Remember When

  • Remember When: Summer’s here: Clean porches, open windows, stow itchy undies

    The change of seasons was an old family tradition when I was growing up, something that happened the same way every time.
    It would be almost the middle of May, with a few really hot days already, but Mama had her way of doing things and nothing ever seemed to change.
    To tell the truth, I was a-itching and a-sweating, still stuck in my thick, itchy winter underwear. And that wool double blanket was still between the sheets.

  • Remember When: Counting on Blue Horse for a bicycle

    A brand new bike topped my want list. But the bombing of Pearl Harbor just about wiped me out of any hope to have a new bicycle, complete with battery, horn, headlight and custom luggage carrier.
    To this very day, I don’t really believe the government “froze” delivery on all the bicycles that Sears, Roebuck had in stock to help out the war effort.

  • Remember When: Imagination to the rescue on rainy days

    You folks in Lancaster have been lucky with all the sun and warm weather. While visiting in Maryland, I have been basking in the cool breezes and raindrops.
    The last 18 days have each included a shower or two. In a friendly way, the rain isn’t too unpleasant.
    Seems like it always rained on my birthday and Christmas morning, so a fella just learns to do some adjusting.

  • Remember When: Covet thou not Whizzer bikes, cabins, boats, grills and rifles

    He was a retired minister, and his flock was small, but his messages were timely.
    We were making small talk out on the front steps when a fancy new car swoshed by. That baby is way out of my price range, I remarked. Pastor Lynn said, “Sorta makes one covet, doesn’t it?”

  • Remember When: Savor your life in the present, let your mind wander back

    During my relatively long life, I must confess, I have probably stacked up a goodly share of time just sitting and looking. When you tack on a lot of thinking, that surely gets mighty close to laziness.
    Now, I’m not one of those Devil’s Workshop characters who sit around apparently doing much of nothing and end up in trouble.

  • Remember When: ‘Papa, act your age’ – Don’t want to quite yet

    Like a thief in the night, he came and messed stuff up.
    I began to notice little things, shortness of breath when bending down, but that didn’t last long after taking a short break. The breaks became more frequent, and walks around the yard became fewer.
    My doctor said my heart was good for a man of my age. I could have figured that one out all by myself.  Getting up real quick sometimes made me a might dizzy. Shucks, that happened bunches of times.

  • Remember When: Hood’s livery and the farm wagon show

    There was a time when a whole block of South White Street consisted of Hood’s Livery and Barnes’ Blacksmith Shop. Right across the street was Sweatt’s Corn Milling Co. Business was brisk, but not as fast as today. Time marches on, but let’s take a little glance back at Mr. Quay Hood’s Livery Barn.
    As I recall, Tuesdays were auction day for the finest choice of mules around. Cows were sold and traded most every day.

  • Remember When: Pondering whether to traverse L&C trestle

    Round at First Baptist Church, just a block off of Main, was Troop 70, Boy Scouts of America.
    The weather was beginning to really warm up and there were bunches of merit badges to be earned. I was in a patrol with several more boys older than me, so you see I had to do most of the hard work Scouts are known for.
    To tell the truth, the best thing I liked about the Scouts was getting all dressed up in my uniform. That wide-brimmed campaign hat just topped everything off.

  • Remember When: Easter chick Fred turned into a terror

    I remember one Easter when Mama’s azaleas didn’t look too good. Quite often an Easter cold snap comes and takes a bite out of flowering plants and little girls in bare-back Easter dresses.
    It was time for a visit to Jim Kirk’s and Charlie Blankenship’s feed and farm store to browse through the shrubbery. There was still a chill in the morning air, so Mama went inside and there she spotted a lonesome yellow baby chick in a huge wire cage.

  • Remember When: New school so exciting through eyes of 5-year-old

    Well, sir, the $199 million school bond was approved by voters. Actually, not many folks even bothered to step out in the chilly weather and vote for or against.
    To tell the truth, like a lot of old fixed-income souls, I shout: “Honey, how much more can we stand?” And she answers back: “Somebody’s got to care, you know, we have great-grands in school.”
    I shake my head. Lord knows, let’s hope there are jobs for them.