For the over 50 Crowd

Messages
5,336
Location
London, AR
What a great blast from the past! I haven't thought about "fender skirts" in years. When I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term. Made me think of a car in a dress. Thinking about "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice. Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you. Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental. When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake." I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feet." Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the "running board" up to the house? Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - "store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy. "Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "worldwide" for granted. This floors me. On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with carpet, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure. When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all talk about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply "expecting." Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the otherday and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all. It's hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper -"divorce." And no one is called a "divorcee" anymore. Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone,too. I always loved going to the "picture show," but I considered "movie" an affectation. Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down! Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffeemaker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this. I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "ElectraLux." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!" Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear Mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore. Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me the most - "supper." Now everybody says "dinner." Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts. Someone forwarded this to me, and I thought some of us of a "certain age" would remember most of these. [Duh!]
 
Messages
244
Location
U. P. Michigan
I never quite understood why my Dad calls the accelerator the foot feed until my husband bought a 1929 Chevy ton and a half truck. There’s this little dohicky on the steering column that you can use to feed the gas to the engine. Is that called a “hand feed”? There’s a foot feed as well. And a spark advance and of course a manual choke. My kids have no idea what a choke is when talking about cars. Dad also calls the glove compartment the glove box. I’m not sure they are even called glove compartments anymore since no one uses them for gloves. As for that emergency/parking brake, Dad calls it a hand brake. Driving the truck explained that to me too. The foot brake merely slowed the truck down, if you wanted to actually stop the truck, you used the hand brake. Took me both hands to stop the dang thing too. I’ve driven cars without power brakes and don’t mind at all the extra ‘oomph’ that it takes to stop a car with mere hydraulic brakes, but the truck didn’t even have hydraulic brakes, just the mechanical advantage of levers.
 
Messages
244
Location
U. P. Michigan
Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too And thankfully “Old Maid” is a thing of the past. Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down! Right on Brother! Far Out! Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear Mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore. What about neuritis and neuralgia? Did Anacin finally cure them too? Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me the most - "supper." Now everybody says "dinner." Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts. We always have supper. It’s a casual meal in the evening. Lunch is a casual meal at midday. Dinner is a fancier meal at either noon or evening. At least in my house. But this reminds me of the time too many relatives were visiting at once and for supper I just went to the deli at the grocery store and got sandwich makings and deli salads and set it all out buffet style. My younger son, who was about 5 at the time, looked it over and said “I can’t believe Mom is serving lunch for dinner!” I just noticed a word that I used that seems to be fading out of common usage. Am I the only one who goes to the grocery store anymore? Everyone else seems to go to the supermarket.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by 59 Vetteman: What a great blast from the past! [Duh!]
"Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs."" Steering knobs were also called "squirrel knobs" because of the way people drove with them. They went along with the "lover lever", a column shift lever rotated to the left side of teh steering column so you could shift without taking your arm off from around your girl. " "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake."" Maybe when dual master cylinders came out?? I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feet." "On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with carpet, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure." Wall to wall used to cost more than hardwood so was a status symbol, now it's vs. versa "Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. " A lot of diseases used to have generic catch all names. For instance, "Dropsy", if heart related, is now called pulmonary edema, or conjestive heart failure.
 
Messages
10,830
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by 59 Vetteman: In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with carpet, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting!
When I was young I lived in a house that was built in 1969. It had hardwood floors in the living room, covered with green carpet. In that same house we had 36-channel cable TV with the Jerrold cable box that had the 13 buttons and a 3-position selector switch so that each of the 13 buttons would tune 3 different channels depending on the selector switch. Remember how long it took to change channels on UHF? Click--click--click (parent: "Hey slow down you'll break it!") Did anyone notice that newer TVs (since about the late 80s) no longer go up to UHF channel 83? They stop at 69. I always had the impression that the Midwest was the last to catch the newest trends. Must have been why Chicago had a top-40 station (WLS) on the AM band that continued with the top-40 format until 1989!
 
