Words, phrases, names – Memories that have gone with the wind -Ray

Words, phrases, names – Memories that have gone with the wind -Ray

Hi! This is Ray Mossholder. I’m going to start this that I’m going to share with you with a song that was extremely popular when I was a kid. You’ll understand why I chose to use it when we get into the heart of what I want to share with you now.

Oh, Mairzedotes and dozeseedotes and littlelambseativy. a kiddleeativytoo, wouldn’t you?

Mairzedotes and dozeseedotes and littlelambseativy. a kiddleeativytoo, wouldn’t you?

Now if those words aren’t clear, and seem funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,

sing “mares eat oats”, and in does eat oats, and little lambs eat Ivy.

Oh, Mairzedotes and dozeseedotes and littlelambseativy. a kiddleeativytoo, wouldn’t you?

a kiddleeativytoo, wouldn’t you?” Isn’t that cool? Hot dog! But why did I start with that song? It’s because it fits in beautifully what I want to bring centerstage right now

I send thanks to Dorothy Baker for sending me Richard Lederer’s email. It was that that triggered my imagination to produce memories – and there are so many other words and phrases I could have used to remind us oldies but goodies of the way we were.

Words become obsolete because times change. Phrases I vividly remember include “Ah Ah Ah Ah, Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record,” “I get the neck of the chicken, I get the rumble seat ride” and “You’ve really left me hung out to dry.” Just as I wonder how my childhood so quickly disappeared and the treasures too that no one could convince me then would get lost forever or even lost at all. Where do words go after they get used up? At what precise minute does each word disappear? I think I’ll have a Delaware Punch and contemplate all this.

Back in the olden days we had a lot of steam. We’d accentuate the positive and we wouldn’t mess with Mr. in between. Chicks had to put up with guys saying things like “Hubba-hubba, ding ding, Baby you’ve got everything!” Or “I wish I had that swing in my backyard!” We’d twist and shout like we did last summer.

We could really do a mean twostep on the dance floor with a girl and then go park somewhere where it was dark and, of course, just talk. It was the other guys who you envied who were necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers lane or at the drive-in movies.

Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a bellyflop. They said instead that you are swell. Swell meant I was great! Swell today is a word used by doctors and no one wants to hear that word. Swell was a good thing that has gone the way of the stick in the mud, crew cuts and D.A.’s; of cars that had fenders, stick shift and necker’s nobs. Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

Like Little Lulu, Mutt and Jeff, Lil’ Abner, Alley Oop, Henry Aldrich, Charlie McCarthy and Baby Snooks, we have at some point in time dropped like a lead balloon. We oldies but goodies have become changed by today’s culture. It’s not just the younger generations who have forgotten our words of long ago. Someone has to remind us or we’ll never think of them again. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” or “This is a fine kettle of fish!” we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished without a trace.

Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone, completely erased from the chalkboard of life or we find they must have been written in invisible ink. What happened to my Dick Tracy wristwatche, Captain Midnight secret decoder badge, Tom Mix bullet ring,
tiddlywinks, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water, Shetland ponies you sat on to have a picture taken to make you look like a cowboy, flagpole sitters, and the organ grinders monkey?

Where have all those bigger than life treasures? Long time passing. Where have all those treasures gone? Long time ago: Heck! Let’s play Uncle Wiggly. “Uncle Wiggly takes 10 hops while in the woods the ice cream pops!” Think about the starving kids in China. Bigger than a bread box. Is it Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? Banned in Boston. The very idea! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe. Civil defense. Fiddlesticks! “Kids, dive under your desks if an atom bomb goes off.” You look like the wreck of the Hesperus. You have Cooties. Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Heavens to Murgatroyd! Happy landing on a candy bar! And awa-a-ay we go!

Oh, my stars! Let’s play Red Rover, jacks, Pin the tail on the donkey, pickup sticks, hide and go seek, Cowboys and Indians, Freeze. Or let’s go rollerskating. We can always rent the skates. Or maybe we’ll just go out in the street and play baseball until it gets too dark and our moms call us home. “Ready or not, here I come!”

