I must be the youngest one in the group.
Even in the 'good old days', I never had it that bad......VBG
In the old days, everyone had to walk miles and miles and miles to and from school, and it was uphill both directions!
Sharing that drinking ladel was the old way of having every kid become immune to chicken pox, colds and other ailments. Sort of a non-invasive immunization program.
What I really remember was the peanut butter sandwiches with lots of home made preserves from our fruit trees. With 6 of us, we went through hundreds of jars a year, mostly plum jam, but some peach, apricots and blackberries from the neighbor's tangle of vines. Our freezer was a locker kept in the ice house (factory a few blocks away) that produced 100 lb chunks of ice. During the heat of summer, we'd go pick the shards of ice off the back of the wagon and later the delivery truck and suck on them while sitting in the shade of the huge ash trees out in the front yard.
Nice times back then. Just after WWII so we'd go buy soldier stuff from the surplus store and play war. My brother, the rocket scientist, used to require us to identify where the person we "shot" was exactly in order for it to count. We used to carve out our own wooden rifles until we discovered the surplus, $2 fake drill rifles. I think we still had one when we closed down our mom's house after she died in 1994.
Our house was a terrible thing, built like a fence without studs, but walls made of inch thick redwood planks. That redwood would be worth a fortune today. When they tore the place down, they pushed on one corner with a skip loader and it all fell down. There were a couple of lean-to add ons, both with wood floors that were laid directly on dirt with linoleum laid over it. Never really missed that place, but I learned a lot of DIY stuff with my dad trying to keep the place patched up and the plumbing working. Five of the apartments my Mom managed to get built are still there, making more money a year in rents than it cost her to build all of them way back then.
Lots of good memories from that time, but then, there was the risk of polio. My dad worked at a place called Rancho Los Amigos, which was the county farm for the poor, and later built into a polio hospital. I remember going with my dad to visit the wards where kids and adults were stuck in Iron Lungs. We were in line immediately when the Salk polio vaccine was distributed.
A pletora of nostalgia leaks out when we have topics like this. I was born in February of 1943 and started school about 1947-48.