We’re continuing this great new feature with Dawn’s Grandma Joy! It’s a common thing to hear older people say “back in my day” or maybe no one really says that in normal conversation anymore and we all use it as a joke. Either way I was wondering what does ‘my day’ really mean? When I’m sitting around with my grandchildren and I say “Back in my day,” which day exactly will I be referring to? Is it now? Is today my day? I think it is different for everyone and so I thought it would be nice to capture a glimpse of ‘days’ that aren’t mine, generations never experienced, and lives not lived.
Name: Joy Mosley
From: Bristol, Illinois
What would you consider to be ‘your day’?
When I think back to the 50′s those were fun times, those were times of exploring who I was and recognizing some of the gifts and talents of my personality, so I enjoyed, very much, the 50′s.
Now I think I’m enjoying life now. The freedom’s I have to do bird watching whenever I want to, to be with grandkids, to got off on a mission trip as I am led.
So, those would be the two times I would consider “my day.”
What was your favorite outfit to wear?
Today is Easter, and I would think that is what I remember most about the clothes that I’ve worn, and even when I was raising my children: The new Easter outfits, the Easter bonnets, the gloves, the new little shoes. Dressing up for Easter was my favorite.
When I was little my mother always had white gloves for us and I [would] still like to have white glove occasions…I would love it if we did.
What was going on socially during this time?
I lived in a small town of about two hundred. I graduated from the 8th grade in ’55 so in the early 50′s I was still a tomboy in my town, so we would ride bikes around the two block area for hours and in the summer we had impromptu baseball games in the field across from my house. We loved to sit and watch the train and count how many cars were there.
In the winter was ice skating. There was a swampy area and there was also the creek. Summer we would go fishing. Trick-or-Treating was always a big one, we got to cross the tracks to the other side of town. Which was another two blocks, but that was a big deal, to go Trick-or-Treating together in big hoards of us together.
It was a time when you knew your neighbors and your neighbor knew you and parents kept an eye out for each other. I only remember going to one slumber party, so that was not a big thing then.
Then in high school, it was the hay rides going to the roller rink together. The student council would sponsor functions and take bus loads of kids to the roller rink once a month. In the fall, some of the churches would sponsor pre-harvest parties. So it was things you did with big groups of your peers.
What special events stand out in your mind?
Every summer, from the time I was probably 10, 8-10, we went to Minnesota. My family, my mother and father, bought a small parcel of land from my uncle who had a farm on a lake and they built a cabin there. We would go up during the 4th of July weekend and my father always bought a big assortment of fireworks. I remember when they would come through the mail to our house and they were carefully packed away and taken to Minnesota. Then, we would go down to the farm and have a picnic with the family there. Some of their extended family would come. There was always fresh fried chicken. My aunt would make fresh cottage cheese- still I remember to this day. When it got dark we would cover up to fend off the mosquitoes and watch fireworks as they were shot off over the lake. I remember those 4th of July’s, they were happy times.
What is the biggest difference you see between then and now?
The sense on entitlement. That somebody owes us something. I get social security, so I am a member of that entitlement group. Yet, I don’t feel like it’s something that I am owed, I know that it is something that my husband worked for and payed into and now I benefit from. But, when I see young people around me…it’s not just the young people…so many feel like they are owed something by the government, by society. There is not the sense of accomplishment that comes from working and knowing that this is something that you have earned. I still think a work ethic is a healthy part of anyone’s character building and personality.
What were your hopes for the future?
I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a biology teacher. I was a collector of insects and I remember a speech I needed to give in an English class and it was on Entomology, the study of insects. I enjoyed being out of doors, every opportunity I had when I was done with my chores, I was out of doors. I was allowed to take a fishing pole and a can of worms and head to the creek. No fear of me being there by myself.
My father took me when I was young into his world of the out of doors. He was a trapper and he brought those animals home to our house to skin and what we earned trapping, that was our Christmas money. He would show me birds nests and wild berries and asparagus and fishing. So, I wanted to be a biology teacher, that was my hope for the future.
Is there that one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I married young. If that’s the one thing that I could change, I would have waited if it were at all possible. I still had so much growing up to do myself. I don’t regret it, there are no regrets. I just know it was difficult to grow up married and with children. To grow up yourself and realize that you are more than what you do. That took me a long time to realize.
If you know a special lady or gentleman that you’d like to feature on ‘Back in My Day,’ please email us at email@example.com