The Richmond Register

June 17, 2013

Things are different today, especially movies and cars

By Dick Ham

RICHMOND — I was just thinking the other day about how different things are today when compared to how things were when I was young.

One of the things that are different is movies. Today’s movies are full of foul language and situations that, when I was young, would have been censored.

It seems that anything goes, and nothing is considered bad or immoral.

I remember in 1943 when I was 8 years old, I saw what continues to be one of my all-time favorite movies. “Lassie Come Home” was released that year and is a beautiful story, with a beautiful Collie that was almost unbelievable. I’m sure many of my readers remember that movie.

Nancie and I saw it again just a few days ago on the Turner Classic Movie channel. I enjoyed it just as much this time as I did the first time I saw it. The acting, the scenery, the entire story line grabs my heart every time. I know I’ve seen it numerous times and hope I can see it several more times.

Elizabeth Taylor was very, very young and beautiful. Roddy McDowall was also very young and was excellent in his role.

Others I remembered that I can still name are: Donald Crisp, Edmund Gwenn and Elsa Lanchester.

All of these people had outstanding careers. There are numerous others whose faces I recognize but whose names I can’t remember.

I can’t help wondering, why can’t we have wholesome, family oriented movies like that today?

Several weeks ago, my friend Glenmore Jones wrote a piece for this newspaper about his first car. That brought back memories of my first car.

Cars are certainly different today than they were when I was young.

In 1953, I was a senior in high school. A man lived two blocks down the street from us who drove a 1938 Chevrolet.

He had purchased it new, and although it was 15 years old, it looked like new. I would see him drive by our house and I’d think, ”My how I’d love to have that car.”

His name was Roy Miller, and we were members of the same church. One morning, a number of us were on the front porch at the church prior to the morning worship service. I said, “Mr. Miller, why don’t you sell me your car?” He replied, “Why would I do that, a new one wouldn’t be any better.”

A few weeks later, once again at church, Mr. Miller came up to me and said, “Dick, I told my wife you would like to buy my car. She said, ‘Roy Miller, we’ve had that car for 15 years, it’s time for us to get a new one. Sell it to Dick.”

He told me I could buy it for $250. I talked it over with dad and he said, “Son, it certainly is worth $250, but what if you get to college, need money, and have to sell it. Will you be able to get your money back?”

It broke my heart, but I told Mr. Miller I couldn’t buy it.

I had a part-time job in a neighborhood grocery store where I had worked for nearly six years. I was at work one Saturday morning. Mr. Miller called the store. He told me he was at a Chevrolet Dealership in downtown Louisville and had closed a deal on a new 1953 Chevrolet.

He told me the salesman asked if he knew anyone who would like to buy his trade-in. If so, they could have it for $195. I told him I would call him back and called Dad, who agreed that it would be OK.

One of the owners of the grocery took me in the store truck to the neighborhood bank where I had some savings. I drew out the money, and he drove me to the dealership where I bought my first car.

I’ve never owned a car I liked as much. It had a three-speed manual transmission with the shift lever on the floor. The very next year, Chevrolet moved the lever to the steering column.

Cars today are certainly different. I wish I still had that one.


Graduation ceremonies for all the high schools in Madison County, Eastern Kentucky University and Berea College have taken place.

I’d like to offer my congratulations to the graduates and to urge them as they begin this new chapter in their lives, to set attainable goals as they move forward.

Do all you can to help our country return to its greatness.


Harry Lee Waterfield served two terms as lieutenant governor. He also ran for Governor in 1947, 1959, and 1967 but never won that office.


If you wanted to see Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Neptune, what U.S. state would you visit?


Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you — Winston Churchill