Forget your glasses when they’re on your forehead? Bet you can remember your second grade teacher’s name. If you can’t remember your current phone number but know the earned run average of 1940s baseball player, this is the quiz for you!
1. In the ’50s, if you had a flat rear tire, you often had to remove the …?
a. Necker knob
b. Curb feeler
c. Fender skirt
2. What color flash bulbs did Dad use for color film?
3. What was the “parking brake” called when you were a kid?
a. Emergency brake
b. Pull ‘n’ Stop
c. Breaker. Breaker.
4. Way before Air Jordan, what was a kid’s shoe of choice?
a. Buster Brown
b. PF Flyers
c. Old Stinkers
5. In what year did “Dewey Defeat Truman” according to the Chicago Tribune?
6. Before the Orkin Man, what technology was part of most homes’ bug deterrence?
a. Shoe Fly
b. Fly paper
c. 50 mm Phlit gun
7. Dixie cups had what printed on their tops?
a. Secret decoders
b. Movie stars
c. WW II propaganda slogans
8. What was the prevailing method of birth control in the ’50s?
a. Heavy lifting and cold showers
c. Girdles and crinoline petticoats
9. Jimmy Durante said what at the end of every show?
a. “Aloha, my friends.”
b. “Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”
c. “Remember, wherever you go, my nose will get there first.”
10. “I’m Popeye the sailor man; I’m Popeye the sailor man. I’m strong to the finish, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ , I’m Popeye the sailor man.”
a. “’cause I eats me spinach”
b. “my dad was big and Finnish
c. “isn’t the music a bit tinnish?
11. In the quaint greasy spoon jargon of yore, what did “knock the horns off one, and drag it through the garden” mean?
a. 86 the customer, then kick him out the back door
b. Rare hamburger or steak with tomato and lettuce
12. Lincoln Logs were for what use?
a. A diary of the presidency
b. Keep track of fat cats who sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom
c. Building toy structures
13. Ward and June bring what to mind?
a. A popular TV series called “Leave it to Beaver”
b. A Chicago family of butchers and knife sharpeners called The Cleavers
c. Inventors of the clicker, Jack Ward and Ernest June
14. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, and Zorro are all forms of what?
a. Alcoholic beverages
c. Children’s play
15. What was the cheapest way to turn a bicycle into a motorcycle?
a. Baseball cards in the spokes
b. Rig an electric motor with a very long cord
c. Turning left into the path of a Harley
16. Tinkertoys date back to when?
17. In grade school, what was the worst thing that could happen to you when being picked for a team?
a. Getting picked last
b. Getting your uniform dirty
c. Not having the team tattoo
18. If we dared to sass our parents, we immediately found out what _ _ _ _ tasted like.”
19. What was one thing the Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers would never do?
a. Kill someone
b. Shot a squirrel
c. Eat lima beans
20. What convertible offered an optional radio that automatically increased its volume as the car accelerated?
a. 1912 Franklin
b. 1943 Jeep
c. 1957 Ford Thunderbird
1. c) Fender skirts, attached to the rear fenders, covered fully half the wheel streamlining the car.
2. a) Blue
3. a) Emergency brake. We grew up in much more dramatic times.
4. b) PF Flyers. BF Goodrich patented the Posture Foundation insole, an innovation in comfort and performance, and began adding the new technology to its action shoes. Goodrich shoes with Posture Foundation became known simply as “P-F” in 1937. Fashion trends in the Forties and Fifties saw PF Flyers escaping gyms and ball fields to become fashionable active footwear for everyone. “Everything you do is more fun with PF” read one 1947 magazine ad. In 2001, New Balance acquired the rights to the brand.
5. b) It was November 3,1948, when Truman upset Republican Thomas Dewey in the first postwar presidential election. Trib publisher Col. Robt. R. McCormick got the news late.
6. b) Sticky fly paper hanging from kitchen ceilings was common in American homes until insecticides like Flit became available in ’40s.
7. b) Most people over 55 recall with nostalgia the Dixie Cup ice cream picture lids that appeared all over America from 1930 to 1954. In the final year, the lids were in 3D, full color, and styled in left and right action poses. These were used in stereo card viewers for the 3D effect.
8. c) This is a tough one. But I’m going with girdles and crinoline petticoats. Worked for me.
9. b) “Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”
10. a) “cause I eats me spinach”
11. b) Rare hamburger or steak with tomato and lettuce. Other examples: Axle grease – butter; Blowout patches – pancakes; Bowwow, barks, or groundhog – hot dog; Baled hay – shredded wheat; Bessie – roast beef; Bessie in a bowl – stew; Cackleberries – eggs; Rabbit food – salad; Sinkers – donuts; and Sweep the kitchen – hash.
12. c) Building toy structures.
13. a) A popular TV series called “Leave it to Beaver,” perhaps the most unrealistic, misleading and shallow depiction of family life ever produced for TV.
14. c) Children’s play.
15. a) Baseball cards in the spokes. Who among you never did this?
16. a) “1914 – Good then, 1935 – Good now, 2000 – Good always,” read the back cover of a 1935 Toy Tinkers catalog. Charles H. Pajeau and Robert Pettit, the founders of The Toy Tinkers of Evanston, Illinois, and the creators of the TINKERTOY construction set, knew that the “Thousand Wonder Builder” would continue to inspire the imaginations of children because of its easy-to-use, yet versatile construction system. They’re still made today, now by Hasbro.
17. a) Getting picked last. As an expert on this particular humiliation, I assure you that getting picked last was far better than not getting picked at all.
18. b) Soap. I wonder? Was this a regional thing? Where I grew up, spanking was the generally preferred method for punishing any childhood misdemeanor. We wouldn’t have known a “time out” to save our lives.
19. a) Kill someone. I can’t remember ever seeing the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers or other cowboy hero actually kill someone. They would just shoot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand. There was no blood, no violence, just folks wondering who that masked man was.
20. c) 1957 Ford Thunderbird. Hard one but, let’s face it, easy answer. The option was available only that year.
17 – 20 correct: You are not only older than dirt, but obviously gifted with mind bloat. See Having “Senior Moments?” Enjoy them. Now if you could only find those glasses of yours.
12 – 16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but your mind is definitely muddy, ready to muck up others.
0 – 11 correct: You are one sad excuse of a geezer. To redeem yourself, pull your yellow pants up around your chest, use your ear hairs for a comb-over, and shout “This country’s going to hell” five times. Girls? Oh, I can’t imagine any senior woman worth her grey being that obtuse and not being able to lie well about it.
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