There are certain phrases that are attributed to people of advanced age. One of these is any

reference to the good old days. This is evolving as everyone can relate to something that was

only a few weeks ago. Our current situation has created a new standard for what “The Good Old

Days” looks like. Foghorn Leghorn might say it like this, “Yes sir, son, I remember the good old

days of January 2019!”

In the past when someone used that phrase, I was quick to scoff because my interpretation of

their statement took me to a time where services and amenities did not exist. Maybe that is the

era that they were referring to, maybe not that far back, I was never certain. Despite the era that

they had in mind, somewhere deep in my psychic I had selected at least one item that I would not

want to be without. Electric refrigeration, that was my item. You might be quick to point out that

could be two items, electricity and refrigeration, but I was willing to give up every other

electrical or electronic device just to keep refrigeration. It is not only a convenience; it is also a

health provider, protecting us from illness due to food spoilage and reducing food loss. Very

practical, indeed.

Both of these seem important right now. The community doesn’t need an additional medical

burden created by a bunch of people with food poisoning running around. It also has become

apparent that the food on hand needs to be utilized to its maximum. The concept of saving for a

rainy day seems to have been lost somewhere in the education of the majority. With depression

era parents it was constantly preached to us that “a penny earned is a penny saved” and to “save

for a rainy day.”

While the goodwife and I weren’t mega-savers, we have always maintained an inventory in the

pantry and a financial safety net. On top of that, it is springtime and garden planting season. If all

else fails, we can live on tomatoes, squash and green beans for an extended period of time. In the

fall of ’75, Bob Costello and I lived on tomato sandwiches for an entire week. I was returning to

college, as was Bob, and there weren’t going to be any meals available at our place of residence

for the first week. I took a bushel of tomatoes from my parent’s garden and together we

purchased a loaf of white sandwich bread and a jar of Miracle Whip. At the end of the week our

only regret was that we hadn’t purchased a block of Velveeta Cheese! In the end we weren’t

hungry and still liked tomato sandwiches!

While my “must have” item is electrical refrigeration, it seems evident that most people’s “must

have” is toilet paper! Go figure, if I am going to wish for something, wish for something big.

Something that can’t be replaced with an oak leaf or handful of broadleaf grass!

-Paul Richardson is the proprietor of In Sane Marketing Solutions and writes a weekly column, The Horse I Rode In On, for The Aurora Advertiser and The Neosho Daily News.