It turns out there are more of these lost words, phrases, memories and expressions than Carter has little liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff, this huge list of words that somehow got deleted from our youth, these words that lodge deep in our heart’s but not in our memories unless someone stirs them.

And just like you can’t live through your childhood twice unless your senile, you can’t return to those thrilling days of yesteryear and the thundering hooves of the great horse Silver, the Lone Ranger rides again because the language of the forties just sounds like so much gray hair stuff to the younger generation who are making up their own words that will be forgotten 40 years from now, swept into the river and then into their sea of their forgetfulness.

So let’s take an old-fashioned walk, I’m just bursting with talk, what a tale could be told if we went for an old-fashioned walk.

Still there’s no way for a young buck to remember “Henry, Henry Aldrich””.”Coming mother.” Or listening to stories on the radio “well calculated to keep you in Suspense!” Completely gone with the door slammed shut are Life With Luigi, Dr. IQ the mental banker, It Pays To Be Ignorant – to be dumb, to be dense, to be ignorant, it pays to be ignorant just like me.”

Or how about Kraft Music Hall with Bing Crosby, or the Cisco Kid, or Judy Canova, or Your Hit Parade with Snookey Lansen. Arthur Godfrey, Al Jolson, The FBI in Peace and War, the Quiz Kids, or Grand Central Station. Ma Perkins, Queen for a Day, Young Widder Brown, Lorenzo Jones and his Wife Belle, Stella Dallas-Backstage wife that always began “Can a woman over 40 find happiness?” These were crackerjacks with the prize in every package!

Songs were always very clean, very pure, like “Cuddle up a little closer, baby mine, and we’ll fool around and fool around with all our might, oh oh, I never knew any girl like you!” or “I used to work in Chicago in a department store, I used to work in Chicago, I did but I don’t anymore“, and I won’t even repeat the rest of that words song! Then there was Phil Harris’s song “Oh what a time I had with Minnie the mermaid down in her seaweed bungalow. I lost all my morals in among those corals while she was just as sweet as she could be. And every night when the starfish came out, I hugged and kissed her so oh, oh what a time I had with Minnie the mermaid down in her seaweed bungalow.” Come to think of it, not all of our songs were pure!

Recently I talked with a guy who had never heard of John Wayne! And there are hundreds of movie stars that hardly any younger person would remember today like Sonny Tufts, William Gargan, Barry Fitzgerald, Van Johnson, Veronica Lake, Barbara Stanwyck, Jennifer Jones, Claudette Colbert. Their names are lost like the names of Perry Como, Bobby Darin, Patti Page, Jo Stafford, and even Doris Day. Most people who hear those names would sing Casera Sera if they knew who those people were.

Jukeboxes that played a song for a nickel and six songs for a quarter, phosphorescent socks, licorice, and the most dreaded Castor Oil, are as an unavailable today as Look candy bars. I mean you can’t go down to F. W. Woolworths and get any of that stuff, or sit at the counter and have a cherry phosphate to drown your sorrows.

We people others call “old” were privileged to live in America in the good old days. All those words that seem ancient to the younger generation were like shiny toys that got lost in translation. Toys have no age. But I can’t imagine whatever happened to my tin soldiers or my lighthouse lamp or my 78 RPM records with Kay Kaiser and Ishkabibble, Spike Jones and the City Slickers, Jerry Calona, Berle Ives, Gene Autry, and dozens and dozens of others.

Richard Lederer says “We who are at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering these words and names that once did exist, (honest Injun they did) and all of them meant something wonderful to us. These were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory of great times gone far away. It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging. We can have archaic and eat it, too.

Now, if you’ve got any beef with this brainchild I’ve written, don’t flip your wig because it will be a bum rap. Remember, I’m rubber, you’re glue. Everything bounces off of me and sticks to you. …Know what I mean Jellybean?

See ya later, alligator! After awhile, crocodile. By by butterfly. Pretty soon baboon. Plant you now, dig you later! Out the door dinosaur. Oly Oly oxen, free free free!

Words, phrases, names – Memories that have gone with the wind -Ray