Messages
10,830
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by Dewlanna: I just noticed a word that I used that seems to be fading out of common usage. Am I the only one who goes to the grocery store anymore? Everyone else seems to go to the supermarket.
Maybe that's a regional thing? Nobody around here calls it the supermarket..we call it the "grocery store". 'course we also call it "soda", not "pop".
 
Messages
3,775
Location
Houston, Tex
I will repost the way I responded to this on another forum. From my response you may guess that this was a racing forum, and that their idea of an older person for reference was 40. "Some comments, in no particular order: It's going to take someone older than 40 to have had actual encounters with fender skirts, necker nobs and Continental kits, I would guess in the 50's at a minimum. You could add the terms frenched, decked, shaved, channeled, and the names Big Daddy Roth and Don Garlits and all the famous customizers, painters and pinstripers. My nephews get a real treat out of the retro soda fountain that still exists as a curiosity in their town, but will never be able to imagine them being as prevalent as the fast-food joints that replaced them. They will never be able to imagine what it was like to in the middle of the AM radio bubble gum music period in the sixties (and how it sucked, with 10 songs in endless rotation), but then be blown away by Wolfman Jack, Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Iron Butterfly, Country Joe and the Fish, the Velvet Underground and so many others on "underground" FM radio that you listened to on your transistor under your pillow so your parents wouldn't know you were doing something so illicit. I still remember how the clear plastic smelled when you ripped it off a brand spankin new album, all of which sold for $3.46, unless it was a double. Other things that made the sixties special - Racing karts that you push started, raced on Sunday in shopping center lots (no tracks yet) which were closed due to Blue Laws. Mcullough "Mac XX" engines. Front engined nitro dragsters which were pushed to half track to start, on eight inch recapped slicks. Wheelstanding Fiat Topalino and Willys gassers. Mini-bikes and Vespa scooters. Slot car speedways. Some of the great art deco from the fifties was still around, and we added our own cheesiness with banana bikes, fiberglass dune buggies, flared pants, tie-dyed T-shirts and white guys wearing afros. The free-love movement and Woodstock - (Can I admit that my missing of these is not just confined to the present.....) In the early 70's the in-thing was Cherry Bomb header mufflers (or Purple Hornies), Hi-Jacker air shocks and Ansen mags with L60 Pos-a-traction tires on big-block, high compression musclecars, with candied lace painting. Going way back- My father in law, age 79 still rhapsodizes about the pure cotton wad oil filters of his youth ("That oil came out looking just like honey"). It left all the contaminants in the engine because it was non-detergent (remember that?), but hey, it LOOKED great! Words you never hear - No one is "knocked up" or "out of wedlock" anymore, or dies of "consumption". OK !!- GREAT THREAD, loved it !! but now I feel old and am fantasizing about a time machine..... " [ August 26, 2004, 12:58 AM: Message edited by: TooManyWheels ]
 
Messages
3,775
Location
Houston, Tex
quote:
Steering knobs were also alled "squirrel knobs" because of the way people drove with them. They went along with the "lover lever", a column shift lever rotated to the left side of teh steering column so you could shift without taking your arm off from around your girl.
I believe steering knobs were also called "necker knobs" in the style of, and in use with the lover lever.
quote:
Chicago had a top-40 station (WLS) on the AM band
Remember the stories about Wolfman Jack having to broadcast into the U.S. from a high power Mexican station because his act was too radical for the U.S.? Well about the time I heard those stories, I was surprised to be able to pick up WLS very late at night in South Texas. Since WLS supposedly stood for World's Largest Station, I regarded this phenomena with the roughly the same wonder as I did the Wolfman stories. [ August 26, 2004, 12:55 AM: Message edited by: TooManyWheels ]
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
And from racing how many now know 'Dyno' Don Nicholson, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, Bob Glidden (the best), Don "the Snake" Prudhome, Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney, and cars like Roland Leongs "Hawaiian"? Guess I'm showing my age a bit?
 
