The Old-Fashioned Shed

wash shed.jpg

Back in the Good-Old-Days

Back in our grandparents or great-grandparents’ day, a shed like this served as their wash house. Constructed simply from lumber, it kept the mess of laundry day out of the house. It might have just a dirt floor or possibly a wood floor. Luckily we have electric washers and dryers now so no longer need a shed in the backyard for that purpose.

Now we have so many other storage needs that our ancestors never even dreamed of. Storing the power lawn mower, the leaf blower, the power washer for the deck, the weed whacker, swimming pool accessories, golf gear, and so many other tools that weren’t available back in the 1920s, 30s, or 40s.

The style and materials for a storage space have changed a lot over the years too. Now with rigid plastics, there are many variations to fit our different needs. In the good old days, the size and appearance of your shed depended on accessible lumber and tin.

The one shown here has a stone foundation, a tin roof, and weathered wood for a particularly scenic small building.

Slideshow of photos by Virginia Allain

 

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More About Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls Are Popular All Over the World

My friend, Suzanne, in Australia remembers, “My paper dolls came in books of roughly 10 pages, magazine size, 2 or 3 complete outfits to a page and the clothes would press out although you had to be very careful with the tabs. I would play with them all afternoon.

My mother obviously had a supply of these ‘cut-out dolls’ hidden somewhere for they would miraculously appear on a rainy day or on the odd occasion when I suffered some childish ailment. I kept the dolls with their frocks, hats, and shoes in a shoebox and how I wish that I could pick up that box up again now!”

soldier-paper-doll.jpg

Isn’t this combination paper doll and Valentine a cutie! The doll and the army nurse outfit are perforated for easy punching out. I’m guessing this could be WWII, but don’t have verification for that.

My Friend, Joan, Shares Her Memories

Joan Adams – “We loved to take a shoebox full of paper dolls and clothes out on the screened porch. We played with them for hours and hours. We also cut out dishes and silverware from magazines to pretend to cook. I can remember cutting out pictures of furniture too!

We usually got new paper dolls and new crayons on our birthdays and Christmas time!”

Memories of Paper Dolls from Lois, Lee, and Nancy

Lois Paugh Osteen – “I still have them from my childhood. Some pages of the clothes had not been cut out, my sister and I would play for hours with them.

We would cut pictures from magazines so we could have a big party or a nice house. Our paper dolls were our babies, just like our dolls, love the memories.”

Lee Hansen Hoch – “I had a huge box of paper dolls. I distinctly remember the Patty Page and Betsy McCall paper dolls plus I drew my own and made clothes for them.”

Nancy Julien Kopp – “My cousin and I spent hours playing paper dolls. Loved getting new ones, especially of the movie stars. We cut out all the clothes and then made up glorious stories for those paper dolls to act out.”

Handing Down Paper Dolls from Generation to Generation

Marsha Cooper – “I don’t really remember having paper dolls myself, but I remember my mom’s that she had kept. A lot of them came in the McCall’s magazine and my grandma cut them out. I remember how excited I was to find books of paper dolls for my own daughters. They played with them for hours at a time with their friends. They each had theirs stored in manilla envelopes. We found one of those envelopes in a box not long ago. Now my granddaughters are having fun playing with them. It does my heart good to watch them enjoying the “simple’ things over worrying about getting on the game system or a phone to play games.”

Karen’s Memories of Paper Dolls

Last year, I shared Gail’s little sister’s memories of paper dolls. Now, we have Gail’s daughter with her own memories

Karen Kolavalli – “The paper dolls we had most often were families cut out of catalogs. I remember we would create houses for them by placing books together–each book cover was a separate room and bigger rooms could be created with books that had the same color covers.

I loved Betsy McCall paper dolls from McCall’s magazine and thought Grandma McGhee was very unreasonable when she wouldn’t let us cut them out if she hadn’t finished the story on the other side.

And one special Christmas with all the Martin cousins, my gift was Lennon Sisters paper dolls that came in a cardboard and tin carrying container. I found quite a few for sale online. Apparently, they came out in 1960. I found some on eBay that sold for $31!

Also, I have a vintage sheet of Betsy McCall paper dolls that I have framed. I’ve heard that our generation is buying back our childhoods.

Ooh, forgot the paper dolls from the Sugar and Spike comic books! When we’d go with Mom to the grocery store, sometimes we each got to pick out one dime comic book and I always picked Sugar and Spike.”

Note:

I see there were earlier Lennon Sister paper dolls from 1957 that are just in booklets, not in a nice carrying tin.

Lennon Sisters from the Lawrence Welk Show Paper DollsLennon Sisters from the Lawrence Welk Show Paper DollsView DetailsLennon Stars From the Lawrence Welk Tv Show Paper DollLennon Stars From the Lawrence Welk Tv Show Paper DollView Details1958 JANET LENNON cut-out doll - authorized edition Paper Dolls1958 JANET LENNON cut-out doll – authorized edition Paper DollsView Details

Sugar and Spike

I didn’t remember paper dolls with Sugar and Spike that Karen mentioned, but I sure remember how fun their comic books were. Maybe we should save the topic of favorite comic books for another post, but I couldn’t resist checking Amazon for them. The vintage covers are quite pricey.

Sugar & Spike (Oct. #85/1969) (DC Comic Book, Oct #85)Sugar & Spike (Oct. #85/1969) (DC Comic Book, Oct #85)View DetailsSugar And Spike (Sugar And Spike, No.41)Sugar And Spike (Sugar And Spike, No.41)View DetailsSugar and Spike Dc Comic Books Issue 68Sugar and Spike Dc Comic Books Issue 68View DetailsSugar & Spike (1956 series) #77Sugar & Spike (1956 series) #77View DetailsSUGAR AND SPIKE COMICS #67 (NO 67)SUGAR AND SPIKE COMICS #67 (NO 67)View DetailsSugar & Spike (1956 series) #80Sugar & Spike (1956 series) #80View Details

Tell me about your memories of paper dolls.

Top Ten Posts for 2017

When I shared Gail Lee Martin’s stories in some groups on Facebook, her memory blog and her Facebook fan page gained quite a number of followers. People love nostalgia and old-time recipes, it seems. Here are the top ten posts for 2017.

  1. This post was a big hit with a Depression-era cooking Facebook group. Nostalgia groups also liked the memories it brought up. Saving the Cooking Grease
  2. This topic raised some controversy from animal lovers, farmers, and history buffs. Kansas Wolf Hunts
  3. The third most-visited post with 319 readers combined nostalgia and food, a winning combination. Bean Soup on Wash Days
  4. The post about old-fashioned sayings that Gail used was popular too. A Hitch in Her Git-Along
  5. More food memories that drew the lovers of nostalgia. Fifties Foodsretro fifties foods pixabay
  6. Disasters also caught people’s attention. M Is for Memories of the Flood of ’51
  7. This post caught the attention of a Madison, Kansas group as people dropped by to see if their parents or grandparents were mentioned. R Is for Ruth –  In Sympathy
  8. Hamilton is a very small town, but they have a group on Facebook that sent many readers to this post. H Is for Hamilton
  9. The novelty of this vintage recipe caught people’s attention. Heritage Recipe – Turnip Pie
  10. This follow-up piece with Gail’s own memories drew readers. Gail’s Memories of the Flood of ’51

Over 7,000 individual readers visited the blog in 2017. If you are reading this post, then you were probably one of them. If you missed any of the stories above, I hope you have a few minutes to read Gail’s memories.

gail's top posts 2017

Gail Admired Norman Rockwell

One of the magazines available to the McGhee family in the remote Flint Hills of Kansas was the Saturday Evening Post. This window on the world included serialized novels, articles about celebrities of the day, and a variety of other topics. People looked forward to seeing what Norman Rockwell painting would grace the cover. He contributed 322 covers between 1916 and 1963 to the Saturday Evening Post.

