Holy Smokes! A Blast From the Past

One of the things I love about my postcard collection is being able to pull out a handful at random and reminiscing about the people who sent them, or the places I’ve visited. Sometimes I come across a postcard that depicts a scene that no longer exists in the same way. Buildings are torn down; skylines change. And sometimes, like with this postcard, I get a blast from the historical past from the message on the card.

ca 001 (2)

The postmark is cut off here, but this was sent in 1994 and James writes: You will never believe what California has already done away with – smoking everywhere.

To me, it seems like forever since smoking was allowed in public places. But it’s a relatively recent policy. I see that it was a shock when California banned smoking in 1994. I still remember my dad smoking on airplanes and in movie theaters. My high school even had a smoking pit for students during study hall. I can’t imagine that now.

Do you remember the days when everyone used to light up anywhere and everywhere? Or it that a totally foreign concept to you?


13 responses to “Holy Smokes! A Blast From the Past

  1. I remember how irritated my mother was when smoking wasn’t allowed on a Northwest flight from Alaska to Seattle. For me, it was a huge relief, because even if you flew in the non=-smoking section, you could be only a row or two away form the smoking section, and get off the plane smelling like an ashtray. The first time I went to Ireland, my husband and I spent the evening in a smokey pub, and our boogers were black from inhaling so much secondhand smoke. The last time we went, we could enjoy the music in a smoke-free pub, and it was heaven!

    • I know exactly what you mean! When we think about it now, “non-smoking sections” in restaurants, airplanes, etc. seems so absurd. Smoke doesn’t stay in one place. But we were so used to it…

  2. At the risk of sounding snarky and annoying, I was too young to remember a time before they did away with the public smoking thing. I remember going to Las Vegas as a kid and being appalled that people were smoking in the casinos. Even now, sometimes I still forget that there are different policies in different states and countries.

    • You don’t sound snarky at all. It’s just a sign of the times. Things that were the norm when I was growing up, aren’t anymore. It’s strange to think about (makes me feel old), but that’s life.

  3. I was into my 40s before there were any restrictions at all on smoking – public transport, cinemas, restaurants, bars. (I suspect it was frowned on in art galleries and suchlike but can’t recall). In addition my father smoked non-stop in the house. Nobody thought anything of it.
    We might be healthier and smell fresher but I have a strange nostalgia for those days 🙂

    • I know what you mean. It was just the way life was. I think this postcard message caught my eye because we just watched the movie “Argo” and the characters in it smoke whenever and wherever. It’s how life was.

  4. I grew up with parents who smoked. Smoking was everywhere. I find it humorous that my four siblings and I never smoked. I think one of the reasons I’m so attracted to the show Mad Men is because of the smoking and drinking and bad behavior that was present in the office culture at that time.
    And of course you have a fantastic postcard collection! I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. 😉 I admit to being a tad envious because I always loved postcards and usually bought them for myself as souvenirs – even from local attractions.

    • I buy them for myself, too. The majority of my collection is probably ones I’ve bought. But I also nag all my friends and co-workers to send me them, too. The ones that do are all the more special to me for doing so.

  5. Pingback: Holy Smokes! A Blast From the Past | healthbeauty76·

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