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May 28, 2019

Jalopy, saddle shoes and other words from our youth are now just memories

By: Judy Wolfman | Resident Author

Why is it that when I meet someone, and learn her name, within a few minutes I’ve forgotten it and have to ask her to please repeat it. And what’s worse, I don’t recall it the next time I see her!

But names aren’t the only thing I keep forgetting—words I want to use while talking, where I’m supposed to go, what I’m getting ready to do and so many more “little” things.

I’ve been told that memory loss normally occurs with aging and usually doesn’t get much worse over time. Thank goodness for that! But what’s really funny is I can remember things that happened in the past…many years ago!

When I was having a tough time with a school project, I remember my Dad saying, ”Keep a stiff upper lip,” and “Grin and bear it.” And when I went shopping, Dad would say,  “Don’t take any wooden nickels.”

The other day a resident’s grandchild was told to go out to the jalopy and get ready to go home. The little boy looked at her strangely and asked, “What the heck is a Jalopy?” He didn’t know it, but his grandmother and I knew it!

One of our residents complimented me after I did a storytelling program and said I had a lot of moxie. Of course I knew what she meant, but one of the young staff members didn’t have a clue and I had to explain it.

When I was younger, life was really swell. I haven’t heard that used since. There are many words I haven’t heard or used in years such as saddle shoes, pedal pushers, knickers or poodle skirts, to name a few. Do you remember them?

I guess my memory isn’t so bad after all when I can recall such words and phrases as “living the life of Riley,” or calling someone a nincompoop or a knucklehead. And how about, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” or “This is a fine kettle of fish!”

When I hear someone look at me (I’m short) and say, “You’re knee high to a grasshopper,” I no longer get insulted.  But when I seem to be daydreaming, which I often do these days, I don’t appreciate being told to, “Wake up and smell the roses.”

Do any of these “old” words or phrases bring back memories for you, or better yet, create new ones? Poof go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink and they’re gone lickitysplit.  Where did they go? I hope that after you read this, you are Hunky Dory and get a few laughs and chuckles.

We are blessed to live in changeable times. We have the advantage of remembering words that once are no longer heard, except in our collective memory. It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging! Do you agree? Okie dokie? See ya later, alligator—after a while crocodile!


Judy Wolfman / Resident Author

2 thoughts on “Jalopy, saddle shoes and other words from our youth are now just memories”

  1. Renee Harlow says:

    Oh my gosh! Thank you so much, Judy, for making me laugh and brightening my day! I have heard of all the words and phrases you mentioned above, except for two of them! My parents and grandparents used these words and phrases all the time! I owned a pair of saddle shoes and they were my favorite. Nincompoop is a word that I thought my parents just made up, since I never heard anyone else use it, except us! What a hoot! Hunky Dory was another favorite of mine. Thanks for the nice trip down memory lane! Great article!

    1. Country Meadows says:

      Thank you, Renee, for sharing your connection with this article. Judy brought to light so many fun references and memories, for sure!

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