Words of Gold

Jeannette Buck

I’ve said it a good many times in this column over the years. I greatly enjoy remembering and writing about the past, but I have no desire to go back there.

However recently I had a “back in the good ol’ days” moment.

I have become fairly comfortable ordering and making purchases online. But, now and then I can only wonder: Wouldn’t it be nice to get one of those catalogs in the mail from Sears and Roebuck or Montgomery Ward?

And does anyone else remember Aldens? Those shiny heavy books listed everything from underwear for Grandma to cooking utensils and dinnerware as well as sleds and Red Ryder wagons and doll babies for the kids. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the rural mail carriers. Maybe that is one of the reasons why the man who delivered our mail never smiled.

The Christmas catalogs were even more fascinating. They were “wish books” of the highest order for us when we were kids. And even after I had children of my own, they helped their Dad and I plan around their desires and our budget.

Making out an order was serious business. Adding the total plus tax and shipping charges was even more so. The eventual arrival of the packages a week or so later made it all worthwhile. Worthwhile most of the time, that is, as long as the shoes fit and the shirts and pants were of the proper color. Well.

I did think about all of that the other day as I struggled with the gimmicks of online ordering. Wouldn’t it be easier to — ?? No.

I freely admit I am addicted to going to that page on my computer; telling it what I am looking for, and watching as within seconds the items show up on my laptop screen. Click. Click. Click. Choices made and “method of payment” confirmed. And it will arrive when? Tomorrow.

Of course there are glitches. Now and then the item either doesn’t fit or maybe, well, as with any purchase anywhere, it isn’t quite up to expectations or necessary requirements.

Returns were never fun — nor are they now. However, they are possible. And the refund to the credit card is automatic. Most of the time.

I’m back to my original conviction. I love to remember the “good ol’ days” and to reminisce about them with friends.

And I’ll probably continue to write about them now and then. But I’m happy where I am — here in the 21st century.

It is truly more interesting (and at times frustrating,) every day.

Jeannette Buck is a lifelong resident of the Gold area who, since listening to her Grandma Williams’ stories as a child, has been deeply interested in local lore and history.