Throwback Thursday #41 – First Crush

It’s Maggie’s turn to lead us into this weeks Throwback Thursday. The world is a difficult place to deal with right now. Blogging is a safe happy place and I am grateful to be a member of this community.  Maggie explains all the possible ways to participate in the prompt this week. Head over to her blog to read about how you can join in and what questions she has provided.

This week’s prompt is: Your First Crush

My first real crush was a neighbor’s son. 🥰 I thought he was absolutely adorable. His name was Martin. We were temporarily living in an apartment while my mom looked for a house for us to rent. He was not a macho guy at all. In fact, he was a band nerd. (Just my type.). I was a freshman in high school, and he was a sophomore. We walked to school sometimes and talked about nothing important. At some point we talked about former “love interests” and we both lied through our teeth. Later, when we got to know each other better, we cleared the record.

I thought we were so cool, sitting on the stairs talking late into the night. My mom warned us about the “look” of impropriety if we were always not visible. I don’t remember getting bugged by my family. I didn’t want them to know anything about my crush and I said nothing about it.

I was sure I was in love. I was sure we would spend the rest of our lives together. When I learned, we were going to move, I told him, and he freaked out. He pledged to love me forever and made plans for how we could stay in contact. (No cell phones back the day.) The one phone we had was way too public to use for a private conversation. He told me about his plans for the future dances and events at the high school. It unnerved me that he was planning for so long in the future. I didn’t know how to handle it. I told him I needed some space, and he broke up with me. I was crushed. I felt like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

When we moved, I thought of him all the time. I felt like I had clearly messed up the relationship. When I got my driver’s license I went back to the apartment complex, but he had moved. I never did get to say a proper goodbye or I am sorry.

Throwback Thursday #39 – Reading Culture and Books

Maggie is hosting Throwback Thursday this week. I have been locked in my scrapbooking room cleaning it out. Sorry for my tardiness. Maggie asks us to think about the kind of reading culture you grew up with. Maggie explains all the possible ways to participate on her blog. The prompt questions are there also.

This week’s prompt is: Reading Culture and Books

My mom was a reader for as long as I can remember. She had paperback books beside her chair, her bedside table, and her spot at the kitchen table. My mom subscribed to the newspaper and read it thoroughly. She always ordered Reader’s Digest Condensed books. I would often sneak one off the bookcase and read it without telling my mom. They were great reading sources I would not have had access to otherwise.

I don’t remember any but my last stepfather, ever reading a book. My last stepdad read western paperbacks all the time. I do remember some of the stepdads reading the Sunday paper. I always thought it would cool to hold up the entire newspaper without having to fold it over.

Reading the newspaper ran in the family. My grandpa read the paper every day. I know my grandma read many novels, but not when we visited. Once, when I visited her, I saw the book Sybil on her nightstand. I told her I had just finished reading it too. She was upset that I had read “such a book.” Mind you, I was married and had 2 kids by then. My grandpa read about history and anything to do with the Dodgers.

My aunt and uncle were also avid readers. They always had books around. The newspaper was read daily. I scoured thrift stores to load up my aunt with her favorite authors’ books. We would take out a large bag of books every time we visited. After reading them she would donate them to the library in her residence.  

As a kid, I read the comics and Dear Abby more than any other part of the newspaper. I didn’t own many books growing up. There wasn’t money for books. When I went to school, the school library was a favorite place of mine. I would usually check out as many as they would allow. The county library was too far away for me to visit.

When I became a mom, I took my kids to the library and story hours as often as I could. I got my first public library card right after I got married. Later, I would take my kids. I wanted to instill the love of books to my daughters. For a long time, my younger daughter didn’t enjoy reading. As an adult, she joined the ranks of book lovers, just like the rest of us.

I don’t remember the first book I read. I do remember getting a book every year on my birthday, from my aunt in New York. It was magical to get hardback books, in the mail no less. I had no memory of this aunt as a child. As an adult, she occasionally came to visit my aunt in LA. I was grateful that she had given me such a wonderful gift as a kid. As a tween and teen, I read comic books all the time. Archie was my favorite. I read comics, books, and magazines every spare minute I had.

When I started my family, I checked out numerous books on parenting. I knew my childhood was less than stellar. I decided to read about parenting in the hopes of doing better for my kids. I have always liked self-help books as well as inspirational books. I’ve read numerous Chicken Soup books. I have numerous shelves of Jewish history and Jewish life books. I have always enjoyed young adult literature. I read whatever books my students might be reading. During the morning reading period, as I signed their reading logs, it was good to be able to discuss the books they were reading. It showed them how important reading was to me also.

I have gifted many SARK books to those I love. They are uplifting and joyful. I have also gifted the small quote books that I adore.  

