Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Birthday (sigh)

I might have mentioned I had a birthday this past week.

Really, Susan? How old were you?

So old–

  • I remember when the Beatles sang sweet songs like, I Want to Hold Your Hand, P.S. I Love You, and Love Me Do.
  • I remember when boys quit wearing flat tops and burr haircuts and switched to combing their hair forward and letting it grow longer like Moe on the Three Stooges. (Now I see burr haircuts, but we call it a Buzz cut.)
  • I remember the first time I saw a computer on a movie. It filled a huge room.
  • I remember when Alan Shepard first shot into space.
  • I remember the building my church was in before the one it’s in now. But not the one before that.
  • I remember when they started building Keystone Lake.
  • I remember buying vinyl records. (Not many, but I bought a couple.)
  • I remember having fun with other kids without TV or video games.
  • I remember watching Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

  • I remember when Saturday morning TV was Fury  and The Lone Ranger and Flicka. 

  • I remember watching a short-lived TV show called Annie Oakley–my first save-herself-and-others-heroine. (Also known as a KA heroine.)

Yeah, I’ll bet you remember when the Mayflower got here.

No. It didn’t land in Oklahoma, and I’ve only lived in this great state.

But I remember when–

  • it was cool to ride a bike to school and the bike racks were crowded with them.
  • kids were taught to “do unto others.”
  • if a kid flunked or caused a problem, it was the kid who was in trouble, not the teacher.
  • nearly every child was taught respect.

So was everything just honey and light back in the olden days? Or do you just have a faulty memory?

Everything wasn’t honey and light, although it was a lot of fun.

I remember–

  • People used to smoke anywhere they wanted–even on airplanes and in movies. (Inside the church building was off-limits, but that was about it.) TV and movies were filled with sophisticated people who nearly always had a cigarette.
  • I remember barely being about to sound out the words over a drinking fountain in a store in Tulsa that said, “White People Only.”
  • I remember three little girls being murdered at a Girl Scout Camp.

But rather than dwell on the sad things, here’s what I enjoyed.

  • Friends.
  • Bubble gum blowing contests.
  • Carnivals.
  • Going to the lake with family and friends.
  • When homes didn’t have air conditioning.
  • Camping out.
  • Swimming in C-Town’s round pool.
  • School.
  • Vacations.
  • Cousins.
  • Passing notes in church. And in school.
  • When girls had straight hair and bangs in their eyes.
  •  Trying to get my hair straight.This is not me.

(Orange juice cans, gigantic rollers, using my head as a giant roller, and yes, even an iron and ironing board.)

  • Forever Friends (siblings and parents included.)

Okay, come on. Tell us. How old are you? 

Sure. I’m 183 years and one day. I’m in pretty good shape to be that old, aren’t I? 🙂