- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The canvas pants didn't look baggy then, not like they do now in the old photographs. They were the color of a manila envelope, and I thought they were as sleek as the long-sleeved white jerseys with purple numerals and the shiny black leather helmets. A wide purple knit stripe curved down the back of each canvas leg, and somehow the pants turned elegantly golden if the sunlight hit them just right on those Saturday afternoons when a TCU Horned Frog named Sling-in' Sammy Baugh or Davey O'Brien would throw the football so hard at times, often so far and always so accurately that he would make another stumbling ignoramus out of a hated Longhorn, Bear, Owl, Razorback, Mustang or Aggie, whatever it was.
I speak wistfully of a time in the mid-to-late 1930s when practically everything seemed better to me than it does today, except, of course, air conditioning.
Even gangsters were better in the '30s because you could tell them apart from the politicians. Gangsters put black shoe polish on their hair, wore pinstripe suits, packed heaters and talked about C-notes as they slapped their women around.
Cars were better because they were flashy roadsters with rumble seats and all kinds of wraparound chrome, and you could drive from Fort Worth, Texas to Shreveport, La. on 9¢ worth of gas.
People could dance to the music of the '30s without hopping around like Siamese cats, or people could listen to the music without screaming at a teen-ager to turn down the heavy metal or put on earphones. Music was definitely better.
Food was better. You could almost always open the packages food came in. Or you could pull food out of the ground, or wring food's neck in the backyard and then roll it in flour and pitch it in the frying pan. You could also get food at drugstores, which, if they were good drugstores, sold comic books and strawberry milk shakes.
Comic books were better because they were serious. It was a sad day for America when comic books got funny.
Movies and novels were better because they had good guys and bad guys in them, and they frequently had endings. Movies were also better because the leading men were taller and pretty terrific sword fighters. In a '30s movie, Dustin Hoffman wouldn't get the girl. He'd get the luggage.
Staying home was better, even if you didn't read a book. You could listen to The Amos and Andy Show and One Man's Family and I Love a Mystery on the radio instead of hurling your house slipper at a TV when The Love Boat comes on, and then switching over to Alistair Cooke introducing Part 17 of Kristin Lavransdatter.
Presidents were better. There was never going to be but one President, and you could trust FDR.