Flashback Friday: The Warm Breeze

mo-moberly_logoWhen I was younger I delivered newspapers. At one point I delivered to a route in downtown Moberly Missouri, USA. I remember Sunday mornings I’d get up at 4 to go downtown to the paper office, get my papers, and deliver them. I remember the winters were cold and miserable and a lot of times the pressman in the paper office couldn’t hear me banging on the doors, or wasn’t there yet, and I’d have to wait on the street, in this little indentation where the front door was.

One Sunday, I woke up, rode my bike to the paper office, locked out, middle of the night, ice and snow everywhere. I got ready to hunker down in my cubbyhole when the wind began to blow. Except it was warm, like a tropical breeze. It was nothing short of spectacular! Imagine being braced for the coldest, nastiest, biting-est knife edged winter wind and getting a soft warm breeze. I remember the feel of it on my face. I unzipped my coat. I knew spring was coming.

Now that little town in Missouri has gotten 26 inches of snow. What fun it would be to be a 10 year old there now! I remember the good snows, sledding and frozen ponds.

Today is March 1st, spring will soon be here. This is winters final fling before spring up there in the north. Enjoy it! (I’ll be at the beach!)

Flashback Friday: Johnny Walker

Not that one, the other one.
Keep walkingI went to Bradley 6th grade school with a kid named Johnny Walker. Not the booze, the kid.

So one day, it was before school, I walked into the classroom and Johnny Walker slapped me on the back with a chalky eraser. We started duking it out and wrestling all over the classroom. It was early so there were no teachers. We wrecked the whole classroom, tipped over all the desks and scooted them from their neat grid to a train wreck of a circle around the edges of the classroom, we spilled everything that was in jars in the class, and generally destructively re arranged the furniture. The hallway was full of kids watching. We were pretty evenly matched.

Finally a teacher turned up and broke it up. We were following the teacher to the principals office and Johnny looked at me and broke out in this big toothy grin. I smiled back and we both started laughing.

We were pretty good friends from then on.

Flashback Friday: Finger Lakes Mudslide

When I was in my middle teens, we used to go to this place called Finger Lakes, near Colombia Missouri, USA. There were several lakes, next to each other, like the fingers of a hand, without the palm. You could swim across one lake, climb over a hill, and there was another lake. I only went to the first two, but I think there were more.

It was at Finger Lakes I saw my first topless girl. She was laying on a raft and I never will forget it! My first real live boobies in the sun!

Anyway, in between the first two lakes, there was a bug mudhole. And there was a bucket and a sort of like a ditch, that ran from the top of the hill, down to the mudhole. You’d get a bucket of mud, climb up the hill, pour the mud into the ditch and jump in and slide down, rocket fast. Then you’d be propelled into the mud, which was about three feet deep and very liquidy.

mud mud bathThen you’d crawl and grope and feel your way over the hill to the lake (you probably had a faceful of mud) and dive into the lake and get clean. Then you’d go do it again. Apparently it’s very popular, because there’s plenty of images on Google under mud bath.

It was very fun, and I remember it like it was yesterday!

Flashback Friday: Peeing on the Neighbors Porch

I couldn’t get on my blog this morning for a while, almost wish I hadn’t tried just now, because I’m running late. Glad it’s Friday though!

When I was little(r), we lived in Charleston South Carolina, in the USA. (That’s where my sister was born). I was probably 4 years old.

We had next door neighbors and I remember they had a female maid who smoked a mans big tobacco pipe. I remember turtles were common and frogs were rare. (everywhere else I’ve ever been, the opposite has been true). I remember putting Popsicle sticks in a snapping turtles face and he would crush the Popsicle stick, then I stuck my finger near his mouth and he bit me and I bled a lot, and I was thinking “That was a really stupid thing to do”.

Anyway: Our neighbors had a carport with about a 4 step staircase going up to the kitchen. Nobody was home, I thought, and I had to pee. I don’t know why I did it, I guess because I thought I wouldn’t get caught, but I remember thinking that it was a big inconvenience to go all the way inside my house next door to pee when I could just pee right there. So I did. I peed on their brick steps in their carport. As soon as I was done, somebody came outside. Apparently someone was home. I don’t remember if it was the maid or one of the family. (my Mom knows their names still)

But whoever it was asked why I peed on the porch. I said that their “dog did it.” I vaguely remember their dog, a brown lab I think. Also I think it was the mommy of the house that came out.

Anyway, .. She said “Honey, the dog ran away last week” I remember pausing, thinking “Ya know, I haven’t seen that dog in a while…” I think the man of the house was there too, I remember him looking at me when she said the dog ran away.

Anyway- Busted. I had to scrub their porch with a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush. I remember the bucket was yellow, and the suds were bright white and the water was warm.

soapy-scrub-brush-and-bucketI don’t remember why I did it, I wasn’t mad at anyone or anything that I remember. I just thought it would be easier than going all the way inside and didn’t think anyone would know I did it.

