Yesterday's Magazette

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The Golden Age of Radio

Younger folks who did not grow up with radio have no idea how it fired our imaginations. Television can’t begin to accomplish the same effect because it supplies the images. Radio only supplied the magic of sound. You had to create your own images in your mind’s eye, your imagination. You entered a mental wonderland of special effects, all supplied by your own intellect. It also goes without saying that the quality of programming was infinitely better and more wholesome than it is now. No profanity, no sick humor, no hate mongering talk shows, only good stories and great music. Radio will, of course, never be the same, because the programming now seeks to titillate the lowest level listener, and most of the music is trash. We listened to the “golden age” of radio in the 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s. It will never come again.

– Bob Gaines

Remembering Mud Pies

Mud Pies, two words that would make today’s children wonder, “What is she talking about?” But to those of us who were growing up on a farm during the 1950s, the words ring a bell.

I grew up on our family farm located near Eagle Grove, Iowa, with my parents, Everett and Burnis McCutcheon and my sister, Beverly Jacobson. During the summer months, Bev and I would have certain chores to do each day. There were eggs to gather and pack in crates for Mother to take to town and sell; this money would buy our groceries for the week. There was the garden to care for and vegetables to be picked and made ready to either eat or can for the long winter months that lay ahead. A severe winter storm with lots of snow and ice would make the country roads impassable.

After the chores were finished, Bev and I would have some free time to ourselves. This is where my imagination went wild and pretending was my constant companion. Bev was four years older than me; so many times I played alone or my cousin, Joyce, would come and play with me. With two of us, our imaginations knew no boundaries.

One of the fun things we liked to play was pretending we were running a restaurant, which we set up behind an old building Dad used as his work shop. We would take two crate boxes that Mom or Dad had bought something in and use them  as the corners of the restaurant counter. The counter would be an old long plank or board that Dad would give us to use.

Each end of the plank we would set on the boxes. Our next project was to get out old pots, pans, dishes, silverware, glasses, and anything else Mother had given us to play with. The next job really used our imaginations; we needed to find items to represent the different foods we were serving our customers. Little stones became potatoes, smaller ones we called peas, sticks became wieners or French fries, big flat stones we called hamburgers, leaves from the trees we used as bread; our imaginations were on a roll.

Next it was time for desserts; pie was the favorite dessert our customers liked. We would take an old mixing bowl Mother had given us and fill it with dirt; to this we added  water, mixed it all together, and then we had mud pies.

Sometimes we used our hands to mix with, especially if we were feeling like, “let’s get dirty.” Other times we would use an old spoon or a fork. If we called it cherry pie, we would add a few small stones. For apple pie we used a few bigger stones. What fun we had, as we stirred up our pies.

As I recall we would sometimes set our dolls on boxes pretending they were the customers. Running a restaurant and playing dress up with Mother’s old clothes, were the two things we liked to do best.

I can recall a few times when another friend from town would come with Joyce. It was always a treat for them, when they could come to the farm and get dirty. I’m not sure their mothers always appreciated that. These are special memories I will always cherish, while growing up on our family farm named Wayside.

– Barbara Dodge

*Barbara Dodge is a graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group and has published articles in her hometown newspaper, as well as in Nostalgia and Looking Back magazines.

Vol. 38 No. 2 – Copyright © Yesterday’s Magazette

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