The good old days

I’m in Vegas at the moment with my old buddy Wopat and we started talking about things we used to do that really aren’t part of every day life any more.

Oddly enough, because I’m such a car guy, one of my best memories of life before the internet was looking at the new Auto Trader magazine when it came out every week.

My mother and brother Bob and I would look through it… circle cars that were our “dream” cars and think about what we’d do if “that” car was in the driveway.

Somehow this tradition made us closer. I think maybe it was the discovery part of turning the page and finding some new jewel there to drool over.

My dream car was a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am. I wanted that car so bad I almost got a loan that would have made it impossible for me to quit my job at “The Manhattan Yellow Pages” in Atlanta to go to Hollywood for the screen test of Dukes!

Sure glad I didn’t get that loan. Still want the car though.

I learned recently about autotrader.com and started looking there. I love it. It’s kind of like the old day experience but in a cyber way. There’s something about seeing what cars are out there for sale, reading their stories and meeting the people who are selling them that makes me feel that “discovery” again.

I’m not saying I’m going to go out and buy a car today… but I’m sure going to browse!

The more connections to the old days the better as far as I’m concerned. I like remembering.

Maybe that’s why Thelma is a 1973 Winnie in Smothered! And why I bought a 1974 Pacer and named her Agness for the upcoming movie Backwater…

What things do you remember most about the simpler days before we had phones in our pockets and television on demand?

28 thoughts on “The good old days”

  1. My dream car was also the Trans Am from that time. I never got to own one though, or drive one. I remember when there was nothing on television, the family would go for a walk. We lived in rural farmland Illinois, so it was sooooo peaceful. I spent so much time at my grandparents’ farm. I remember using actual paper and pen to write letters. Cord, rotary phones. And party lines. My granny would get so mad at me when I would listen in on our love struck neighbors.
    On a side note, we’ve had a visit from our stalker again. She used to be a friend of my mom’s then went nuts. She would write letters to friends and family telling them lies about my mom & me. I hope she didn’t you or your mom It would have been many years ago, and the post mark would be Mississippi or Alabama. The local cops call her a psychopath. She was even planning to kidnap my son.
    . So, yeah, I do long for the simpler times. I would love to own a farm here in TN. But, I work at Walmart, and my credit sucks. I need my annual dose of, “Schneider.” Been real depressed lately. A lot of shit going on. I could’ve used a nicer word, that is the only one that honestly describes it. Oh, well. Onward!

  2. I’m very sentimental about the “good old days” as well, John. And most of the time I live the same way — no smart phone and very selective TV!

  3. I loved that car too, loved a Trans Am, I’m not much of a car girl but I think some cars are especially handsome in addition to a 69 Dodge Charger I really always loved the older mustangs, my first car was a 77 ford Mustang. The Ponies always catch my eye.

  4. Hey! We missed you all this time! 🙂
    In the 80´s, the only way to watch The Dukes when I wanted was to record the episode in a VHS player, yes, this kind of box, full of film….I still have them and I watch The Dukes ..:). Now, I have all the season in DVD, and, with extras, interviews,etc……My dream from the 80’s….

  5. One of the things I miss most about the old days is receiving a handwritten letter through the post. It’s all email now which is great, but I do l miss that.
    I hope you get your dream car one day.

  6. i remember as young as 6 sitting on dad’s knee driving the car down the 1/2 mile private driveway to my cottage. or when i first drove the car by myself as a teen at my grandpa’s farm in a field.

    but the one memorry i remember most is when me and my brother along with our 2 cousins took paint from my aunts and painted the outside of a car with a big 01 on the doors and other stuff to suit everyones interests. anyway after we did that we was in big sh*t by my aunt as we learned it was the indoor house paint she bought to paint her livingroom. also we found out after the first rain the paint was washed off the car. (to bad it didn’t wash off b4 she saw where the paint went lol).

  7. Why an AMC Pacer? I’ve always thought of them as being a “pregnant” AMC Gremlin as they are similar in design with the Pacer being the “fatter” of the two cars, hence the term “pregnant”.

    1. For me it is the perfect car to give the star of the movie a certain nostalgic personality. If it was a guy I’d go with the Gremlin or the Javelin or even the eagle. There’s something about all those AMC cars that make me smile!

  8. Carsforsale.com is also a site.I have been searching the magazines since I was 13.glad I wasn’t the only one who thought a auto trader was like a Sears Christmas catalog.ha ha.I still circle stuff in Speedway Motors and Jegs.

