Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Writing a Book

Hey, Fellow Bloggers,

I don't know about the propriety of doing it this way, but I wrote a whole bunch of short stories over the past year or so. They have now been published by Deeds Publishing, founded and owned by Heavener's own Bob Babcock, and are available for sale. The way the book came to be is presented below. I will spare you the agonies of tales of writer's block that paralyzed my mind from time to time and simply say that it took a lot of "grunting and groaning" to get it done.

Many years ago I jotted down the idea for a short story—and then put it away in a file. Four years ago, after I retired from my job as Chief Engineer at the Arnold Engineering Development Center, I was organizing files for my home office and re-discovered the idea buried in one of the files.

Now I have not only completed that first short story (“Reality”) but I have also added another fourteen stories to the mix and published them as “Tales From the Mind—Volume I”. The stories run the gamut from pure fantasy to historically based fiction. Most of them are just the right length for reading just before you go to bed or when you have a thirty-minute break any time during the day.

Here are the things some reviewers have said about the book.

“Lazalier combines the imagination of Asimov and the story-telling ability of King in this series of short stories. — Readers should be prepared to encounter palpable fear, thought-provoking situations, and surprise endings.”
Doris-a retired Guidance Counselor

“—He takes the reader on a journey through a weird dream-like world that is somehow still familiar enough to relate to. — Lazalier entertains while making you think, and he keeps you guessing right up until the end.”
Mark-a recent college graduate

“Glen uses his engineering talents to craft stories which lead the reader down often familiar paths and then ambush them with never-even-imagined endings. I think of him as one of the few people possessing the rare ability to remember an entire dream long enough to write it down.”
Pat-an avid reader

“Stories that invade the recesses of one’s mind inspiring dreamlike fantasy grounded with touches of realism, and laced with twists that beg us wonder the possibility.”
Lynn-a Registered Nurse

I had a lot of fun writing the stories and I hope that people who buy the book have just as much fun reading them.

If you would like a copy, please send $25.00 (includes shipping costs—check or money order only, please—I can’t handle credit cards) to the address below and include a clearly written mailing address to which you want the book sent:

Glen Lazalier
3796 Hillsboro-Viola Road
Hillsboro, Tennessee 37342

If you would like to have the book personalized with a note from me, please include the name of the person to whom you would like the note addressed.

Volume II is planned for release around the end of 2008.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's a small world

I’ve always heard the saying, “It’s a small world.”

Well, it’s true. In 1968, I was in Vietnam, a small corner of the world, but truly across the ocean.

I had been over there a few months, long enough to back my fuel truck into the wing of a jet, and have my driver’s license taken away for 90 days. However, when I was back driving again, one of the things I had to do was dump the contents of my truck into a bladder, or a storage tank.

Our trucks carried around 5000 gallons of fuel and we had to dump them constantly into these bladders, because Bien Hoa, the place I was stationed, was one of the busiest airports in the world, at the time, so our trucks had to be full when a plane came in for refueling. Thus we kept the bladders, at the end of the runway, full.

One day I was dumping my truck, and I received a call on my radio, that I needed to report to the terminal. I thought to myself, “What have I done now?”

Anyway, I went to the terminal and was told I had a visitor. (See picture above. That's me on the left!)

It turned out to be Larry Pennington, whom I had known in Heavener. Larry was stationed at Long Bien, an Army post not far from me. (I was in the Air Force.)

You can imagine my amazement, being in Vietnam and getting to see someone I knew from Heavener.

That wasn’t the last time I got to see him, either. One day, I went to Long Bien and visited him where he was an x-ray technician.

Larry, upon his discharge from the Army, later visited with me at Altus AFB. Larry wasn’t the only person I saw from Heavener.

Stan Wedge, also in the Army, was another I got to see. And John Roop. I was refueling a commercial aircraft and, lo and behold, there was John. John was just then reporting to Vietnam.

When I got my driver’s license back (I mentioned earlier why I had it taken away), and was no longer just dumping my fuel into the storage tanks, I was promoted to refueling commercial planes, a cushy job, because we got to visit with the stewardesses and get some of the sandwiches and/or goodies left over from the flights.

I also got to see one of my cousins, Harold Rogers, from Sallisaw, a helicopter tail-gunner.

Before I even went to Vietnam, I was stationed at Hamilton AFB (CA). .I was in the San Francisco bus station and someone there discovered I was from Oklahoma. I’ve never made any secret where I was from. Anyway, that person, obviously an Oklahoma fan, asked me if knew John Titsworth. I said, “Do I?! And I proceeded to tell this stranger how I knew John Titsworth.