Throwback Thursday – April 7 – #33 – Going to the Movies

My sincere apologies to the wonderful bloggers that participate in this prompt. I must especially apologize to Maggie. After receiving responses from people who voiced an opinion, Maggie and I decided to make these prompts in April more generic, without specific questions. Please feel free to elaborate however you feel. As always you can:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • Feel free to add pictures if you’d like to.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

My choice for this week’s prompt is: Going to the Movies. 

Do you remember specific times you went to indoor movies or drive in theatres? Do you remember the first time for either? Do you remember going with friends and not parents? Please share one or more experiences about going to the movies.
Please remember this is a family friendly blog.

As a little kid, a special treat was to go to the drive-in movie theater. My brothers and I were in our PJs ready to drift off to sleep. We would arrive before it was dark. My younger brother and I would run up to the playground and get out lots of energy before the movie even started. It was a blast.  My mom would bring a large paper grocery bag filled with buttered popcorn. I can still smell it. Yum. We also had a large pitcher of Kool-Aid and plastic cups.   

There were always cartoons before the movie started. They of course, were sprinkled between advertisements for goodies sold at the concession stand. There were always two full length feature films. Most of the time we only made it through the first one before drifting off to sleep. Mom never left until the last kid was sound asleep. Yay mom!   

We would occasionally go to the indoor theatre when I was older. I distinctly remember wanting to go see Mary Poppins with my little brother and not my mom. I was ten and she was hesitant about letting us go alone. I finally talked her in to it though. We were dropped off in front of the theater with the money for the tickets and a dime (in case of an emergency). My mom told us what time she would be back in the same spot to pick us up.

We had gone to the grocery store and packed my purse with three candy bars each. We found seats easily.  I felt so very grown up. We watched the cartoons and then the wonderful Mary Poppins movie. Here’s where I goofed up. We left the theater without realizing there was another short movie afterwards included in the viewing price. It would be an hour before my mom came to get us. I was totally freaked out, but didn’t want to scare my little brother. I mustered up the courage to ask where there was a pay phone so I could call my mom. I had never used a pay phone before. I managed to do it right and my mom came quickly to rescue us. She didn’t even give me a lecture. Her only remark was that if I paid for two movies, I should stay for two movies. I was extremely relived at not being scolded.

The Segregated Past of Drive-In Movie

Throwback Thursday #31 – Technology Influences

Maggie is hosting Throwback Thursday today. Please visit her site to read about all the ways to participate in the prompt.

This week’s prompt is: Technology Influences. The post this week might benefit from the use of photos! Just remember to give credit where credit is due!

You can use the questions that follow to spark your memories or you can answer them as they stand. It is totally up to you.

  1. What kind of technology existed around your house as a child?
  2. What technology do you remember coming into your home for the first time?
  3. What kind of televisions or radios did you have – post pictures if you can find them.
  4. How did music technology change in your lifetime? When was the last time you purchased music? In what form was the music?
  5. Did you have a home computer? If so, what was it? Did you have a webcam? Did you stream content with it?
  6. What kind of phone did you have? Do you have a landline today?
  7. Did you have toys with integrated technology, robots, automation, etc?
  8. What technology ‘blew your mind’?
  9. When did you get your first cell phone? What brand and model was it? Did you carry a pager?
  10. Is there any current technology you refuse to own or have in your home?

As a kid, we had a huge piece of furniture that housed our turntable, speakers, and radio. It was not very high tech. It seemed rather squeaky to me. I did enjoy the radio though. We also had a TV in a large bulky piece of furniture. I remember the TV was in color. My mom had bio dad buy her a color TV.  Because we had it, she was often able to get free babysitters. The TV had an antennae, wire hangers covered in foil, and some semicircle thing attached to it also. Smacking the TV on the side seemed to be the best way to get it to clear up the picture. I have no idea what type of TV or radios we had.

I was given a clock radio at 10. It was great because I could listen to my own music in my bedroom. Before that I had an alarm that played “Oh What A Beautiful Morning.” It was lovely, but I liked the blasting of rock and roll more. I had 45s as my choice of music to purchase. When I was 13 bio-dad visited and bought me s portable record player and 3 albums. I was floating on air. I had an 8 track player in my AMC Hornet. My older brother had reel to reel tapes that I thought were very cool. I also had cassette tapes everywhere. I remember recording music off the radio. It was almost impossible to not get commercials on the tape. When CD’s came around, I never understood why anyone would buy them with a single song on it. My favorite music device was my iPod. It had thousands of my favorite songs on it. It was stolen a few months ago. I am still upset about that. I haven’t purchased music in a long time. The last time I did, it was CDs on Amazon. I can’t recall exactly what it was though.

A neighbor got the first microwave on our street when I was a kid. It blew out the electricity on the block, a few times. That made my mom not want a microwave for a very long time. I believe I had a microwave oven before my mom did. It took up a great deal of counter space in my tiny kitchen.

