The “Can Dos” were sitting around the music club with Mr. Dooley, the music club director.
Hector asked Mr. Dooley, “What was it like when you were growing up?” Mr. Dooley smiled and said, “Very different than it is now. Why don’t you ask me questions about the way it was and I’ll do my best to answer?”
“O.K,” said Hector. “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?” “We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,” said Mr. Dooley. “All the food was slow.”
All the “Can Dos” laughed. Hector said, “Where did you eat?” “It was a place called home,” Mr. Dooley answered. “Mom cooked every day. When Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table.
If I didn't like what mom put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.”
Then Annie said, “Did you have pizza?” Mr. Dooley smiled and said, “Pizza didn’t come to our neighborhood until I was a teenager.
But, there were the soda shops where we all went to have an ice cream sundae, or a cone, or an ice cream soda. We could even get a malted to have with a hamburger at the soda shop.”
The kids looked puzzled and wanted to know why he didn’t have ice cream at home. “Simple,” he said, “no refrigerators with freezers to keep the ice cream cold.”
The “Can Dos” were amazed…no freezers…no frozen treats…not even breakfast waffles.
“Tell us more,” said Yundi. “Okay,” said Mr. Dooley. “I had a bicycle that was probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, slow.
We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 19, and it was a black and white one. TV stations went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and came back on the air at about 6 a.m.
I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room
Milk was delivered to our homes. I got up at 6 am every morning to deliver newspapers to the homes on my route. I walked or rode my bike to school.
I had chores to do when I got home from school; then I could go out and play with my friends.”
The “Can Dos” were all staring at him. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing!
Arthur J. said, “What did you do for fun with no computer games, cell phones and fast food?”
Mr. Dooley laughed, saying, “Why I played outdoors with my friends; listened to the radio with my family at night; played board games with my brothers, and read books.
And that’s the way it was!”