When I was stationed at Altus, I was able to run on to John Owen, another Heavenerite. John was an officer working with the KC-135s.

Yes, it truly a small world.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The killer pick-off move(s)

Baseball has always been a big part of my life. I’ve played it, watched it, covered it as a sports writer and now watch it as a grandfather. Yep, my grand sons both play and I go watch them as much as possible.

Matter of fact, I can’t remember when I started watching and/or playing the game. I started thinking the other day and my thoughts drifted back to my playing days.

I can remember many of my teammates.

Dale Mead. He has tragically passed on, but he and I connected because he pitched and I played third base. What is so special about that?

Dale was a right-handed, side-armed, almost under-handed pitcher and he had a rare, suprising (to runners who reached third) pick-off move to third. So, we naturally caught plenty of runners standing flat-footed as they inched off base.

Not many coaches scouted in those days, but after a while word began to spread about Dale’s killer pick-off move to third.

Danny Blair played catcher, Tommy Haynes second, Ed Stinson first and John Ray shortstop. In the outfield Gary Hokit was in center, “Red” Miller in left and … well, I can’t remember who was in right. In American Legion ball, Corky Hokit, even though he was from Talihina, was the other starting pitcher.

In high school ball, Jim Tiffee played short, Jim Allinder first, Don Lewis center field, and Stan Wedge left. Dale played right. Larry Roop was a pitcher.

Dale and/or Corky relieved each other. Relief pitchers weren’t so specialized in those days.

Corky, Don and Larry have also passed on.

One game I remember in high school stands out. We played at Cameron on a Saturday morning, the night after our senior prom. Somehow, I reached first. I don’t remember how exactly.

The pitcher attempted a pick-off to first and the ball hit me right in the face. Probably, because I was in a daze (from the prom), I wasn’t paying at lot of attention. Needless to say, that was another killer pick-off move I can’t seem to forget.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First Automobiless

Driving a car began at an early age for me. I was twelve when I learned how to drive. The reason for the early age was simple: my sister is three years older than I and when she began learning at the age of fifteen via a beginner’s permit I went along and learned too.

Our (i.e., my sister’s and mine) first car was a 1936 Chevrolet sedan. It had a starter that was actuated by pushing the accelerator pedal to one side to engage a dog that depressed the start switch directly—no solenoids required. A manual choke and a manual throttle completed the dashboard controls. The transmission was a standard three-speed model with a floor mounted lever.

The battery on the car wasn’t very reliable so each afternoon I backed it up the alley behind our house to position it for a rolling clutch start the next morning. The steering mechanism was very stiff and, so my sister said, she couldn’t manipulate it so I became the de facto if not the de jure driver. I believe her real problem was backing it up a rather narrow alley. At any rate, I became the driver at the age of thirteen.

Every school morning we would go by the Gartner house and pick up Joanne and Bob (John Robert) Gartner. Then we would set off for the school on the east side of town. By the time we got to school we would sometimes have ten or more kids in and on the car. It had a nice set of running boards that would hold at least four people.

The cooling system leaked like a sieve so we had to add water daily in warm weather. In cold weather we added methyl alcohol because antifreeze was too expensive. I learned early on that my Father had set the timing back on the car to keep the speed down. I also learned how to set it back to a more advanced position so the car would run more than 40 miles/hour. Whenever I did this I had to be careful to set it back before I backed up the alley because there was always a chance that he would drive the car before the next morning and notice the timing change.

Later on that old car was sold for a penny per pound and netted $33.00, just a little more than the $25.00 paid for it earlier.

After that first car I move on to a 1941 Chevrolet business coupe to a 1947 Chevrolet sedan to a 1954 Chevrolet sedan just before I was graduated from HHS in 1959. The 1954 served me well all through college and wasn’t replaced until 1965 before I left OSU with my first Master’s degree. By then I was married and ready to go to work full time.

When I went to get insurance on the replacement car (a 1960 Chevrolet) I was working with the State Farm agent to minimize my costs.

Him---“Are you twenty five?”
Me---“No, I am twenty three.”
Him---“Oh, too bad. If you were twenty five I could get you a 15% reduction. Do you have a good grade point?”
Me---“Yes, I do.”
Him---“Have you ever had an accident?”
Me---“No, I have not.”
Him---“Have you ever had a traffic ticket?”
Me---“No, I have not.”
Him---“Well, I can reduce your premium 10% for the grade point and 5% for the no-accident and no-ticket record.”
Me---“That’s great. Will my wife be covered as well?”
Him---“You’re married?”
He tore up the original contract and replaced it with one that had a premium 50% lower.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Church camp and swimming

Two things I really enjoyed as a kid were going to church camp and going to the Poteau swimming pool for a morning of fun. They weren’t very expensive but something I looked forward to every summer.

