Weather Forecast


Brock: ‘Back in the day’ memories

I still can’t believe 40-years ago in June I graduated from high school, and it is not the type of thing you celebrate like a 10-year or 20-year reunion. Recently, I heard someone describing how things were in high school 10-years ago beginning with the phrase “back in the day.” I had to smile and wonder how much things had really changed for them from “back in the day.” So, at the risk of sounding like the old curmudgeon that I am, here are some of my own “back in the day” memories.

“Back in the day,” when I was in school, politically correct meant acing your government exam, which I didn’t do.

“Back in the day,” report cards consisted of As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Fs. “Back in the day,” I knew if I brought a report card with an F, Mom and Dad weren’t going to meet with my teacher or counselors, but have our own counseling session at home, which would include hands-on discipline.

“Back in the day,” cartoons were only on television Saturday morning. Baseball’s lone game of the week was shown on Saturday afternoon. Everyone watched Lawrence Welk or the Wonderful World of Disney because we only had one channel.

“Back in the day,” kids competed in the World Series, fought wars or chased criminals in our neighborhood and not on a computer screen.

“Back in the day,” we played outside because we knew mom would find something we didn’t want to do if we complained about being bored or spent too much time inside.

“Back in the day,” dinner was served at noon and supper was served at 5:30 p.m., with or without you. You could count on meat and potatoes of some kind. Tacos and pizza were too exotic to be made at home.

“Back in the day,” a food truck was a sandwich eaten on the tailgate of dad’s pickup. Dining out usually meant burgers or hot dogs cooked and eaten in the backyard or the park, or on rare occasions a trip to Richie’s Drive-In, which, from what I hear, was a whole lot like the Roosevelt or A&W drive-ins in Dickinson.

“Back in the day,” drive-ins and grocery stores, like the Red Owl and Super Value, were places a kid could find work to earn enough money to buy a second-hand car. Parents couldn’t or wouldn’t buy your car back then.

“Back in the day,” you needed your own car if you had any chance of getting a date to go with you to theaters like the Cactus Drive-In Tucson or Hillcrest Drive-In on the weekend.

“Back in the day,” where I grew up wasn’t a lot different than growing up in Dickinson, or most anywhere else in America. I’m sure there are “back in the day” memories you can recall that, like me, will bring a smile to your face.

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press. Email him at