Running really late, gotta go! Have a good weekend!

Flashback Friday: Kindergarten Kite

kiteThe year was 1965, the place was Brookhaven Elementary School, Rockville Maryland USA. I was in Kindergarten, 5 years old, first year of real school. Kindergarten was half day, either in the mornings or afternoons. I was in the morning class.

One day, my class and I made kites out of construction paper. Then we went out on the huge vast playground to fly them. In my memory, this playground was huge. Huge paved section, huge grassy section, with trees way far far away on the horizon.

I was running and trying to get my kite in the air, the kite was pretty small, so it didn’t fly too good, but I was really trying to get it up there. All of a sudden, I noticed that all the other kids on the playground were really big, and I looked and looked and didn’t see anybody from my class.

I started crying.

Eventually a teacher asked my why I was crying.

“I can’t find anybody with a kite like mine” I whined, and held up my kite for her to see.

Turns out, morning kindergarten was over, I was trying so hard to make my kite fly that I missed the bell that signaled the end of recess, missed the end of school, everybody in my class had gone home and I had stayed in school late. So I went home.

That’s my Flashback Friday for today. Have a good weekend.

I was thinking about an advantage of the Free Blogger or WordPress blog over the pay-for-your-own blog. When you die, the free blog will stay up, but with a pay-for-your-own, when the payment is due and you can’t pay (because you’re dead) the blog will come down. A free blog would theoretically remain up forever, a tribute to the bloggers life and history.

Flashback Friday: Missy the Dog

Yesterday I mentioned cats in heat, today I’m going to mention dogs in heat.

When I was younger I delivered newspapers. I think I delivered papers about 6 years total. I started helping my friends big brother deliver the route their house was on, then I got my own route. First I had two routes downtown, then I got the route that my house was on.

My neighbors four doors down, the Boots’es, (I remember Randy Boots, older than us by probably 10 years and he had a sister, if you said her name I’d remember, she was a few years older than us. I had a crush on her, she was cute.)

(We used to put my friend Gregs little brother, Danny, through the Boots’es doggie door in their garage and he’d let us in, and we’d play pool on the pool table in their garage. And we used to climb up on their roof when they weren’t home. One time Mr Boots came home when we were on the roof, and we ran up over the top, down the back, and straight off the edge without even slowing down. We were out of the yard before he got around back and looked up on the roof. He asked us how we got down? Jumped? and we said yes. He just shook his head and walked in his house.)

The Boots’es had a dog named Missy, who hung out at my friend Gregs house. Missy was a pure outdoor mutt. Tangled fur, grey, old. If you howled like a wolf. Missy would howl like a wolf. If you said “sickem” she would bark at whoever you were looking at. She had gnarley teeth, was stinky and ugly.This picture is sorta close, but Missy had longer cheekhair…

MissySoooo, Missy would come on my paper route with me every day. I’d deliver the few papers behind my house, then pick up my Paper Bag (not paper bag) and head down the street to the neighborhood. And every day, two doors down, Missy would come angling out from the Gunn-ses and walk beside me, just me and Missy.

Except when she was in heat, then I had about a million dogs walking with me on my route.

Flashback Friday: First Adult Running

When I was very young, we lived in Rockville Maryland, USA. I was probably 5 years old, and there was a younger guy down the street, probably 3 or 4. Much smaller than me.

I had a little red wagon like this:

little-red-wagon

I asked my neighbor friend if he’d like to go for a ride down the hill in the wagon. He said he wasn’t allowed in the street. I said something like “AHhhhhHHh! That’s a loada hooie”

Next thing ya know, we’re blasting down the hill in the wagon, really fast, and I heard a I noise. I turned my head and it was his Mom, running down the sidewalk, yelling. My first thought was: “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a grown up running”. My second thought was: : “Grownups look funny when they run”.

My friends Mom was very angry. She contacted my Mom, had a discussion, and my Mom sent me home. I knew I was in big trouble when my Mom got home from my friends house, but I figured my Mom would cool off pretty fast if she came home and I was dead. So, I laid on the stairs, with my face in the corner of the steps and was playing dead when she got home. She whacked me on my butt and I jumped a mile high, I certainly didn’t expect that! I was hoping for some sympathy (being dead and all) and a way out of trouble.

I don’t remember what my punishment was, but I still remember turning my head on that wagon, and seeing my friends Mom running after us.

For the record, I don’t think we were in any danger, riding the wagon down that hill, mostly the trouble was just breaking my friends Moms rule….

I would love it if someone reads this and says, “Hey! That was me!” We talk, and I find out it really was them. I’d like to apologize to his Mom for freaking her out.

And tell her she looked really funny running down that hill!