Church camp was in Talihina at the Kiamichi Baptist Assembly. There was a fee, but I'm sure it was nominal. Don’t remember exactly how long it lasted, but seems like it was a week -- Sunday or Monday through Friday. I went for about five straight summers.

First Baptist had a sizable cabin over there that we all stayed in. There were, I don’t know, maybe 40 or so kids, counting both boys and girls. We stayed in separate sides of the cabin, of course. Though we saw each other every day or so back in Heavener, it was always good to see everyone. Sorta like a reunion.

All ages, too.

Some were there to make something serious out if it, like Claude Raines, who went on to become a preacher, I think. Then there were the rest of us that went to have a good time.

Oh, we had to go to classes every day and we’d all gather in the tabernacle every night for a church service, but it was mostly to have a good time and meet other kids from other churches. I don’t remember how many churches were represented, but kids came from Poteau, Stigler, Atoka, Panama, etc.

The cooks always prepared good meals for us – breakfast, lunch and dinner. We called it dinner and supper. Mrs. Dudley was always a cook and she could bake the best rolls, I remember. Barbara Mattison was always one of the cooks and had a dessert ready for us after the evening service.

Each boy and girl had separate bunk beds, like I said, on opposite sides of the cabin. The boys always tried to crawl in the rafters over to the girls’ side. Once, I remember a counselor woke up to find a bunch of boys in the rafters.

"Big John" Titsworth, as we called him, was one and he fell right on top of me when the counselor discovered what they were doing.

There were all kinds of activities for everyone. One was baseball or softball -- church against church

For some reason I remember playing ball against Jerry Heatherington of Panama, who later was a running back at Oklahoma. I used to think to myself, “I remember him.”

Everybody tried to have a girlfriend from another church. I had a girlfriend from Stigler, Kathy Barnett, one or two years. Her parents actually brought her to Heavener to see me after camp ended. I saw her years later and we recalled our great times at church camp.

The other thing I looked forward to was going swimming at Poteau. We used to catch a school bus at Heavener High School and ride over on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Parents would drop everyone off, because they knew the kids would be safe. No chaperones were necessary on the bus. I usually walked from home to the school, like I did every day during the school year. Sometimes I would get a ride with Mike Mattison’s mother or Russell Walker’s mother, if we were running late.

It cost something like a dime to ride the bus. Then a soda pop was 10 cents and a candy bar just a nickel, so for a quarter you could go and have a big time.

I was never much of a swimmer – still not – but it was all in fun, anyway. It was always safe, with lifeguards and swimming instructors, and all. Again we usually saw everybody in Heavener during school, but it was always good to see them during the summer, too.

Yes, times were simpler and cheaper, but we still had fun.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

East Side, West Side?

Like John, I wanted to comment on Glen's description of his early years growing up in Heavener. Even though I rarely crossed the tracks during my grade school years (except going to and from school), I learned that we did about the same thing on my side of town, as Glen was doing on his side.

During those hot summer months Glen spoke of, I don't remember complaining about how warm it was. Like he said, we really didn't know anything different...until we went in Tates or the Liberty Theater. If I remember correctly, my family didn't even get a swamp cooler until after I left for college. What we DID have, though, was a window 'exhaust' fan that worked great at night, drawing air from outside, through the windows that were always open. As warm as it sometimes was at night, it's amazing how cool it would feel by morning. Later, the window fan was replaced by an attic fan that did the job even better.

Like I mentioned above, I grew up on the East side of town. Being young and not wanting to spend half one's time walking or running all the way across town (my parents didn't want me riding a bike on the streets that far), like most kids at that time, we gathered in our own neighborhoods to find ways of entertaining ourselves.

On some afternoons, we would play baseball in the summer. Usually it was in someone's yard. When I drive by my old home on East Ave B these days and see how small that back yard is, I wonder how we ever had a baseball game in it. Of course the trees were much smaller then (or non-existent) and we were much smaller, as well. I don't recall anyone ever breaking out a window. In the Fall and Winter, we would play touch football. Some of the kids in my area were Larry Gardenhire, Roy Gene Edge, Butch Gilstrap, Ira Franklin, Billy Holt, and others. We could usually round up enough for a game of some kind.

