up in the late 1940s and early 50s. Now as I look back and compare
those times to today, I really feel that those were the "Happy
Days." Life seemed simpler, less complicated.
Every Sunday we would get ready for church. This meant putting on
my special dress and shoes, clothes reserved for going to church,
holidays and special parties and events. They were never worn for
school or play. This special outfit was purchased just before Easter
and hopefully fit until the next year.
Following services, we sat down for our Sunday meal, prepared by
Grandma who lived with us. It could be roast veal with trimmings,
(now I think that would be a special order from the butcher), real
chicken soup followed by roast chicken, and occasionally we each
had a thick porterhouse steak. Today that cut of meat for 6 people
would probably require taking out a second mortgage. Dessert was
usually one of Grandma's incredible pies: sour cherry, apple, blueberry
After doing the dishes (by hand) Dad would announce that we were
going on our Sunday drive.
Living in Cheektowaga at the time, a drive in the country was anything
beyond the Thruway Mall, which hadn't been built yet. Mom and Dad
sat up front and Grandma and we kids shared the back.
No matter what the season she always wore her long navy blue coat,
a navy blue straw hat with a flower on it and gloves. She bribed
us into sitting quietly with the catch of candy she kept in her
navy blue purse.
Our Sunday drive took us through towns and villages, farm roads
and sometimes to housing developments where we visited open houses.
The high light of the drive was stopping for ice cream or custard.
I also remember begging to stop at every New York State historical
sign. That was probably the beginning of a life-long love of history.
We also enjoyed the Burma Shave signs along the way. Many of them
would be posed in farmers' fields. These small red signs had white
letters. There would be 5 signs about 100 feet apart each having
one line of a 4 line couplet. The 5th sign advertised Burma Shave
a popular shaving cream.