The Good Old Days

Pat and Sherry Craig Bruneau, ID about 1953
Pat and Sherry Craig
Bruneau, ID about 1953

I don’t think of myself as having been born and raised in the “Good Old Days.”  That was my parents and grandparents generations, right?  They lived in the horse and buggy days, the “Little House on The Prairie” days.

My generation has always had all the conveniences of the modern age.  We’ve always had indoor plumbing, refrigerators, running water, and electricity.  We’ve always had modern washers and dryers, telephones, and TV.  That’s the way it seemed to me.

I ran across this picture of my sister Pat and I playing in this old wash tub in front of our house in Bruneau, ID.  I knew I could write a story or poem about that picture, so I called Dad to get a little history on it.

Guess what?  We were not playing, we were bathing!  In a tub like I used to wash my dog, Patches in as a teenager, we were bathing!  We had running water to the kitchen sink, but that was all.  Mom used to heat the water on the stove, and we bathed just like they did on…you guessed it, “Little House On The  Prairie”!

We did not have an indoor toilet. We used an out house.  Are you kidding me?  When I was a kid?  Mom did not have to use a wash board, thank God, but we did use a wringer washer.  I can actually remember that wringer washer quite well.  Dad said we had a great clothes dryer that never broke down once in all the years we had it.  It was called a clothes line.  Some of my fondest memories are helping Mom hang clothes on the line.  But in my mind, we did it because we liked the smell of fresh hung clothes; not because we didn’t have a dryer!

Dad went on to tell me that he didn’t think we had a telephone until after we left Bruneau.  I would have been about five years old.  Our family was one of the first in the Bruneau Valley to have a TV.  I looked it up on the internet, and Idaho did not have its first TV station until 1953.  I was only two, but I thought TV was around a lot longer than that!

Dad said there were gravel roads from Bruneau to Mountain Home.  He said he can remember thinking he would never see those roads paved in his lifetime.  But they are, and have been for many years.

I wrote a poem for my grandfather, Ed Craig’s 100th birthday, entitled “Centennial Man.”  I told of all the inventions he saw in his lifetime.  I told of all the changes in the way people lived back then to what they are today.  But I guess I didn’t see until now, that over half of his lifetime, is my lifetime!

So, here’s a word of warning when you look at pictures of your childhood.  Don’t ask too many questions about them, or you might find out that you did indeed, live “In the Good Old Days!”

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