Since returning home to Three Rivers in 1996, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on those years I spent growing up here in my hometown. I long for those days when things seemed simpler. The downtown didn’t have any empty buildings. There were several shoe stores, cafes, ladies and men’s clothing shops, two active movie theaters, a couple of newspaper stores, and even a bus station. People could do all of their Christmas shopping without having to leave the city limits. You had a choice of several car dealerships and about twenty-one full service gas stations. When it came to shopping for groceries, you had a choice of an A&P, Kroger, or Harding’s, plus numerous little neighborhood stores that were located in just about every district, or back in the day we called them “wards”. Each ward had its own grade school and the high school is where you went for grades eight through twelve. Oh yes, we only had one school bus.
We didn’t have “snow days”, because no one was bused in. I did walk a mile to the high school every day, but it was not uphill both ways. I had to conquer one hill each way. We called it “Javello’s Hill”, because Javello’s Cleaners was at the top of the hill.
I mention all of this because, on a recent trip to the grocery store, I had plenty of time to reflect on those days years ago. It was a Sunday and, back in the fifties, the only things open on Sundays were a couple of gas stations, a restaurant or two, and the Riviera and Rialto movie theaters.
I’m sure many of you can remember further back than my generation, and I’m sure you also have fond memories of a much simpler and happier time. I have some older friends, and I enjoy every opportunity I have to get together with them and discuss those days when you could buy gas for 28 cents a gallon and have your windshield cleaned and oil level checked without getting out of your car. Some think we’ve progressed over the years. As for me, I’m not so sure.
I’ve been writing about our senses over the past several weeks. Common sense tells me that I should continue this, because we don’t give our senses very much attention, and we have a tendency to take them for granted. I think it’s time that we appreciate those things that some people don’t have, yet they continue with their daily lives.
The sense of touch is very important. Picking up a hot frying pan can be extremely harmful if you can’t feel the heat of the object. You could lose a lot of blood, if you cut yourself and can’t sense the feeling of being cut. If you give this enough thought, you’ll eventually appreciate every sense you have and you might be more careful and appreciative of the senses you have.
I might as well wrap this up by mentioning the sense of taste. This is probably my favorite sense. If I didn’t have the sense of taste, I probably wouldn’t enjoy eating as much as I do.
It is rumored that J.C. Penney would take a prospective new executive out to lunch. If that prospective employee tasted his food prior to adding salt, he would be more likely to be hired. If the lunch partner salted his food first, the chances are that he would have to continue looking for a job. Mr. Penney’s intention was to see if someone was willing to try something before wanting to change it. Lesson learned.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman