Boomer Blog: More mature than the soil of the earth


Recently a quiz to determine if someone is “Older Than Dirt” made the rounds on Facebook. I took the quiz and passed or failed – well, according to the quiz I am indeed older than dirt.

I decided to create my own version of the quiz. Readers should count the items they actually remember or experienced and then check the scoring guide that follows.

By the way, I dislike the phrase “older than dirt,” so I classed things up with “more mature than the soil of the earth.”


1. a $3.00 family ticket admitted an entire family to the Champaign County Fair for the whole week.

2. bag boys or box boys carried groceries to cars for customers.

3. a crowd of 15,000 lined Scioto Street and crowded Monument Square in 1960 to celebrate the Class A state championship won by the Salem basketball team that included Al Thrasher, Steve McCullough, and Coach Bill Hupp.

4. nurses dressed in white uniforms and wore caps.

5. TV soap operas were 15 minutes long.

6. school kids heard snow day closings on the radio.

7. Perfection Salad, usually in the form of green or yellow JELL-O with shredded carrots or cabbage, was on the menu at almost every banquet.

8. people in classrooms and at official functions stood in front of American flags displaying 48 stars and recited the Pledge to the Flag without the phrase “under God,” added in 1954.

9. sports fans of Champaign County schools cheered for the Concord Bruins, the Rosewood Indians, the St. Paris Tigers, the Urbana Local Lions, the Westville Cowboys, and the Christiansburg-Jackson Jets.

10. Brylcreem promised “a little dab’ll do ya”; Dinah Shore urged everyone to “see the USA in your Chevrolet’; and Timex watches “took a licking and kept on ticking.”

11. 4-Hers from Camp Clifton hiked through the gorge on the way to John Bryan State Park to go swimming in the pool there.

12. at wedding receptions, newlyweds opened gifts from their guests, who enjoyed refreshments of wedding cake, punch, and mints served in little nut cups.

13. businesses closed and 3500 people were evacuated in 1968 after 17 cars of a Penn Central train derailed near Russell Street.

14. people opened cans of coffee, shortening, sardines, and SPAM with a slotted key attached to the lid.

15. the UDC printed “Hospital Notes” each day that listed the names and addresses of all patients admitted to and dismissed from area hospitals.

16. 4-Hers in first-year sewing projects hemmed tea towels by hand.

17. nutritionists divided foods into 7 basic food groups.

18. during the summer Champaign Countians headed for Muzzys Lake to enjoy swimming, the beach, and picnicking.

19. girls in PE classes played basketball by “girls’ rules”: three forwards remained in the front court and played offense only; three guards remained in the back court and played defense only; players were allowed only two dribbles before they had to pass or shoot.

20. library patrons used the card catalog when searching for a specific book.

21. people kept Kennedy half dollars as mementos of the slain JFK rather than spending them.

22. people referred to the big college in Columbus as simply “Ohio State University.”

23. Helen and Billy Scott, Sally Flowers, square dancers, and Kenny Price – the Round Mound of Sound – performed Saturday nights on Midwestern Hayride.

24. people could be photographed at Oakes Studio upstairs on North Main Street.

25. families set out their Melmac dinnerware on Formica countertops.

26. everyone began each day with a clean handkerchief in pocket or purse.

27. grade school kids at Concord had a 15-minute midmorning recess, a 15-minute midafternoon recess, and approximately a half hour recess after lunch.

28. fans of TV westerns enjoyed the limping Chester Goode, Marshal Matt Dillon’s trusted sidekick on Gunsmoke, and laughed at Pat Brady, who talked to his jeep Nellybelle on The Roy Rogers Show.

29. ladies did not wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.

30. patrons at the Gloria often sat through more than one showing of a film.

31. people followed the coverage of Dr. Sam Sheppard from the Cleveland suburbs, who maintained his innocence in the murder of his wife but was ultimately sentenced to life for the crime – which he blamed on a bushy-haired intruder.

32. kids who loved comic books headed straight for the display shelves just inside the main doors of the dime store on North Main Street.

33. elementary students stored their school supplies in cigar boxes.

34. morning TV viewers tuned in to watch Today host Dave Garroway and J. Fred Muggs, his chimpanzee cohost.

35. kids learned to read in the first grade.

Scoring results: 1-10 indicates mere WHIPPERSNAPPER STATUS / 11-25 indicates the final approach to GEEZERLAND / 26-35 offers irrefutable proof of being MORE MATURE THAN THE SOIL OF THE EARTH

By Shirley Scott

Shirley Scott, a 1966 graduate of Graham High School, is a native of Champaign County. After receiving degrees in English and German from Otterbein College, she returned to GHS in 1970 where she taught until retiring in 2010. From 1976-2001 she coordinated the German Exchange Program with the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Springe.

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