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210301 March 1, 2021



We Grew Up Hearing "Don't!"
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

        My first encounter with a set of parents who told me they did not like to tell their child "Don't" was when I was in the Air Force. When visiting us the little brat would run around our house grabbing and knocking around anything he wanted to do and they would not correct him. There suggestion was for us to put everything in our house out of his reach. That was before I was a parent myself, but even so I knew they were on a course to creating problems raising their offspring with such an attitude.  Although I do not have many close encounters with small children these days, I think I am seeing the result of other parents back then who never wanted to tell their kids "Don't."

        I was not raised that way, and I would venture to bet neither were my fellow classmates at Lee. We grew up in a world of "Don'ts." I sat down the other day and tried to compile a list of the don'ts I remember from growing up. I know I am missing many but here is a partial list of those that come to mind:

Don’t talk with your mouth full.
Don't watch TV in the dark.
Don’t sit so close to the television.
Don’t talk back to me.
Don’t do that.
Don’t stay out too late.
Don’t look at me that way.
Don’t forget to say your prayers.
Don’t forget to do your homework.
Don’t forget to wash your hands.
Don’t forget to brush your teeth.
Don’t leave that mess there.
Don’t expect me to pick up after you.
Don’t be late for dinner.
Don’t forget to take the garbage out.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Don’t (fill in the blank from boyfriend or girlfriend.)

        Not only was our family life filled with "Don'ts" but our taste in music added to the list of restrictions placed upon us. Even without the aid of searching the internet for examples, here are some of the songs from my youth which advocated things we were told "Don't" about.

Don’t Be Cruel
Don’t Step on my Blue Suede Shoes
Don’t Take Your Guns to Town
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Don’t Worry Baby
Don’t Forbid Me
Don’t Back Down
Baby Don’t Go
Billy, Don’t Be a Hero
Don’t Go Near the Indians
Don’t Sleep in the Subway
Don’t Bring Me Down
Baby, Please Don’t Go
Walk, Don’t Run
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You

        You can go to and find most of these songs if you want to hear them. I have selected one song which I remember being a favorite to skate to at Carter's Skateland.

Don't Break the Heart That Loves You

        Maybe you can add to my list of Don'ts you remember from your early life. I know there were a lot more restrictions passed to us by our parents. Use the form below if you want to add some you remember. What don't do you remember?


        Memphis, TN - Well, the winter storm has come and gone. One day before it hit Memphis we passed the final inspection for our new generator and never had to use it. Still, the peace of mind of having one was good. Below are the comments left about last week's topic. I've included a form to participate in this week's discussion should you choose.

        The following email addresses were rejected when I posted this.

Comments Left by readers about Records and Record Players

CE Wynn, LHS '64,  "Although I enjoyed the music, I was not a record collector guy.  However, my parents had a number of 78s of mostly country-western entertainers.  I recall Billy Byrom had quite a collection of 45s. Pat Grubis' (the future Mrs. Wynn) parents had one of the huge entertainment centers with stereo and TV in the same large horizontal decorative cabinet-it was the leading edge of technology at the time, '62 or so. Judy Adair's family had one of the smaller 45 players that we listened and danced to sometimes after school."

Polly Gurley Redd, LHS '66, "I think the first record I bought was Elvis Presley's Hound Dog. Our players took a similar path as yours with small portable turntables up to the big stereo unit that Mom and Dad had in the living room. My father loved to play Ray Conniff collections and the Tijuana Brass. His favorite was Conniff's "Somewhere my love". We still have turntables with our household stereo and with the set up at our summer house in the Adirondacks where our record collection resides and we play them regularly to "dance parties" with the grandkids. Have to broaden the music tastes of the younger generations."

Darla Steinberg, LHS '66, "My first record bought was Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino. I still have so many great albums so I actually purchased a new “record player” a year ago to once again enjoy the vinyl. “Old music” is the best music!"

Suzette Yost von Kamp, LHS '59 Only went when it was a Jr High, "I have no clue which record but it was from the mall. Hornbuckles at the mall. I had a neat record player/radio combo from Wards. Loved it and it was on a TV stand to roll it around."

J.R. Brooks, LHS '64, "I didn’t buy (my first record) I won it by selling the most magazines in the 7th grade. They became more important to me after the British Invasion."

Dianne Hughey McClure, LHS '64, "I had them (records) bought for me when I was young. The first record player I bought was the first piece of furniture Ronnie and I bought. It was a stereo that was a also a piece of furniture. It really was pretty. We keep it about 25 or 30 years and it worked the entire time. The first one I got was from Santa when I was 8 and it was red. It played 45 records only. The kids records came in many pretty colors.

Craig Bannecke, LHS '65, "My first record bought was the Marty Robbins "Gun Fighter Ballads" I loved the song "Big Iron."