On summer nights, it was kick-the-can, just like Glen, John, and others, were doing on the West side of town. Sometimes it might be 'Annie Over'. When conditions were right, we might forgo games and just catch lightning-bugs (fireflies, I guess they're called now). Whatever we did, though, I can't remember anyone ever complaining how hot it was. One thing about it, though, we usually did what we were doing until we got that call from our parents that it was time to come in. There wasn't any TV to watch back then, so that usually meant bedtime.

My son finds it hard to believe that you could mow a yard with a mower that didn't have a gas engine attached to it. Of course we did, as Glen mentioned. Ours was yellow...I remember that well. Not only was it hard to push, but in order to do a good job, you had to cover just about every push, twice...sometimes, three times! I'll never forget the day that my Dad brought that new green Lawnboy mower home. That was one of the neatest contraptions I'd ever seen. I didn't mind mowing the yard for awhile...until I got used to it.

There was one thing I don't remember ever doing on my side of town. In the winter, during those rare 'good snows' that us kids always dreamed of seeing again, I don't remember ever doing any sledding on our side of town. We had some hills, all right, but they just didn't seem to be as good as what the West side kids had. I'm talking about the hill that bordered the North side of the grade school property....and in front of the First Baptist Church. If we had any snow that I felt might be sticking around for awhile, I'd beg my parents to take me over to the West side where the "good hill" was. I can recall days when there were so many kids sledding down that hill that you almost had to make a reservation at the top. Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT crowded, but there were lots of kids there. It seemed like you could slide forever once you got going good.

That's it for now...

Summer Time II

Glen’s latest blog on “Summer Time” brought back some old memories for me, too.

I’ll never forget the old water fan sitting on the front porch, blowing cool air into the living room. Mike Mattison and I used to spend nights sleeping on the front porch, and that old water fan was loud. We slept there, probably, as much as anything, so we could sneak across the street and visit Gayle Wilson.

For some reason, it always seemed cooler going over there.

Or, we were just “cool,” because our parents nor her parents ever knew we were doing it. We didn’t go unless Gayle invited us, of course. It was her idea, but we nonetheless were quick to accept. Mike and I always made sure Gayle knew when we spending the night on my front porch, a screened-in version of a bedroom, if you will.

Other cool things we did at night was play “kick the can” out behind the Phillips 66 gas station. Hiding at night and running to kick that can was just one of the things we did for fun.

Another was sleeping in a tent in the back yard. Russell Walker and I did that a lot. It was hot sleeping in a tent, but that didn’t stop us from doing it. His dad had to get up around three o’clock in the morning to start his Holsum bread route. We were always awake and heard him. But we never let on that we were awake, though.

Then at times, we would go wondering up and down the block. Just because we could, I suppose. Maybe we thought we were getting away with something or doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing. We might go over to the Babcock’s storm cellar.

Whatever. It was all fun. You think kids could get by with something like that in this day and time? You think kids even spend the night wondering around the neighborhood? I don’t think so.

We used to go down to the old ice house, not at night, but it was cool to go down there. The ice house was behind Buck Stewart’s house on the highway. The ice house was a tall structure with water running down the side of it, much like the water fan I mentioned earlier. I guess it provided an evaporative cooler, of sorts.

There were times when we climbed up it. Why, I don’t know. Probably, like I said, because we could.

Or, we used to go down to the bait shop and try to get into the sodas. The bait shop, though enclosed, only had a wire fence around it. And the soda machine was up next to the fence, so it was fairly easy to get to.

We did so many “cool” things, even when it was hot. Like Glen said, heat didn’t seem to bother us so much in those days.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer TIme

The past few days here in Tennessee have been unusually warm with the high temperatures being in the 90-93 deg range. I noticed the temperature when I was working in my garden. Otherwise, as I move from an air conditioned home to an air conditioned car to an air conditioned office I scarcely know what the outside temperature is.

However, I did start remembering what a typical summer in Heavener when I was a young boy was like. In a word, it was HOT! But I don’t remember the heat bothering us too badly.

Classrooms at the West Side Elementary School were not air conditioned. If we were lucky, the teacher might bring in an oscillating fan that would stir the hot air and dry some of the sweat off our young bodies. Recess was always a time for vigorous play and we would return to the classrooms liberally wet.

