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
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.