Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for ... Kids

A lovely restored downtown

Somehow the 1950s of my childhood seemed to be a sweeter time, almost innocent.  The cars were big and roomy, without seatbelts.  Keys were often left in the ignition, in case the car had to be moved out of the way for a tractor.  Children could be left in the car; no one would take them.  Everyone would watch the car anyway, to make sure the kids stayed there.

A different town in a different state in the 1950s
Perhaps leaving kids in the car wasn’t a good idea all the time.  Maybe some wisdom should have been applied.  I don’t know.  But the story here is a true story, with details changed because it is a good idea to change some things.
 Lenora had four kids, and was expecting a fifth any day.  She had a list of errands to accomplish before #5 came:  stop by the butcher and pick up the five gallon sealed container of newly rendered lard, go to the bank, and then drop off the newly-collected honey to be put in jars at her sister’s house.  So far she had completed only the first one—picking up the lard.
1956 Ford Fairlane

Lenora left the keys in the car and told the boys what she would do to them if whatever.  Then she went into the bank for just a few minutes.  A few dang minutes.
A five-gallon tin of lard, pure snowy white

When Lenora came out, she shrieked and shrieked.  “What the________ have you boys DONE?” 
A last ditch effort to advertise lard

The entire interior of the car was plastered, no, layered, with handprints of white lard.  Coated from ceiling to floor mats, from rear view mirror to the back window in lard, thick greasy lard.

Then the honey had come out from the sealed jar and dumped in great sticky strands over the lard.

The doors were locked.  The kids were not talking or responding, just giving a quiet giggle now and then.  The keys were in the ignition.

Lenora sat down on the curbing and cried.  What else could she do?


  1. Oh snap. Another K word is Kill. or Klobber. or Klean. (cheating here :0)) There was actually a news blurb on one of the food talk shows lately about someone trying to revive lard as a healthier alternative to processed vegetable shortening. It was kind of konvincing.

  2. Poor Lenora. I hope the slippery mess clean up didn't precipitate #5.

  3. What else indeed? Kids can get into trouble faster than anything on earth haha.

  4. Never leave a kid alone with the makings of a disaster within reach.

  5. haha yep kids left to their own design sure won't make things turn out fine. Things do seem like they were better back then at least in some ways too.

  6. I am laughing out loud! As the saying goes, you cant make this stuff up!! Oh what fun those kids were having! Poor momma. Oh and the ads are too funny. What an exciting job to write copy for the Lard Information Council.

  7. It makes my hand itch just thinking about it. Little beasts knew they were doing wrong.
    And lard is good stuff - pastry make with half lard and half butter is the best ever.

  8. Another brilliant post, Susan, and so bitter sweetly funny.

  9. I love your dry humor.

    Hope you’re enjoying the challenge so far!
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    1. I have a 1950's left in the car story too. We lived in Orange NJ and there was no parking on our side of the street. My mother had to run back into the house to get something, I don't know what, so she left us in the car. A policeman came (we knew him) and so we ducked while he wrote my mother a ticket. When she came out she was all about "why didn't you tell him we would be right back??" Well, we were shy!!

      thanks for the giggle.

      Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  10. You know, Susan, this was a delightful story. Delightful because it wasn't a story about someone kidnapping innocent children, but of children playing a "prank." This was OUR time growing up, and wasn't it wonderful?!

    I saw your email that says you've been busy helping your daughter following her surgery. My youngest had surgery too, and wish I could have been there to help her. But she managed okay (it was two torn meniscuses in her knee). I of course have Jen full time and didn't yet have a new aide set up. We're in the process of that now. Like you, it's been a busy time, and I wouldn't have been able to do this A to Z if I hadn't gotten almost all of the posts drafted last month!

    Hope things are going well for your daughter, and for you. It's always fun playing grandma!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  11. Those little ones... that sounds like a mess! :) I kinda miss the days where a kid could walk to the neighbors house and you didn't have to fear for them. Our world sucks for kids in some ways.

  12. Of course sitting down and weeping was all she could do. And without doubt all of us have had and will have those moments.
    Lovely post. Thanks.

  13. Poor Lenora! (that is my daughter's name, by the way...) An experience destined to become a classic no matter what, because what else would two boys do with lard and honey?? :)

  14. Definitely harking back to a bygone age - the 'health police' warn us away from substances like lard, these days!

    I love the reminiscence of a time when kids could be left with little fear of abduction and the general sense of 'community responsibility'!

    BTW - thanks for calling in at my blog recently! Much appreciated :-)

    SueH I refuse to go quietly!

  15. That sounds like a mess that could never be cleaned up. :)

  16. What a mess! I love all of the pictures you use. Who gets happy from eating lard!

    Nikki – inspire nordic

  17. So, was there an innocent girl in the car, and was your Mother's name Lenora?

  18. Oh! I can't imagine doing anything but crying. I can't imagine ever getting that lard and honey out of the car (not to mention off the kids!) Reminded me of the time my daughter and her friend got into the Desitin (a large tube!) and smeared it all over the wall, rug, changing table and each others hair. It did not want to clean up!

    Great story!

  19. That's is funny- although im sure it wasn't to, Lenora.

    Kids will be kids! Suppose they were bored.

    Hope she put them to work.

    Great story!

  20. Oh my gosh. Pooooor Lenora!!!

    i am always fascinated by those old adverts, for cigarettes and...for lard! yech.

  21. So great, what a hilarious story for us, not so much for the mom. i can JUST see those little boys having the time of their lives with the gooey sticky slimy yucky lard.
    Thanks for the post.
    Visiting from a to Z.
    We are way close now!


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