It seems like a million years that I was teaching 2nd graders to use computers. I was usually just a day or two head of them on the steep learning curve. They each had a large black floppy disk that was housed in an even larger envelope. I was required to teach them some basics. I did not have a computer at home, at the time.   I went back to school for my master’s degree after having taught for five years. They had a computer lab you could sign up to use for writing papers. It was strictly writing papers and doing homework. Then you would print it out. There was no research or internet usage at the time. I worked all day, went to school at night, and then wrote papers in the lab on the weekend. It sure beat using my electric typewriter and more whiteout than anyone should ever use. I think that using the internet for my lessons was the greatest tech asset to me. I could look things up at a moments notice if I felt my lesson wasn’t going the way I wanted. 

I didn’t get a computer at home until very late in the game. I was allowed to bring my large Mac Desktop home on the weekends when teachers were finally given one per classroom. The district abandoned Macs when a new tech supervisor at the district was more comfortable with PCs. He felt they could be upgraded easier. By the time I left teaching, each classroom had a computer cart housed in the room. The cart housed 40 laptops for the students to use. The teachers were always the last to get new computers.

My last two computers were the only ones with a camera on them. I needed that feature because I joined in on Zoom calls. Just this month I finally signed up for a Zoom membership of my own. I am typically numerous steps behind the rest of the world. 

I have never had a pager. I did not understand why people needed a cell phone, especially in their cars. Now, I won’t leave the house without my phone. I have never had an iPhone. Androids are enough for me. I do not have a landline. It seems like an unnecessary expense. As a kid we had one phone, on the wall, in the kitchen. It was yellow. It was a party line for years. When they changed it to a single line it made us feel so important. As a kid, the only people I talked to on the phone, were my grandparents. Kids didn’t call kids.   

I refuse to have Alexa in my home. The last time my daughter moved it, she brought hers with her. I did not like the feeling of being listened to all the time. It is just not my comfort level. 

Throwback Thursday #30 – Religious Influences

I’m  ready to host a little different Throwback Thursday Blog Hop.  I might be going out on a limb here. Please understand it doesn’t matter to me at all what religion anyone is. You need not even state your religion if you don’t wish to do so. I am more interested in how religion impacted your youth.

If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • Feel free to add pictures if you’d like to.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

My choice for this week’s prompt is: The impact of religion.

Religion (faith) is very important to many people. Even the decision to not follow a religion has an impact on our lives. It is rare for two people to have the exact same belief of the origins of religion. Religion (faith) often provides a cultural identity as well as a system of values and ethics. The choice to follow a religion (faith)  can offer a community of like mined people as well as a division between others who are not of your faith.

Did your family attend services together?
Did you attend weekly, more than once a week, only on specific holidays, or some other designated time frame?
Was everyone of the same thought as to what faith to follow?
Did you have friends specifically from church/synagogue/ temple/ mosque, etc.?
Did your family practice religious ceremonies at home?
If you chose to depart from what your family believed (and feel like sharing) why did you do so?

My response follows:

When I was very young, we practiced Orthodox Judaism at home. I was too young to have memories of that time. I know my mom kept Kosher and planned on continuing to do so. When she divorced my bio-dad she hoped to continue our Jewish education. He promised he would take care of the expenses. That of course, never happened. He was too busy with his new life to be concerned with us kids in any way.

When stepdad #1 came into the house we no longer went to temple. He was not Jewish. We began celebrating both Jewish and Christian holidays without the religious attachments. We no longer lit Shabbat candles on Friday evenings. We had a Christmas tree but no Santa Clause. We had Hanukkah but no longer lit our menorah. In a way I felt like I had the best of both worlds and yet belonged to none. It was not an easy time as a kid.

Friends went to church every Sunday. I went with them once or twice, but never felt right about being there. We never went to temple as a family any longer. I would attend services occasionally with my paternal grandparents. I felt at home in the synagogue. I will admit that High Holiday Services were a little brutal as a kid.

When stepdad’s #2, 3, 4, and 5 came along the Jewish holidays ceased to exist at home. I felt like a Jewish child without a community. I often asked my mom if I could go to temple. I tried once, at age twelve to join some activities at a nearby synagogue. The cliques were established and being an introvert meant I had no skills to join in. I desperately wanted to connect with with my culture.

As a teen, I researched the history of religions. I investigated numerous philosophies and still felt drawn to Judaism. I concluded that I don’t fit in any regular religious frame. I consider myself a cultural Jew. I have read more books than I can count. I immersed myself in the history of my people. I am grateful for all the connections my grandparents gave me to my past. My home reflects my love of my heritage. I no longer feel like a fish out of water. I still do research to learn more about my heritage. I don’t plan on dropping my search for new knowledge.  My faith is very important to me because it is very much who I am.