 

I remember my folks (Gail and Clyde) having a stack of vintage Post magazines in a shallow box under their living room sofa. Now and then, we’d pull them out to admire the old scenes of Americana captured in the Rockwell covers and to read the articles from those bygone days.

I recently found that many of those cover images now are available on everything from fleece blankets to cutting boards, coffee mugs, trivets and other useful items. Here’s a sample to give you an idea of the wide range of topics captured the fancy of the artist and appeared on the old Saturday Evening Post covers.

Sport Fleece BlanketSport Fleece BlanketView DetailsTackled Fleece BlanketTackled Fleece BlanketView DetailsDecoys Cutting BoardDecoys Cutting BoardView DetailsRunaway TrivetRunaway TrivetView DetailsRosie the Riveter PlaqueRosie the Riveter PlaqueView DetailsDreams of Long Ago Fleece BlanketDreams of Long Ago Fleece BlanketView DetailsCatching the Big One Fleece BlanketCatching the Big One Fleece BlanketView DetailsThe Fish are Jumping Fleece BlanketThe Fish are Jumping Fleece BlanketView DetailsHollywood Starlet TrivetHollywood Starlet TrivetView DetailsSpringtime, 1935 boy with bunny trivetSpringtime, 1935 boy with bunny trivetView DetailsDoctor and the Doll Fleece BlanketDoctor and the Doll Fleece BlanketView DetailsBefore the Shot or At the Doctor's TrivetBefore the Shot or At the Doctor’s TrivetView Details

Every cover was a delight. Often it featured a nostalgic scene of small-town America. Although many contained an element of humor, the artist could also address serious world issues and capture them in a scene.

Since I’m posting about Gail’s admiration for Norman Rockwell and it is December, I’ll include this classic cover. You can see all the covers at the Saturday Evening Post website.

Norman Rockwell 1930s cover art for the Saturday Evening Post. 1930s Santa.

Norman Rockwell 1930s cover art for the Saturday Evening Post. 1930s Santa.

Family Memory Gifts to Make and Give

This post was written by Gail’s daughter, Virginia Allain, on December 14, 2010 for the List-My-5 website.

Give the Gift of Memories

 

Give the gift of family memories for a birthday or Christmas gift that will be treasured by the recipient. This doesn’t have to cost much and can be particularly meaningful. There’s still time to create a gift like this for this Christmas.

Write About a Special Memory

Print it out with a pretty computer font on good quality paper and frame it. I like to use a script that looks like handwriting. This could be a memory of your early days that you are sharing with your children or grandchildren or it could be a memory about them.

Old Letters

If you’ve saved their letters over the years, or from a special time like college or military, display them in a binder. Use archival quality clear sleeves to slip the letters into. Present the binder to them for Christmas or a birthday. These will bring back a lot of memories for them.

Old letters

If you’ve saved someone’s letters, package them up in a pretty way to present to them.

Family Heritage Recipes

Gather recipes that have been handed down in the family. You can buy a blank recipe book and hand write them in and put comments about the person or occasions related to the recipes. You can also self-publish these with sites like blurb.com so you’re presenting them with a “real” book.

Genealogy Information

Fill in a family tree chart and have it framed or make a notebook with the family tree and various genealogy information in it. Look for an attractive binder or scrapbook album for this.

family tree

This family chart includes five generations

Start Them Writing Their Memories

Give them a memory book where they can answer questions to fill in the pages. An alternate idea is to give them a lovely leather blank journal to start recording their memories. Team this up with a book on memoir writing.

SUPPORTING LINKS

The Good Old Days???

Our guest blogger today is Monte Manka. He grew up in the 1930s like Gail Lee Martin did in Central Kansas. They met later in life through their writing when both were in their eighties. Monte writes poems and lots of nostalgia pieces. He just had his 91st birthday this week!
 I went to the grocery store today and got a half-gallon of milk and it started me to thinking—

In the good old days, I would get up in the morning in the early A.M. and set under the Holstein or Jersey and pull on those warm teats and get my milk. With my head buried in her flank, I could tell if she was going to kick me or not and I could get out of the way. (was not always successful though.) I loved to be hit in the head with a tail full of cockle burrs or in the winter time a tail with frozen urine on it. The feeling was the same, a bump on the head. When it was 100 degrees in the shade or 27 degrees below zero those critters had to be taken care of, come rain or shine.

cream-separator-pixabay

An old style cream separator.