Saturday was the day that I was tasked to mow the lawn (we called it a yard)—with a real push mower and a small hand scythe (we called it a sickle) to lop off the crabgrass spikes. I would usually begin before the dew was gone and that made things doubly difficult. The mower would often clog up and the wheels would just skid on the wet grass. I started early so I could be finished in time to go to the movie at the Liberty. Most often there was a double feature with a weekly segment of one of the popular series such as “Rocketman”. It cost a dime to get in, a Coke was a nickel, and a really big Baby Ruth candy bar was a dime. Those three items totally consumed the quarter I had gotten for mowing the lawn. And the theater had REFRIGERATED AIR!! Not just “air conditioned” but REFRIGERATED! On the way from our house on the Independence Road (now Avenue I) I always entered Tate’s store from the back alley and walked through to the front because it was REFRIGERATED too. I think the movies started about 11:30 or 12:00 and lasted till about 3:30 or 4:00. Then it was back into the heat and the mile-long walk back home.

As I went into high school and started playing football I came to highly value the window fan my Dad had installed in our dining room. It was one of the old swamp coolers, and pushed a lot of air out. After I got home from practice I would pull three dining room chairs together, drink a quart of milk, and lie in front of that fan for thirty minutes or so. That really restored a tired body.

Nighttime was an extension of the hot weather. I was lucky. My bedroom was on the corner of our house so I had two windows. I had a small window fan that I put in one window blowing out. With the other window open, the fan pulled a steady stream of hot air over me. By morning, when the temperature might have dropped all the way to 80 degrees, the air was at 100% humidity. But it felt good.

On those rare occasions when we got a decent rain (without an accompanying lightning show) I would play in the ditch in front of our house. The water from the hill west of town rushed down that ditch and made an excellent place to build temporary dams. When there was a lightning storm I liked to sit on our front porch and watch—but Mother usually made me come in.

Now, if the temperature in my house gets up to 78 degrees I feel like I am in a sauna. But, I’ll bet I could get used to hot weather again in a few weeks. On the other hand, I don’t want to have that option exercised.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A glipse of 'retirement'

Cynthia and I love to go RVing. In fact, when she retires in just a little less than a year from now, we plan a trip out west and up the California coast, and maybe even Oregon, Washington and whatever other states we can go through.

Our first trip will be an extended vacation, like two, three or possibly four months. It’s a year and a half away, but we’re already taking steps to make it possible.

First of all, we have purchased our second RV since we got married just over five years ago. We’ve gone from a 28-foot Class C to a 22-foot Class B. Yep, downsized. The Class C was just too big (for our driveway) and too hard to handle, so we decided to go with something a little smaller.

We had to keep the other one in storage and go out and get it every time we wanted to go somewhere. With this one, we just park it in our driveway, load it up and take off. Cynthia has taken Aunt Mable home (to Heavener) in it and stayed at the Long Lake RV Park, near Poteau. She’s taken it to her daughter’s in Bryan and stayed in it.

Actually, it’s a BT Cruiser, sleeps two, has a kitchen, a bathroom and a refrigerator. Just the right size for Cynthia and I, and it’s more economical to drive. It better be, the way the price of gasoline is going up these days.

We took it to Lake Tawakonie, about 60 miles from Tyler, last week, to get a better idea of how comfortable we’d be, and just how much we liked it. I must admit the best part was that our friends Robert and Elaine took their camper along, too. Robert also took his boat and he caught a pretty good mess of catfish. I’m not much of a fisherman.

There’s nothing better than fresh catfish, fresh hush puppies and fresh fried potatoes. Mmmm.

We had a grand time and ate some good food cooked on the grill.

One thing we took along for the fist time was a tent, an OU tent, really just a canopy, which we set up to relax in the cool breeze away from the sun.

The next trip will be a little longer, sometime next fall (2009) to visit her brother Jim in Miami, en route to Kansas to visit an old classmate – John Marvin Wright – then come down through Oklahoma City to visit some friends, before heading back to Tyler.

Then, it’s the biggie. We have our good friend, Dixie Linville, to come stay in the house, someone to mow the yard and Cynthia has started paying the bills online. We have a new wireless laptop for that and can still get emails, and write blogs, of course.

We have a membership in 1000 Trails (campgrounds) and there are 1000 Trails parks up and down the California coast, so we plan to just hop from one to the other.

We can’t wait.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Remembering Jack Mildren

Last week when I received news of Jack Mildren’s death, it saddened me, but it also jogged my memory a little.

I was fortunate to watch 25 straight OU-Texas games from the press box. The 1973 game was my first and Jack Mildren was finished as the Sooners’ QB by then. But I had been a fan of OU for several years, including when Mildren took all the snaps from center.

