. . .45 rpm spindles? We had a ton of these at our house. First, they were made from metal, but then they got tricky trying to put them in/take them out for fear that they’d break the record. Then the yellow plastic ones came out. Snap it in, snap it out no problem. Incidentally, “rpm” stands for “revolutions per minute” – 33, 45, or 78 were the standard speeds. When I DJ’ed at the Bar Bombay, I used to play a lot of single versions of songs, and the spindles sure came in handy for me.
. . .S&H Green Stamps? My mom shopped at the Acme in West Long Branch on the corner of Broadway and Route 36 (where the Vantage Point office building is today). She would collect S&H green stamps after every purchase, and then every couple of months, she would haul us all down to the stamp redemption center on the corner of Cookman and Heck Avenues in Asbury Park to see what she could get. By the way – in case you didn’t know, “S&H” stood for “Sperry & Hutchinson”.
. . .Drive-in movies? Every so often, my family would all go out to the Eatontown Drive-In, which was located where the Brickwood housing development is off of Route 35, across from the Midas muffler shop. Sometimes, if you were driving on Route 36 heading east towards the beach and it was a clear night, you’d be able to see the movie from off the big screen. Many an accident occurred on that little strip of highway between Wyckoff Road and Route 35 from all the rubbernecking going on.
. . .Drive-in restaurants? A novel idea back in the day. . .the waiters and waitresses would come out to your car in these slick-looking uniforms, take your order, drop your food off, and take your payment. Sometimes, they even came out in roller skates. The closest thing we have to this now is the new Sonic in Tinton Falls. You place your order in what looks like a drive-through device, and they bring the food out to you. You can even pay from your car using your “Sonic Bucks” card.
. . .Topo Giogio? The little Italian mouse was one of my all-time favorite characters on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Whenever the TV Guide reported that Topo Gigio would be on, I was glued to the set for the entire one-hour show on Sunday night until he made his appearance. It didn’t matter that he was always the last one to go on every single time he appeared.
. . .Saturday morning cartoons? Some of them that come to mind include “Beanie and Cecil”, “The Banana Splits”, “The Jetsons”, “Johnny Quest”, “Hot Wheels”, “Magilla Gorilla & Friends”, etc. The food companies that sold sugar-coated cereals and candy would advertise specifically on Saturday mornings during the cartoon programs just to hook the kids on some new-fangled confection. What a controversy that caused, even to this day.
. . .Disney movies with real people in them? Dorothy McGuire and Fess Parker starring in “Old Yeller”. . .Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen starring in “Davy Crockett”. . .Dean Jones and Michelle Lee starring in “The Love Bug”. . .Disney’s still in the movie business, but boy have things changed. “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty & The Beast”, “Mulan”, “The Lion King”, “Toy Story”, et al. Not a single person shown in any of them, just their voices.
Through technology and innovation, the items of our childhood days are slowly becoming just a memory.
(You can also follow Kevin Cieri’s blog on his Facebook page, “Jersey Shore Retro” as well as on Twitter at @jsretro).