Flashback Friday: Grandmas Phone

Memory Monday has been changed to Flashback Friday.

old-phoneMy Moms parents lived on a farm in Wilmington, Ohio. Back in the days of my eariliest memory, I remember their phone. They had a party line, which meant that several people in several houses used the same line, like separate phones in the same house. Each phone had a different ring, (like two fast and one short would be my Grandparents). Sometimes you’d pick up the phone and hear somebody else talking. You’d hang up and try again later.

Talking on the phone was a big deal in those days. I remember my Grandparents phone was on a little table in the hall, with a pad of paper, a pencil, and a small lamp. Nothing else. When you used the phone, you concentrated on using the phone. It was an important device, not used for idle chat.

For Christmas, my Wife gave me a Zen Garden. I always wanted one, but now I wonder where I’m going to put it. It seems to me that the table at my Grandparents house with the phone on it would be a perfect place,

zen_gardenI miss those days. I’d like to go back in time, knowing all I know today.

This morning when the alarm went off I was dreaming I was at a yard sale pushing a double shopping cart. There was a regular shopping cart and a wagon hitch on front with another cart attached.

I was maneuvering through the items at the yard sale, thinking “This should be impossible to steer but it’s not” when the alarm went off. Now I feel all zombie-ish and brain dead. I think if the alarm goes off in between dreams I’m OK, but interrupt a dream and I’m hurtin’ fer certain.

But it’s FRIDAY! Have a good weekend!

Memory Monday – Christmas

pine-coneI remember living in South Carolina, where my sister was born. My Dad and I would take walks, and there were giant pine cones and Spanish Moss in the trees.I remember I found a cardboard arrow sign that said “Hot Dogs” on one side. I tried to write “Hot Dogs” on the other, but did it backwards. I didn’t understand what my parents meant when they said it was backwards, I though it was perfect, and here I was, writing before I could even write! But it was backwards, I drew the letters like the ink had soaked through the paper. I didn’t have the concept of writing in my head.

So one day, me and my Dad were out in the front yard on a warm South Carolina day, and I don’t know what we were doing, but my Dad said “You better be good, tomorrow’s Christmas”

I was completely surprised, I had no idea that Christmas was coming. Plus it was warm. You have to have cold and snow for a long time before you had to start thinking about Christmas. I remember thinking how out of touch I was to be unaware of Christmas the next day, and I remember thinking maybe my Dad was joking.

The next day I got that red bike from the post  couple days ago, with training wheels….

That was just about exactly 48 years ago today…. maybe 49…Damn.

It was kind of weird, celebrating Christmas AND Hanukkah all my life.

Below are my Tuesday NFL Football picks and the results, next weeks game, Redskins VS Dallas, will be the game of the year. I have friends going! C’mon WASHINGTON!!!

NFL16 NFL17

Memory Monday, Meeting My Two Best Friends

old bike h

(This picture could actually be my old bike, except for the handlebars and seat. Mine was red and had that gastank looking part. And I kinda remember a smaller “hood ornament”). The seat was red though, and had white on the front.)

In elementary school  between first and second grade, we moved from Rockville, Maryland to Moberly, Missouri. I didn’t know anybody, obviously, and I was out riding my bike after it rained.

Back in those days there were a lot of gravel roads and I had an ancient bike with full fenders that covered half the bikes tire. I got stuck, I had mud and gravel all crammed up between the fenders and the tires and they couldn’t roll.
I had a stick, and was trying to get the mud out when this big girl (Carol, still keep in touch with her on Facebook) came by. I was amazed how easily she picked my bike up and moved it to my yard. Then she said she had a little brother about my age, and she lived two doors down. She invited me over to meet him.

We walked to her house, and she took me upstairs and showed me his room and said he was in there. I can’t imagine why I didn’t knock, I think the door was half open, but I went in and there was Greg, naked. He started yelling and I walked out. A minute later he was dressed and came out of his room. He and his little brother, Danny, and I were friends and hung out together all the time, back in the woods in Missouri.

We are still friends to this day. He has a bunch of kids and is a school teacher.

My other best friend, Doug, I don’t remember meeting him at school, but after school, I was dragging him home with me to meet my mom. He was saying he had to go home. I was saying “No, it’s just a little way further.” He said he was going to get in trouble and he’d give me his phone number and I could call. I said “No, I won’t remember, just come to my house so I can write it down. He said “263-6581”. All stop. I said, “I can remember that” and I let him go. I still remember it, and that is the actual phone number. I remember it seemed important for me to show my Mom what a great friend I had made.

You have to remember, this is 1967 and 1968, I was new in town and wanted to make friends. Greg and I were inseparable in grade school, but didn’t hang out much as teens, Doug and I were big time friends as teens and in high school. Doug also has a younger brother, Phil, who I keep in touch with more than Doug.

Although we don’t communicate much anymore, I’ve been in contact with them both within the past 10 years. (You know you’re getting old when “the past 10 years” counts as recently)

This post seems cheesy, it didn’t come out like I wanted. But oh well!

Have a good week!