One night in Austin, I was there for coaching school. That’s something I always attended, too. This particular night, I was sitting -- okay, it was a bar – while listening to Ray Dowdy tell stories, even though I don’t drink. He was quite the story-teller and he had coached at Tatum High School, one of the schools in the Longview News-Journal circulation area.

Anyway, he jumped on the subject of OU and Jack Mildren.

Dowdy, see, had played with the Longhorns and Austin Reagan High against Mildren when he was with the Sooners and Abilene Cooper as well.

As Dowdy told it, Mildren and Abilene Cooper were on the one-yard line going in for a touchdown to win the game and the state championship. Mildren called his own number and tried a quarterback sneak, over – you guessed it – Dowdy’s defensive tackle spot with the clock running out.

Mildren looked up at Dowdy, saying “Here I come, try and stop me.”

Dowdy nodded, “Bring it on.”

Cooper wound up losing the game and championship, 20-19.

That was in 1967. Fast forward to 1971, and the situation is the same. OU and Mildren, needing to score a TD late in the game against Texas and Dowdy.

Dowdy tells it again.

Mildren called a QB sneak to go over Dowdy’s defensive tackle spot. “Bring it on” remembers Dowdy. Well, the Longhorns won the game 26-20.

I wasn’t there, but I loved to hear Jack Mildren stories. Now, sadly, both Mildren and Dowdy have passed on at fairly young ages and all we’re left with is stories.

WHO is older than DIRT? by Babcock

One of my boys asked me a while back what my favorite fast food was when I was growing up. I told him, “WE didn’t have fast food ‘back then’, it was all ‘slow’ food.”

“Awe come on Dad, seriously , where did you all eat?”

“Well, son,” I told him, “It was a place called HOME. Your Grandmother cooked everyday. And when your Granddaddy was home, we all sat down together and ate. If she cooked something we didn’t like, we sat there ‘til we DID like it.”

He was laughing pretty hard by this time, so I didn’t tell him about us having to get permission to LEAVE the table. But I decided to tell him a few other things.

Lots of parents never owned their own homes, they just rented. They never set foot on a golf course, never owned a boat, never traveled very far from home, never had a credit card, but if they did, it said Sears and Roebuck on it. They didn’t know what the word “designer” even meant. They never drove to soccer practice, mainly because no one had ever heard of soccer.

I had a bicycle that weighed fifty pounds and it only had one speed -- SLOW. We didn’t have a TV, only had one phone in the house, and had to remember a person’s number to tell the operator when she said “number please”.

I was 33 before I ate my first pizza. My Daddy didn’t have a car ‘til I was 12 years old. Before that, if we went, we borrowed my uncle’s old Chevy truck, and we boys rode in the back on some benches Daddy made for us. If it rained, we got wet. Or else, we had to go on the train. Because Daddy was a railroader, it was free for us to ride. We were just limited as to where we could go.

Milk was delivered to the back door and the newspaper was delivered to the front door. Ice came in blocks and was delivered whenever we put our card up in the window to show what size block we wanted. The newspaper was a nickel and ice was a penny a pound, delivered.

We went to the movie, maybe once a week, and generally on Saturday. If it was mushy, it meant that the cowboy kissed a girl, with their mouths SHUT! No French kissing. That was considered “dirty!”

There was no such thing as perma-press. All clothes had to be sprinkled and ironed. Wash was only done on Monday because that’s the day the trains didn’t run and cause coal dust to get on them. Clothes were hung on the line outside as we didn’t have a clothes dryer. Dimmer switches were on the floorboard of a car, you stuck your arm out the window to signal which you were going to turn or stop.

Yep, I was really getting going when I noticed he was sound asleep.. Guess he didn’t believe me or was just plain bored.

As I was thinking about the things I was going to tell him, I remembered things like—candy cigarettes, party lines, butch wax, 78 RPM records, rollerskate keys, S&H green stamps Hi-Fi’s, blue flash bulbs, metal ice trays with lever to break the ice loose, pea shooters, P F Flyers, wax coke bottles filled with colored sugar water, Studebaker cars, Edsel cars, wringer washer machines, those old push mowers that you REALLY had to push, those blister-causing shears we had to trim with, curfews which we had better not violate. And there was 25¢ per gallon gasoline, nickel pop and candy bars.

Yep, all just memories. Wonder what kind of memories he will have when he gets to be seventy. And, will they be the kind he will want to share with his kids. I sure hope so.

Bill <<>>wb