Sometimes a nostalgia trip back to the days of lard is spoiled by the stuff sold in the brick at grocery stores today. That lard is additionally hydrogenated, bleached, deodorized and otherwise processed to "purity" and long keeping qualities. Along the way, it loses the richness of good old-time lard. Since it begins as rendered hog fat, it is indeed lard, but it's a mix of all qualities of hog fat, and of course, the hogs are factory hogs who have never seen an acorn, and it shows in their flavor.
Remember that in the 1940's, something just less than 1/4 of the population lived on six million farms. In 1990, less than 3% lived on less than three million farms. So, in 1940, there was a lot of local lard that didn't have to travel or stay in warehouses for months. The butcher might well buy it direct from the farm, and if he was a good butcher, he paid a premium for the best, leaf lard. It still had something of the pig still in it. I think that's why you hear of such things as lard sandwiches and lard subbing for butter in those days, when it's hard to find today's brick lard very appealing.
You can find good leaf lard, but it's not easy. In a city with a lot of foodies and a high awareness of eating local food, I know of exactly one source, and it does make a difference. So often, when we try to revisit childhood, the experience doesn't quite come off. If this one doesn't quite come off, it might be the lard.
Our hero. Here, piggy, piggy: