Discover More from This Category: Looking Back

Dating through the years

November 30, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw I was watching a talk show recently and one of the topics discussed was an article from a 1950 McCall’s magazine. It gave 129 options that women could use to get a date. If you are in the “senior age category” you would be quite amused at some of the techniques…

Turning into our parents

November 16, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw At some point in our lives we seem to turn into our parents.I guess it’s inevitable as we grew up following their instructions. I thought of my father when someone commented to me that I mow the lawn in a different direction each time. Back in my youth the task of…

Grocery shopping in the 1950s to 1970s

November 2, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw Shopping for food in Rutland back in the ’50s was an entirely different experience than it is today. The Rutland Directory for 1955 has 50 listings under the heading of “Grocer.” Only two of those stores were large chain stores. One of them was the A & P (Atlantic and Pacific…

Saturday morning routine back in the ’50s

October 19, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw The morning host of a local radio station who is fairly new to Rutland said he sees signs on buildings for businesses that are no longer open. He named a few of them and invited people to tell him what they miss about not being able to go to these places.…

Our connection to aromas

October 5, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw Once you have lived through several decades you will realize that various aromas have a connection to a certain time period in your life. One of the earliest aromas that I can remember was the delicious scent of a pot roast that my Aunt Nora cooked for Sunday dinners. Back in…

Remembering Seward’s

September 7, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw When I read that Seward’s Restaurant is closing my mind went to memories that began in childhood. When you have been around for more than of a century it’s rare to have an existing business that has shared that same time span with you. I was 3 years old when the…

Gardening this fall

September 7, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw Well, how did your garden grow this summer? Did you try anything new? Experimenting with new plants is one of my favorite things to do. When the calendar tells me that Labor Day has arrived I know that the gardening season is coming to an end. Summer goes by way too…

Remember the cold, snow and ice?

August 24, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw When I submitted my column to Polly recently I added a comment about how much I dislike hot weather. I told her I had much rather have it cold. I also gave her permission to remind me of those words when freezing temperatures come back to bite us! Polly responded that…

Childhood pets

August 10, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw Many of us had pets growing up. Dogs and cats were the most common pets but goldfish, turtles and birds also had a place in many of our homes. On my street three of my closest friends had dogs and I had a cat. The dogs wanted to spend time with…

Shopping for items of the past

July 27, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw I realized that I am “stuck” in the '50s when Venetian blinds are still my choice for privacy and keeping out the sun. Apparently, the majority of consumers have moved on to more modern options! About a year ago my husband picked up a replacement blind for one of our living…

Objects: large to a child, small to an adult

July 13, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw As adults we have occasions to observe how small something actually is that seemed large to us when we were children. That happened to me just before the school year came to an end at Christ the King School. I drove by as students were taking part in an activity on…

Remembering phones of yesteryear

June 29, 2022
We recently had some work done on our car and one of the staff members said that he had tried to reach me but the call “didn’t go anywhere!" I asked if he had dialed 802 before our landline number and he said he did. The only logical explanation for a call that “didn’t go…

School’s out…let’s play!

June 15, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw When I was a kid “back in the day” and the school year ended many of us recited the phrase, “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks!” We were free at last. We had been planning how we would spend our summer days long before that last…

Early days of Beauchamp & O’Rourke Pharmacy

June 9, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw I get to take a trip back in time whenever I stand at the counter of Beauchamp & O’Rourke Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue in Rutland. To the right of the register is a photo from 1959 of the store owners, Fred Beauchamp and William O’Rourke, as well as the pharmacists who…

Old cameras and film photos

May 18, 2022
By Mary Ellen Shaw I met some friends for lunch recently and one of them brought some old photos from the '80s... '90s. Among them were pictures of events showing people we had worked with. You know that a vast amount of time has passed when you don’t recognize some of the people! All of…