  9. john my dream car ever since I was a little boy was the general lee from the dukes & still is right today or a roadrunner like daisy’s car was in dukes but I’m a bandit fan of the trans am and Christine the 1958 Plymouth fury

  10. I love this blog, John. It took me back to the good ole days as well. The days when I played baseball in the field across the street from my house. I remember going to the drive-in with my parents when I was young. I’d play on the swings and then we’d sit in the car and watch the movie. Or I might spend the evening at home with my family catching lightning bugs and putting them in a jar. Now that was fun! Eating dinner with the whole family there and actually being able to talk about the day’s events…. not like today when a family doesn’t know what it means to eat together. Evenings were fun watching all the family shows on TV. There was a favorite show each evening and nobody had to worry about sex or drugs or horrible language being a part of those shows. Those shows promoted family values and that seems to be lost in today’s world. Of course the entire family watched them together as a group where today even if part of the family is sitting together each person is typing on some different device and not paying attention to what the others are doing or watching. In some ways I love technology. I love my PC and don’t know what I’d do without it but when I think back to the good ole days I realize that technology has hurt the world more than it has helped it. Thanks, John, for taking me back to the ole days.

  11. My father was a car man as well, I can remember many, many trips to various car shows over the years… From the time I was old enough to remember up until is death in 1997. If there was a Autorama, or World of Wheels, or Super Chevy Sunday anywhere within 200 miles of the house, we were there. We also spent many weekends in Hallsville, TX at the drag races. Those were great times.

  12. Your blog brought back a lot of memories. I remember my beautiful silver Camaro with red interior. It was the first car I bought with my own money. Then I traded up to a brand new white Trans Am with powder blue interior. I had the big bird on the hood and loved it so much. I would work just to make those payments and it made my day. I remember that Pacer too. I had a red one with American Indian style fabric interior. The kids would call it “moon balloon” and it rode so well because it was wide and close to the ground plus the back pulled up for all kinds of things to carry around. I recall going to the beach and the park and having so much fun in those days. One day I had too many people in the Pacer and the spring leaf broke! What a sight seeing this hot, paste-waxed red Pacer driving along on his rear end. The laughter never ended.

  13. The timing of your post is ironic. A little over a week ago I told my two grandsons (ages 5 1/2 and 4) that Grandma was older than the Internet. Their jaws almost hit the floor. My oldest grandson asked, “What did you do for Internet when you were little?” I told them we just didn’t have it. They asked about watching cartoons on TV. I told them if we didn’t watch cartoons on Saturday mornings then we didn’t get to watch cartoons for a whole week. I explained we actually did chores before we went outside and played with our animals, played with toys, read a book or rode our bicycles. Then my jaw dropped because my oldest grandson asked, “They had bicycles back then?” I’m not even 45 yet! The things kids say…but that really made me realize the difference that one or two generations can make.

    I would guess that anyone who is at least 30 years old can probably look back and remember some simpler times when there weren’t electronic distractions every moment of every day. It truly is amazing how much things have changed just in the past 40 years or so.

    Thank you for reminding us that sometimes the simple things in life are genuinely the best things in life.

  14. Please come to clarion pa would be awesome if you and Luke would show up there just so you know I’m glad you guys put the show back on tv

  15. I remember buying my first car, it was a Cutlass. My Cutlass could really move. Gas was only $.99 cents boy today it’s too high. I remember you could leave your house unlock and did not have to worry about anybody taking anything. Gum was only 5 cents back then.

  16. I think back to having not to worry about paying rent or car payment or keeping my cell phone on of all things. It was easy for me all I had was school and after school activities and a small paper route later on in high school when I got to drive. I love looking back sometimes. It also serves a purpose also about lessons learned and not repeating those today if I can help it. Sometimes I have a hard head and things take a while to sink in but most thing do eventually. I’m glad you two get together often and do things even if it is for a job or not at all and just for enjoyment. I can’t wait to hear that Christmas CD you and Tom er… Mr. Wopat are putting together. Cheers. 🙂

  17. Some of my favorite memories of the “old days” involve just spending time outside. Before the days of video games and 1000 TV channels, I would play outside all day. Climbing trees, playing in the dirt, crawling through the hedges pretending I was a spy. Using my imagination. Something that is sadly lacking in kids today. (Now I sound like a REAL old person). “Back in my day sonny…”

  18. I miss the not knowing everything going on. They say ignorance is bliss and I would have to agree. To be honest, I would love to go back to the time of innocence. I miss looking forward to that Friday night show and thinking the goodness on that show was how people really were all over. I also miss not having to worry with being on call 24/7. I would LOVE to go back to playing outside in the yard and not having a care in the world except what mom was cooking for dinner. When I was a kid, my favorite memory was going outside barefoot and playing target shooting with my bow and arrow alongside my brother. We always tried to one up each other, and of course he would always let little sister win. Thank you for bringing up such an awesome memory of times gone by!

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