Messages
7,409
Location
Austin, TX
quote:
Originally posted by sprintman: And from racing how many now know 'Dyno' Don Nicholson, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, Bob Glidden (the best), Don "the Snake" Prudhome, Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney, and cars like Roland Leongs "Hawaiian"? Guess I'm showing my age a bit?
No way!! "Grumpy" was the best. [Big Grin] [Cheers!]
 
Messages
17
Location
Long Beach, CA
Cool thread. It's neat to see all the old phrases that were once common. Give's one sort of a window into the past. I'm 23 and make something of a hobby of keeping nearly dead words alive, even if none of the younger folks have a clue what I'm saying. That said, I did use dictionary.com seven times, although even it didn't know one word (Anacin). Never knew what 'hand/foot feed' or 'Purple Hornies' were; now I do. Love that last one, by the way. I'm going to have to throw it around soon. As for sprintmans post, five out of six ain't bad, right? Must be all those years of Car Craft, the dinosaur of car magazines. Well, I'll have my T-Rex, thank-you-very-much. -Steve
 
Messages
244
Location
U. P. Michigan
Great thread! Lots of fun dredging up old memories.
quote:
Originally posted by brianl703: 'course we also call it "soda", not "pop".
My sister-in-law in Louisville Kentucky calls all carbonated soft drinks 'coke' whether it's a cola or not. Very odd to have her say "Want a coke?" and when you say "sure" she'll ask "What kind do y'll want? We've got orange, root beer, and Pepsi." [Cheers!]
quote:
Originally posted by brianl703: In that same house we had 36-channel cable TV with the Jerrold cable box that had the 13 buttons and a 3-position selector switch so that each of the 13 buttons would tune 3 different channels depending on the selector switch.
Gosh! you had 36 channels? My kids don't believe that when I was a kid we only got 2 1/2 channels. And I find it hard to believe that my mother only had radio and that Dad didn't even have that. Makes me wonder what my future grandchildren will think is a God-given right that they can't live without.
quote:
Remember how long it took to change channels on UHF? Click--click--click (parent: "Hey slow down you'll break it!")
Remember having to get your duff up off the couch and actually WALK over to the TV to change the channel? [Eek!]
quote:
Originally posted by TooManyWheels: It's going to take someone older than 40 ..... and the names Big Daddy Roth and Don Garlits and all the famous customizers, painters and pinstripers.
I remember these two, but only because my big brother worshiped them. [bowdown]
quote:
My nephews get a real treat out of the retro soda fountain that still exists as a curiosity in their town, but will never be able to imagine them being as prevalent as the fast-food joints that replaced them.
Anyone else remember chocolate Cokes and cherry phosphates?
quote:
They will never be able to imagine what it was like to in the middle of the AM radio bubble gum music period in the sixties (and how it sucked, with 10 songs in endless rotation), but then be blown away by Wolfman Jack, Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Iron Butterfly, Country Joe and the Fish, the Velvet Underground and so many others on "underground" FM radio that you listened to on your transistor under your pillow so your parents wouldn't know you were doing something so illicit.
Hmmmmm. I must be a bit younger than you, I remember Hendrix and Iron Butterfly being on the local AM stations when I was in college. Maybe this is because we didn't have any FM stations around. As for WLS, it was my primary source of entertainment from 6th grade thru my bachelor's degree. Then with a real job, I couldn't stay up late at night listening to it. [Frown] I was so disappointed when, years later, I was looking for late night AM radio and found WLS (and CKLW) had gone to talk radio. CKLW was my secondary radio station, the boyfriend's favorite. Anyone else remember CK? “Broadcasting from the heart of Downtown Detroit in Windsor Ont” [Canada]
quote:
Originally posted by sprintman: And from racing how many now know 'Dyno' Don Nicholson, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, Bob Glidden (the best), Don "the Snake" Prudhome, Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney, and cars like Roland Leongs "Hawaiian"? Guess I'm showing my age a bit?
I'm showing my gender more than my age when I say that Ms Muldowney [HAIL 2 U!] was one of my heros in my youth. [Smile]
quote:
Originally posted by Stucker21trt: That said, I did use dictionary.com seven times, although even it didn't know one word (Anacin). -Steve
Anacin Pain reliever of choice until ibuprofen was made available over-the-counter. So what were the other ones you had to look up? I’d forgotten a lot of the 50s and 60s car terms, but reading them here brought back memories of my big brother and his cronies and things like dismantled carburetors all over the kitchen table. I can almost smell the gasoline and carb cleaners. [Smile] [ August 26, 2004, 08:38 AM: Message edited by: Dewlanna ]
 