Then those calves would come along and you had to train them to drink out of the bucket–more problems–they seemed to get something wrong with them and you had to doctor them, more problems. When you finally got the milk into the house and separated, you had to wash the separator. This was another chore of mine. One part had 123 disks on it and they were numbered. The disks went in numerical order. The buckets had to be washed and by that time it was time to do it all over again. BAH TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS.

THE GOOD OLD DAYS ???????  – BREAD

While at the grocery store I also got a loaf of bread and it started me to thinking again.
In the good old days, we took our wheat to the mill at Cedar Point and had it ground for flour, cracked wheat for breakfast food, and then took it home. Mother made bread from the new flour. The old wood stove felt good in the wintertime but was hot in the summertime.

I spent time plowing, disking, harrowing and drilling the wheat. This was always in the hottest time of the summer when you would either thrash or combine. I always missed the Rodeo at the Countryman Ranch at Cassoday. After sitting on the tractor with the heat from the tractor motor blowing in my face, and the combine engine blowing hot air on my back, I was well done by the time the day was finished. Then to the milking again.

leslie and monte manka wheat fiels south of house 1934

Monte L. Manka and his brother Leslie in the wheat field – about 1934

That wheat, that seems easy to raise is a gamble-one year it was a disease called RUST, the next it was a hail storm, the next it was too dry, the next it was too wet, the next it was the grasshoppers, that year was a plague about 1931, the corn on Teters farm east of El Dorado a couple miles, had no leaves left on the stalk after the grasshoppers visited them. I think you have better odds on the crap table in Las Vegas. One year Dad got a check from Kansas, City Grain for $2,000.00 for a carload of wheat, we took turns feeling it. Out of six years, we had one good harvest. The good old days- Yeah sure

THE GOOD OLD DAYS?????? – MEAT

While at the grocery store I was told to pick up some pork chops and that started me to thinking —–
We had a mean old sow. She bit my uncle on the leg and put a couple gashes in it. He did not quite make it over the fence.
Now, this sow was the ugliest thing you ever saw and I could never see what the boar saw in her. She would have the most pigs and the healthiest pigs of any of the good-looking sows. These hogs would have to be watched closely to keep them free of screwworms. More work more worry.

Once we had a bout with cholera and we lost 50 head that was ready to go to market. Needless to say, we had a big barbecue, too bad that we could not eat the meat. My uncle would give my brother and me a pig to sell if we would help him take care of them. One year we got $3.00 for our effort a few years later we got $6.00 then the market started to rise and no more free pigs. The good old days Phooey.

pig in nb

 

A Few Good Things about the Good Old Days

There were some things that were good like the filling station on the corner. Nufer’s gas was 18 cents a gallon but you got your tires checked, windshield washed, oil checked, a smile and a thank you. The good old days, Yeah.

When you came to town on Saturday you could take ten wrappers from ten Golden Crust bread loaves and get a free pass to the Eris and see the latest Ken Maynard western. I do not remember what the popcorn or soda was then, probably ten cents. After the matinee, we would go home and milk those stupid cows, and start another week of fun. Yeah

Ken Maynard 1926 vintage portrait card
Ken Maynard 1926 vintage portrait card

Another good thing-a handshake was as good as a signed contract, Not now it seems like the honest people are getting fewer and farther between. Out here you had better have twenty signed contracts, even then someone will break them all, and you are stuck with a lawsuit.

I always hear someone saying “Oh for the good old days.” I think back and no TV, no VCR, no microwave, no late model car. My gosh, I wouldn’t trade today for anything.

Written by Monte L. Manka