Back soon with a link to my current favourite. Present company excepted…

  46. Is this what you meant about caring Miglo?
    The guy on the right played Valjean in the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables. His name is Alfie Boe from Blackpool [and my daughter is smitten[.

    Bring Him Home

    Matt Lucas doesn’t do a bad job, for a comedian; he was also in Les Mis.
    He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother Matt Lucas + Alfie Boe

    The guy on the left here is Iranian born Canadian, Ramin Karimloo who was also in Les Mis. This is his liittle group
    Sheytoons – Broken

  47. Here’s what I don’t miss about yesteryear: washing my car. Thank gawd for global warming and the drying up of the planet which insists I drive lazily to a car wash that uses grey water (and more significantly, someone else washes my car).

  48. Miglo, thank you for that snapshot of the 60s. I like visiting the 60s but since my time machine broke down I’m stuck here in 2011. 2011 is so primitive.

  49. There’s no place like home and sleeping in your own bed. I’m lucky to still be alive after what I’ve been sleeping on in the Gold Coast.

    My little Pomeranian is cuddled up next to me and for a dog the size of a mouse she sure rips out some loud snores. How can one so small make such loud noises?

  50. Miglo, I have a little Jack Russell snuggled in next to me, and thankfully she snores very quietly. Given the temp. outside she’s very welcome.
    Hey, at least it would have been warmer up north even if you had to sleep on the floor.:smile:

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