Category: Blast from the Past

Christmas tree traditions

We buy a live, potted pine for our Christmas tree. We started this tradition the first year we were married — 1977. Once Christmas is over we move the tree outside, still in its pot for the rest of the year and continue to water it. When December rolls around we haul it in again — a larger than last year tree, but still healthy and green. We used the same tree for Christmas for many years and then finally, we’d plant it in the yard.  And buy a new potted pine tree for a new Christmas season. Somehow,...

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The youngest child and humor

My youngest son sent me a link to an article about how the youngest child in the family is the funniest. It’s true that he has a way with words, he does not try, but he has always made us laugh. My dad had a sense of humor. He was the youngest of eight, his mom had him when she was 46 years old — twenty-one years after the birth of her first child. She’s my gramma who lived during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. My dad often messed up the punch line when telling a joke, and...

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Golly as an exclamation

“Golly” — I used that exclamation when I met my husband at Occidental College.  We were walking across campus, just past the old oak tree, talking about something and I blurted out “golly.” Later, after we were married, he told me he was intrigued by a girl that was in some sort-of time warp, saying, golly, on a college campus in 1976.   I don’t use the word golly anymore, and I don’t use the word awesome. I try to avoid the trendy words and look for an adjective that is unique. I like to be unique. I read a book, one...

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Halloween traditions

I have fond memories of Halloween — costumes,  trick-or-treating, and big candy bars. Not those stupid “fun-sized” ones that we hand out now. My friends and I grabbed our pillowcases and walked the entire tract of  Whiting Woods. My mom said one year we had 200 trick-or-treaters come by our house. We never wore scary costumes. Kids didn’t dress with blood and gore back then. A white sheet over your head was about the spookiest thing you might see. No one decorated houses, no lights. Jack-o-lanterns had triangle eyes, not too creative. My mom often made me a costume. I’m...

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Can you be a good Mormon and not do Scouts?

This is for those Mormon moms who might be struggling with the scouting program. I must confess — I’m not into Scouting. I raised four sons and every year I kept hoping the LDS church would drop the Boy Scout program as part of the Young Men’s Program. But some things become so “set” that changes just don’t happen. The first LDS Scout troop was started in 1913 — Mormons and Scouting have a long history. I understand the need for it back in the early days. But I think it served it’s purpose. At least here in the...

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Giggles And Bosoms At Church

I got the giggles at church again. Ever since I was a young girl; whenever we sang the hymn, “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer,” I got the giggles as soon as we hit that word, “bosom.”  That verse, “Oh what rapture filled his bosom,” still makes me snicker. Joseph’s humble prayer was answered, And he listened to the Lord. Oh, what rapture filled his bosom, For he saw the living God; Oh, what rapture filled his bosom, For he saw the living God. My mother taught me that  “bosom” was the word for a woman’s feminine features; in our family, women’s...

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Shifty Science Labs

I was a science major in college–biochemsitry to be exact. I had alot of science labs as part of my degree. I hated labs. I was always assigned a lab partner alphabetically, so I was paired up with a “B” name, since I was Broberg. Labs at Occidental College were in the afternoon, 2-5 pm. The tired time of the day. After a long day of classes everyone wanted to get done quickly — get the correct results — write them up, and get out of there.  The labs emphasized some concept that we had already read about. We wrote up...

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History by the Football Coach

When I was in middle school and high school, the boys PE teacher, the football coach, taught history. Every history teacher I had would rather have been out on the field smackin’ some kid on the behind, “way to go” or “get after them.”  My husband’s salty old coach said, “it’s testicle cutting time.” Great. They seemed to carry that spirit into the history classroom. It was obvious they hated to teach history. I hated to go to history. Basically, I hated history. Mr. Bart, my eighth grade history teacher, must have arrived an hour early to class. When we...

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5 dangerous things you should let your little kids do

My kids love this TED Talk:   5 dangerous things you should let your little kids do | Talk Video | TED I received an email from my son who’s at BYU, married with a new baby. He’s just getting his feet wet with regards to parenting — experiencing the beginnings of what it’s like to have a child. We will see how he feels about this list as his son gets older — say age 3. So when my son read the list, he proudly proclaimed,  “Pretty sure we did all of these growing up.” And it wasn’t all...

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Girls P.E. in the 60’s — Shared Showers

Girl’s P.E. in the 60’s was kind of like the military. You had a uniform, you had to shower, and you had to line-up naked before the teacher handed you a small white hand-towel to dry-off. The teacher was at the head of the line, grade-book in hand, ready to give you a check mark and a towel.  No checks after your name, no good grade in P.E. This was my experience in 1967, 1968 and 1969 — from 7th grade through 9th grade, from ages 13 to 15. We also had locker checks. I had to have an emergency...

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Past Valentines

I was born on Valentine’s Day. I wear a little gold heart necklace that my grama gave me on my first birthday. My mom and dad snapped pictures of the big day. I don’t remember a lot of birthdays. Without photos,  or a journal, I  forget. Even with the early photos, I don’t have that kind of memory. However, I still have the necklace and that little porcelain angel (left foreground) that says, “Sunday’s Child.” It’s been glued several times, and she’s lost her wings. Must be part of the telestial life. But I’m working on getting those back....

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Crazy vintage valentines

Valentines Day can be stressful. I was looking through vintage valentines and discovered that Valentines have mixed messages. This could be the root of the problem — and it goes back many generations. Take a look at some of these messed-up missives from days gone by: Vintage valentine #1: I like you so much I won’t sneeze on you? Vintage valentine #2: I’m a perfect egg?   More vintage valentine: Who likes to be called Toots? Hmmm… no foursome–  Sorry I broke your heart, now let me mend it? I love kickin’ your heart around? You’re my Cheesy Valentine?...

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1960s California culture

I grew up in the suburbs of Hollywood in a small town that housed Marilyn Monroe’s mother. La Crescenta is tucked into the Verdugo Mountains and was named after the settler, Don Jose Verdugo in 1784. Actually, the Tongva Indians inhabited the area before that. In the 1960s, I remember a public swimming pool located in Indian Springs. I was never allowed to swim there for fear of polio. But in the 40s, it was the hot spot for Olympic divers. There’s a shopping center there now. Marilyn Monroe’s mother was a resident of one of the many sanitariums in...

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I did the “Duck and Cover” in the 1960’s

This isn’t a bunch of school kids praying, it’s the Duck and Cover. I started elementary school in the 1960’s, at Lincoln school, where they taught me the nuclear bomb drill — Duck and Cover. Everyone had to prepare for a nuclear bomb blast from the Soviet Union. At school, I dutifully dove under my desk and hid in the fetal position. Every month the air-raid would sound-off, long and loud, signaling a bomb threat. It was routine, and I didn’t think much about bombs dropping — it was like a fire drill. Of course, I didn’t really understand the potential danger...

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The history of the Barbie doll

The Barbie Doll has quite a reputation. Some mothers love them, some mothers hate them. Once you understand the history of the Barbie doll, it all makes sense.  Barbie has a past that isn’t appropriate for the makings of a little girl’s doll. But that information isn’t common knowledge.   I remember standing in the aisle of Dorsey’s Toy Store in my neighborhood town of Montrose, eagerly eyeing the much-talked about doll in the black and white striped swimsuit. There were two dolls to choose from — Blonde Barbie and Brunette Barbie. There was a lot of excitement about...

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