Words from my Midwestern childhood:
Beatnik – An exotic species rumored to wear black turtlenecks and live in New York.
Station Wagons – Cars couldn’t possibly get any bigger.
Kodachrome – Our photographs had “nice bright colors.” Paul Simon sang “Don’t take my Kodachrome away,” but they did. In 2009, manufacturing stopped.
Test Pattern – Up way too late and television is over. The Star Spangled Banner played just before it, probably to wake us up.
Roof Antennas – A spindly metal forest across the suburbia skyline, all receiving messages from the sky.
Hoods – Bad boys who often wore their collars up to signify their exciting rebel affiliation. (Hoods were not “guys in da hood”, which came later but could be related.)
Putting Out – Some girls did and some didn’t, but it was a hot topic deciding who did.
Making Out – Necking – no explanation needed.
Petting – More than making out and on your way to putting out… you bad girl, you.
Spoolies – Little pink plastic things to put in your hair every night to make it curly. It was either that or the disastrous Toni Home permanent.
Drive-in Movie Theaters – Big screen movies from the privacy of a car. (See “petting”, “making out” etc.)
Mimeograph – Primitive technique of duplicating tests and school bulletins. Everyone sniffed the ink on the paper.
Transistor Radios – You could actually travel outside the house and listen to music as you went.
Penmanship – Perfectly formed handwriting. Mine was not. Thank goodness for keyboards.
The Hop – A school dance, preferably in the gym (The basketball coach didn’t want shoes messing up the court.)
Duck and Cover – Hiding under the desk to protect ourselves from an atom bomb.
45’s – The hit single to repeat and repeat and repeat.
LP’s – An entire collection of music all on one big record. More expensive and more sophisticated than a 45.
Record Player – A fragile little visible needle-like thing tracked all around the 45 or LP to play them, sort of.
HiFi – Replaced the record player with supposedly incredibly authentic sound. The first of endless opportunities for expensive upgrades (Not be confused with WiFi)
Remember the days – See this quick retrospective. Dianne Morris