List of rules to follow from 1959

I recently came across a photo album my father gave me prior to his death. He was born during WWII in Greenville, South Carolina, and a list fell out of it that included rules that might come across as somewhat partisan today, but, quite clearly, aiming to make life better for the world around him. While we should hold today’s pundits and leaders to a higher standard, our forefathers mustn’t always be cancelled for their exclusionary sentiments provided they demonstrated overwhelming earnestness to improve their times. He dated the list near the same day he turned 21 years old. So, here goes:

List of rules to follow from 1959

  • 1. Never kiss the girl on the first date
  • 2. Stop dating the girl who won’t kiss you on the second
  • 3. Never ask a girl to go steady unless she brings it up first
  • 4. Eat lunch at the counters with blacks because both the food and conversation will be better
  • 5. Open doors for blacks and pick them up if hitching
  • 6. Make friends with the mailman and gift them money for Christmas
  • 7. Always ask for water in your scotch and bourbon. The drive home will be safer
  • 8. Never put less than five dollars in your gas tank
  • 9. Always write your teachers after graduation
  • 10. Always list your favorite teacher as a work reference
  • 11. Never turn down help from a neighbor
  • 12. Say “Thanks for the advice” but don’t always follow it
  • 13. Talk to God the way you talk to your grandmother
  • 14. Ask your parents about their failures
  • 15. Never enter a church without two handkerchiefs
  • 16. Always sing Christmas carols
  • 17. Always believe in Santa Claus
  • 18. Never offer to handshake first
  • 19. When writing an angry letter, wait a week before sending it
  • 20. Pets are only allowed in the kitchen when inside the house
  • 21. Always hire the black man because he’s had a harder time at it

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