Sunday, November 15, 2015

50s nostalgia -- Part 1

Inside the Methodist Church
Moving through the 1950s was somewhat painless if you were a kid in Fairfield. The choices were limited.

For adults, the factories were either running or were idling down. Industry worked that way then.

We'll take a trip through Nostalgia-land in this blog piece, which will serve as something of a bridge to the final years of the town. Curiously, our 200th anniversary will have come and gone as the state prepares to mark its own bicentennial with an expenditure that probably will exceed the cost of the reservoir that put Fairfield out of business 40-some years ago.

In the documentary "Fairfield: Town Under the Lake," dozens of Fairfielders shared their version of history so there's not much need to go over all of it, but I do hope to share some thoughts that were somewhat poignant.

Judy Cornelius Thackrey:

Halloween activities included a party at the Community Hall. The town park would be royally dressed with toilet paper streaming from the trees. Those families unlucky enough to have a free standing outhouse usually had to put it back on its feet the next morning, and soaped windows inhibited early morning risers from watching the sunrise. One poor soul was triple-tricked while attending the evening festivities. Parking his car directly in front of the hall, he considered it safe from the devils of the night. But alas, when emerging from the hall, he found white windows. Upon starting the car, a smoke bomb sent fumes throughout the area, and he was a little more than just annoyed. After putting the car in gear and going nowhere due to the blocks under it, it was a wonder he escaped a heart attack.  

Halloween was always a delightful time in Fairfield. With so few houses, we'd sometimes go as a group, maybe from the church, and visit nearly everyone.

Linda Crocker McCord:

I remember my first grade at Fairfield being in the two-room school house; one room was up and one room was down, with a pot-belly stove in the middle. Of course we had to go outside to go to the bathroom. The well was in the front yard. The entryway was where we hung our coats. There was also a shelf where everyone had a cup with their name on it so you could get a drink of water. When we went back to school for my second year, we had a new 3 room school which had inside restrooms. There was even a drinking fountain in the hallway, and the school was heated with a furnace. That was much better than we had at home so we really appreciated it. We had no cafeteria so we had to walk to Main Street in town to go to the lunch hall. As I remember it, we walked no matter what the weather was like.

Parsonage after being abandoned
The lunch hall served many functions in town in addition to the Halloween parties. A lot of the food that was served at school lunches was government surplus. It's not done that way now.

Jim Hughes:

During bad weather in the winter, school was never called off or students were not dismissed early. A large snow fall might have occurred during the day and it was rough getting home. As we would be going home, Mr. Herschel Klein would usually get stuck going up Kelly's Hill. All the students would pile off the bus and the older students would push the bus up the hill a short distance and continue doing that until he got over the hill. Think of the liability today. Fortunately buses in those days did not weigh that much. Bus drivers were Herschel Klein, Wright Buckley, and Lucille Shepler.

Yeah, liability. The roads were scarcely fit to travel on good days in some areas of the valley.

Marilyn Luke Gausman:

I remember, occasionally on warm Sunday afternoons, Dad would give me a little money and tell me go down to Willie T. and Nannie Davis' store and get a pint of vanilla ice cream, a bag of chips, and maybe some soda pop - just maybe, as we didn't get much pop, because it wasn't good for us. Dad didn't believe in buying potato chips on a regular basis; he said for what they weighed there wasn't probably more than two or three potatoes in the bag.

In those days, soft drinks came in returnable bottles. You got 2 cents if you brought one back. Pepsi and Nehi were bottled in Brookville.

No comments:

Post a Comment