Not too long ago, I was once again on the freeway during that wonderful morning commute time for a medical appointment in Martinez. I entered the metered freeway at Railroad Avenue and headed west in what would be the fast lane at a normal time. As my top speed was about five miles an hour every so often, I was able to watch in my driver's side rearview mirror the cars zooming by me in the car pool lane.

The Highway Patrol could have made a fortune that day for in the half hour it took me to get to Bailey Road, I counted 17 SUVs with only one person in them, 12 pickup trucks and 10 cars. There were two cars with the windows so blacked out that I couldn't tell if there was even a driver in them.

Remember when those signs were so popular to have in the back window? Most of them said, 'Baby on Board.' I guess that was supposed to make people drive slower around them. Being the real rebel that I am, I had one that read, 'Ex-husband in trunk.' To add more fun, I placed a man's tie hanging out of the trunk. Quite a few police cars gave me a second look, but never pulled me over to check.

Last week I saw one of those tiny cars with a sign between the driver's door and the back seat. It proudly proclaimed, 'Actual Size.' That one cracked me up and I wanted to take a picture of it to share with others, but didn't have a camera with me at the time.


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I guess the tin cans strung on strings hanging behind a car with the 'Just Married' sign are a thing of the past now. It seems that newlyweds are riding in limos these days and those joyful, horn honking, tin can clanging cars are gone. Too bad, I really got a kick out of them.

We seniors can remember when all television shows where in black and white. If you wanted to change the channel, you had to get up and walk over to the set to do it. There weren't shows around the clock either, when they were done broadcasting for the day, the old test pattern came on and that was it.

Watching some of those old time shows on channels that run them now was a real eye-opener for me. What we enjoyed and laughed at seems silly in comparison with many of today's shows.

I do wish that some of the shows that came later on would be back on to watch now. There is nothing now that can match the craziness of "Laugh In," it was indeed a classic and we could use some of that clean fun on today's networks.

Sayings from the show were common place when it was running and made everyone laugh when they heard them: "The devil made me do it," "Here comes the judge," "Is that another chicken joke?" and many others.

Dick Clark brought us "American Bandstand," which went national in 1957. That was a must watch for everyone that wanted to learn the latest dances and of course hear what was new in music. I know my friends and I were glued to the set so we wouldn't make fools of ourselves on the dance floor.

I think that "swing dancing" is about the only style that is still popular from those that were danced back then. I can't even remember the names of most of them, can you? There was "The Twist," "The Bunny Hop," "The Stroll" and many more.

We did have fun back then, didn't we?

A native of Minnesota, Carol Olson grew up in South Dakota and Walnut Creek and now lives in Pittsburg. She can be reached at carolleeolson@aol.com.