Sometimes things are best left alone, like this classic dump cake recipe.

Things sure have changed since the days of my youth during the 1960’s. I’m always seeing these posts on Facebook saying “Share if you remember this or that” and so on and so forth. Fortunately, I do remember most of those things they mention. Yes, a lot has changed in how we lived our lives from back then, compared to today, and SOME things are actually for the better.

It disappoints me though, that today’s children, for various reasons, are not able to experience a lot of the things we did as children, because of the dangers we see in the world today, most of which rarely existed in my days of youth. The biggest threat we generally faced as children was roaming too far away from of our own neighborhood, and encountering a tough guy from another neighborhood, but, guess what, we all survived and lived through those ordeals.

Probably our parent’s biggest concern back then was the fear of us falling in with the hoodlums that hung out in different places. These guys were generally isolated to places like the pool hall, or hanging out at the skating rink on a Friday night, where they would go to cooly skate backward, or promenade style with their girlfriend. They would always win the candy bar give away in the skating races, and would generally take their smoke break in the back corner during the Hokie Pokey. Other times you could catch Hoods hanging out and playing pinball at the bowling alley. But as a general rule, they rarely bothered anybody outside their own groups. In fact, looking back on it, many of those same guys’ lives turned out very well with some becoming leading citizens and successful business people in ours and other communities.

I blame a lot of today’s youth problems on the press, with the constant news coverage of tragic things which gives ideas for others to copy. When I was a child, our press consisted of the Miami News-Record, Melody Matinee at noon, and the 6 p.m. Joplin/Pittsburgh newscast, with the news of the day generally being someone celebrating their 80th birthday or 50th wedding anniversary.

Another difference from us and the youth of today was our freedom to get out and about. It was nothing for a group of neighborhood kids to walk across town to participate in a ballgame, or ride our bikes from all over town to Riverview Park to swim at the “Big Pool.” Many a time, I would walk to Main Street, “Town” as I called it, to see a movie, maybe buy a cookie at the bakery on South Main, or go and bust a balloon at Woolworths to try and get me a Banana Split for a penny (which I never did), or sometimes just walk through the “Dime Stores.” Every now and then, I would go into Oklahoma Tire and Supply and buy a new baseball if I had saved enough money from selling pop bottles.

Yes, life was much different then, if you got your behind busted at school; you also got it again when you got home, and we knew that. Now, I’m not going to pretend that we kids were any better behaved than kids today, but our mischief was generally just harmless pranks.

We have had many scholars come along since those days though, and say our parents were doing this wrong and that wrong raising their children? There may be some merit to those statements, but to me, changing how children were raised from the 1940’s through the 1960’s, is like someone telling us we need to change how we make a 1960’s style dump cake. Sometimes trying to fix a problem that isn’t broke can backfire on you. Case in point would be this cake! If someone has improved the method of preparing it, then I have yet to see it, or maybe, it is just because I’m a product of an era that seemed to be a much better time to spend your youth in. Heck, even the “The Andy Griffith Show” has survived the annals of time, and in my opinion, so has this dump cake. But if you absolutely think you have to make an improvement to this classic, then you might try sprinkling a few pecans on it...if not, then leave it alone...

1960’s style dump cake


1 can crushed pineapple (20oz), undrained 1 can cherry pie filling 1 box yellow cake mix 1 cup butter (2 sticks)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pour pineapple in the bottom of a 9X13 inch pan. Layer the cherry pie filling onto the pineapple. Sprinkle the dry cake mix on top of the cherry pie filling. Melt butter and pour over the cake mix.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.