Messages
3,775
Location
Houston, Tex
quote:
I’d forgotten a lot of the 50s and 60s car terms
We have forgotten a lot of those terms because we don't have real custom cars anymore. Although some people are still chopping 49 Mercs and doing leadsleds, there is almost no restyling activity done on current vehicles. I get really disgusted watching "Rides" when their idea of customizing is a color change and a bunch of bolt-on doodads. Some of the fifties and sixties customs were beautifil creations of design and metalworking and I'm sorry we have lost the art. Back to old fashions terms - One that my Dad's generation used was "Hooey", with a meaning roughly similar to excrement, as in "that's a load of Hooey". And does anyone store their food anymore in the "ice box"? [ August 26, 2004, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: TooManyWheels ]
 
Messages
394
Location
Greenville, SC
Wow! Great thread. Yes I remember CKLW, WLS, WABC (Cousin Brucie!) in NYC, WOWO in Ft. Wayne, KMOX in St. Loius, WLW in Cincy, etc. Racin', well, Ohio George Montgomery, Virgil Cates. Loved the gassers. How about "cutouts" for your exhaust? 3/4 cams anyone? Cubes instead of ccs. 409 sounds much better than 6.7 litre. Posi (OK, Safe-T-Track for Ponchos), TriPower, DualQuads, RedLines, PolyGlas? Everyone remember what a 671 is? Where are the Beach Boys when we really need them?
 
Messages
3,775
Location
Houston, Tex
Baby Moons on chrome reverse wheels. Chrome Spotlights as a custom touch. One of my relatives says the Beach Boys are now the Beach Men, but that is probably being too charitable. Thinking of the exhaust cutouts, we could start another thread from this - Famous things JC Whitney USED to sell. Street racing for "pink slips". It took me the longest time to figure out what a pink slip was.
quote:
3/4 cams anyone?
Trivia Question - What other antiquated term is the 3/4 based on (hint, what did you call a 4/4)? [ August 26, 2004, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: TooManyWheels ]
 
Messages
404
Location
The Mid South
A 4/4 has to be a FULL race cam, cuz a 3/4 is a 'three-quarter' race cam, i.e. it was warm but streetable. Full race cams wore out your shock absorbers too fast. (Say WHAT???) Yeah, that's cuz they gave such a lumpy idle that the whole car shook. BTW, I'm only fifty, but I was reading (for free, at the drugstore magazine rack) every car magazine I could lay my hands on, since I was twelve, and I've been a car nut ever since. Now that I can afford to buy them, I still glance at the articles first to see if it's worth getting.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,837
Location
Iowegia - USA
quote:
KMOX in St. Loius
How about KXOK [630] in St. Louis with Johnny Rabbit? Curb Feelers? sure, if you were cool you had these long whiskers extending from the corners of your fenders to scrape the curb when you got too close, 'cause you didn't want to mess up your paint job or wax job. Of course my dad told me all this...... [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
10,830
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by MolaKule: Curb Feelers? sure, if you were cool you had these long whiskers extending from the corners of your fenders to scrape the curb when you got too close, 'cause you didn't want to mess up your paint job or wax job.
I've actually seen curb feelers in recent times. Usually on cars with poor window tinting jobs.
 
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