Almost everything, even Teaberry, just not the same anymore

Published 8:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2022

By Bonnie Brown

Among the things that I have been recalling lately are these. Popular, chart-topping songs from my day were ones to which you could dance with wild abandon including the Twist, the Watusi, the Mashed Potato. You could really let loose and move to the groove!

Or, there were the slow dances. Think Percy Sledge, The Righteous Brothers,and James Taylor. The chance to get close and embrace your main squeeze, or at least get close to your crush.

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Fast forward to today. There’s some really wonderful music, like Adele’s chart-topping hits. But even her slow songs seem to lack the rhythm to sway to in a slow dance. The same is true about Taylor Swift’s music. Seems like she is able to tell a story, but not necessarily provide the sway. Maybe it’s just me.

We’ve come a long way from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, Elvis, Stevie Wonder, and the Beach Boys. But just look at the recent Elvis movie which reignited interest in The King. And the Beach Boys are still performing although only Mike Love is the original. And then there’s the sultry sound of The Temptations.

Each generation claims their music is the best, but it’s hard to beat the music of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

At night when Tom and I watch the news and check the guests on Kimmel, Fallon, and Colbert, it we no longer recognize the names. We would readily recognize the A-listers from years ago – Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone, James Brolin, Lisa Bonet, Meg Ryan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Sidney Poitier. Well, you get my drift.

And some of them have retained their A-lister status. Julia Roberts has a new movie out with George Clooney and Tom Cruise blasted back into the character of Maverick with the new Top Gun movie, so their names remain in the Hollywood scene.

Other things from back in the day include the phenomenon of the hula hoop. I read that the hula hoop has been used by children and adults since 500 B.C. Who knew? But my era came around the late 50’s when Wham-O toy company introduced a plastic version that became a fad.

I remember being able to take the hula hoop from my knees to my neck and could do it effortlessly without stopping. I’m not sure I could get a hula hoop around me now.

Then there were the hot cars. Steve McQueen in the 1968 action thriller “Bullitt.” The movie has nearly non-stop car chases. And the Mustang car became a legend. Jay Leno has a 2019 version of the car. There were other hot cars including the Chevy Camaro and the Corvette. Who doesn’t love the sleek Corvette? Perhaps not practical to go grocery shopping in, but classic, nevertheless.

What happened to chewing gum these last decades? I used to have the same stick of Wrigley’s spearmint for a couple of days.

Remember the old song by The Rovers “Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?” I loved Juicy Fruit and Teaberry. In fact, I saw an ad for Teaberry gum, so I ordered some. A little pricey compared to what I would have paid for a pack of gum back in the day, but I was so looking forward to that familiar flavor and texture. When I popped the stick of gum into my mouth, I thought it must have been some left over from the 60’s since it was hard as cardboard.

As you absorb the multitude of changes through the years and your “back in the day” reminiscing provides you with a glimpse back to your formative years, be grateful for the good ol’ days and graciously accept the changes.

And heed Mark Twain’s advice to “Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”