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I just got a copy of Sports Illustrated's "Book of the Outdoors" by John O'Reilly (1959), published by Golden Press.


Its 324 pages long and handsomely illustrated. The text describes the many and varied outdoor activities that were popular with Americans of the late 50s and early 60s. It has chapters covering: field & forest, seacoast, swamps & marsh, mountains, lakes & streams, plains & desert, salt water, and islands. You may recall that 1960 was also the 50th anniversary of BSA, and to celebrate that milestone, Golden Press also published the "Golden Anniversary Book of Scouting" by Bezucha & Rockwell (1959), 165p.


For those of you who were Scouts at that time, the pictures and text in the two volumes bring to mind the wonder of the outdoors that is so lacking in our culture today. (aside: how is it that we, as a society, can be so concerned about the environment on a global scale, while simultaneously spending so little time in the outdoors locally?)


I know you can never go back again, but you can get copies of these two books on Amazon, starting at 80 for a used copy of "Outdoors" and $3 for a used copy of "Scouting". A little investment makes for a great nostalgia trip!

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wow! chill out,

don'tcha know todays problems are the direct result of the over active right wing reactionaries who hated loosing even the appearance of control and power...Why, they even embraced the Comrade V.I. Lenins favorite mantra..."If you tell a lie long enough...it becomes the truth"...think george and dick and donnie and alberto...after all did the "flower children" ever torture anyone? (except their parents!?)


I'm with OGE...if you did the '60's right it's really fuzzy....man



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I was just a teenager in the 1960's.

For me it was a time of Homework.

Buying 45's (Six shillings and sixpence each 3 for a Pound.)

More homework.


More Homework.

Playing Rugby.

More and more homework.

Trips to Ireland.

Learning to ride a horse.

Exams and more homework.

Beatles Movies.

Working in a local hardware store -Delivering Cat litter to Mick Jagger's home in Chelsea.

Watching some really great tennis at Wimbledon.

Watching some great cricket at Lord's.

And more homework.

None of this did me any great harm.

But the 70's were a lot more fun!!


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"Buying 45's (Six shillings and sixpence each 3 for a Pound.)"


If I understand the old British money, the record store was making out. Check my math. 6 shillings 6 pence x 3 = 18 shillings 18 pence = 19 shillings 6 pence. Which is a bit shy of a pound. Or is there something that I'm missing?



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Your math is spot on!

I just rounded it up.

15 February 1971 was Decimal Day in the UK.

The shilling was done away with.

Where there used to be 12 pennies to a shilling and 20 Shillings to a pound.

On 15 February 1971 the New Penny hit the streets worth 2.4 old pennies.

A new half-penny was also brought in.

It didn't last very long.

1960 was the last year that the Farthing (Worth a quarter of an old penny)

The "Ten-Bob note" was replaced with the 50p coin.

A lot of churches who were used to having people drop a Half-crown in the plate felt the pinch as the half-crown went when the decimal currency came along, the Half-crown being worth two shillings and sixpence (12.5 new-pence)It was replaced by a 10p coin (Worth two shillings)

There were some very unhappy Priests.


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I never had to do the mental arithmetic to add up shillings and pence to get pounds but I always thought that the old British money with its unusual units of pounds, shillings, pence, farthings, ha'pennies, half crowns and guineas was far more interesting than just dollars and cents or marks and pfennigs or rubles and kopeks.


The metric system came about because the french couldn't do the mental arithmetic to convert inches to feet. I wonder if the french had something to do with the decimal pound. Hmmmmmm . . .

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I think back in the 1800's the Brits did take a look at what the French were doing.


About 25 years ago two female teachers and myself took a group of English high school students, who were studying culinary arts over to France.

We had a free afternoon and took the kids to down town Paris and let them loose to do some shopping.

The two female teachers and myself also took the opportunity to visit the big stores.

While in a very big store, kinda like Harrods, my companions ad to go the Ladies room.

They came out giggling like two school girls.

It seems that in the bathroom there was an attendant, who took care of the room and handed out towels. Of course there was a plate near by for people to leave a tip.

My friends had left a 10 centimes coin in the plate. There was of course 100 centimes,to a franc and at that time a there were about 10 French Francs to the British Pound (I think the Pound was worth about $2.00)

My big tipping friends had left a tip of about one cent!!

The attendant had seen this and gave them a nasty look while saying "Ou-lar-lar!!"

I think the kids did a lot better with handling the French currency than my two companions did.


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