They Need To Bring Back – 1940’s Nostalgia

I think I have the whole “what’s wrong with this country” thing figured out..

They need to bring back: Rooftop ballrooms, inviting a soldier to dinner, the percussion of high heels across a heavy wooden floor, film noir.

They need to bring back: Lips like crimson art, walking slowly in the rain, Saturday mornings at the barber shop, the buzzing of bad neon.

They need to bring back: The torch song, boats made of mahogany and toy prizes made of tin, pride in appearance, Gene Tierney’s angelic glow.

They need to bring back: Black satin opera gloves, friends that sign your autograph shirt, Lux Radio Theater, riding in the rumble seat.

They need to bring back: The melody in music, handwritten letters from home, halos above street lamps in the rain, Winston Churchill.

They need to bring back: Radios as big as appliances, grilled cheese sandwiches with a dill pickle spear at Woolworth’s, the soul of our nation.

They need to bring back: Stickball, the magic of Fred and Ginger, a silver dollar from grandma, picnics in the park, letting the good guy win.

They need to bring back: Dressing up for the movies, the warmth of Christmas morning, an evening next to the radio, Bogie and Bacall.

They need to bring back: Squeezing into the photo booth with your best friend, kissing goodbye at the train station, Kilroy, the dance hall.

They need to bring back: Sounds of children playing tag, leaning over the fence to talk to our neighbor, meeting a date at the soda fountain.

They need to bring back: The allure born of mystery, riding our bikes in the summer rain, grandma’s medicine chest, searching for four leaf clovers.

They need to bring back: Dancing until your wingtips glow, staring through display windows downtown, glass milk containers, the 1946 Wurlitzer.

They need to bring back: Making flour and water paste, a teen’s jalopy, time standing still, sending box tops for decoder rings, Sunday dinner.

They need to bring back: Hide and seek at dusk, big bands, Hollywood elegance, Superman on the radio, the lunch counter at the 5&10, fedoras.

Thanks for reading.. and Merry Christmas!


Profile photo of Paul
A determined contributor to the memory and preservation of a decade.


  1. December 11, 2011, 2:42 am   /  Reply

    And Merry Christmas to you. What a wonderful essay! I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

  2. Brandon
    December 13, 2011, 1:24 pm   /  Reply

    I agree wholeheartedly!  I wish we could take a step back in time and see how simple and fun things were back then.  I'm currently writing a book that partially takes place in the 40's, and in doing so I can think about all these wonderful things to incorporate.  Thank you for this list and Merry Christmas to you too!

  3. Profile photo of Baxter Bailey
    December 14, 2011, 6:18 am   /  Reply

    Thanks Jeanne, I appreciate your response and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Well said Brandon.. thanks, and keep us updated on the book!

  4. Veronica Kelly
    December 23, 2011, 2:38 pm   /  Reply

    This is very beautiful. However, some of these things are easy to bring back. We just have to do it ourselves. Thank you for the nice read.

  5. Mike
    January 6, 2012, 10:02 pm   /  Reply

    Many of these very things are being brought back and relived by re-enactors and living history folks.

  6. Profile photo of JazzyDame
    January 24, 2012, 11:43 pm   /  Reply

    Dear Paul,
    May I just move into your world…right now?  🙂  This list of nostalgia is pure bliss.
    Most sincerely,

  7. Rick Calkins
    February 10, 2012, 7:45 am   /  Reply

    Wow, you just put a smile on my face and peace in my spirit. These are the times that made America great. When people did the right thing. When we cared about our neighbors and nation. thanks Paul. 

  8. Mike Frey
    February 10, 2012, 10:05 am   /  Reply

    Having come into this beautiful world on July 24, 1940 I remember literaly "A NEED TO BRING BACK" each of the reminders stated above.  Boy do I miss those great times! And NO, we didn't have all the luxury items we have today BUT what we had or were given was appreciated.- Frey—-we knew WANTS vs NEEDS.  Peace!  Mike

  9. chriswebster
    March 31, 2013, 11:43 am   /  Reply

    So true…everytime I don my fedora I think of this…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>