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Remember When

  • Home is where the swatter is

     In the epic novels penned by the the late Zane Grey, a 44-caliber Colt revolver with its 8-inch-long barrel was often referred to as “The Equalizer.”

  • Imagine that... I never got his name

    It was all I could do to keep quiet.

    This young fella sitting beside me started snickering and pointing at an older gentleman who was walking by.

    The lips of the old man (who by the way, was about my age) were moving, but he wasn’t saying anything.

    I didn’t see anything strange about his behavior at all. It looked perfectly normal to me. 

    Bless Pete, I used to do it all the time when I was growing up.

    Evidently, this young upstart is not attune to the wonderful world of invisible friends.

  • Sick days do have a few perks

    According to Momma (and the Esso Oil Co. calendar hanging on the back of our kitchen door), it was finally spring.

    Goodbye, cold frosty mornings. A hearty hello to yellow bell (forsythia) bushes and jonquils, which were waking up in just about every yard along Chesterfield Avenue.

    Trouble was, I had a real doozy of a cold, sniffles, coughing and a fever.

    I felt terrible (except for the fact I was spending this Monday at home).

  • I enjoy being in the movie business

    It’s never smart to utter the phrase, “Boy, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m never gonna do that again.”

    It’s often been said that the road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

    I might not intend to make the same lapse in judgment, but chances are likely that I will, and have.

    I wasn’t always a choirboy.

    A couple of years ago I shared my rather shady adventures passing out picture show programs.

    Hey, at the time it seemed like a good idea, especially when the pay involved free movie passes.

  • Don't go watering with two friends

    Old sayings often end up being right on the mark.

    One of them which I know to be true is, “Two’s company and three’s a crowd.”

    When two friends get together, they can sort out whether to attempt some undertaking or decide on a different approach.

    Three people get into a bind because, two agree and the third one just follows along until a falling out occurs.

    When I reached the age of a responsible teenager, one of my jobs was seeing to a herd of Black Angus cattle on our farm just below Bell Town.

  • Common ground is hard to find

    These days, common ground is hard to come by.

    So when you find a patch of it, you like the feel of it under your bare feet.

    A while back, one morning in Sunday School, I found some common ground.

    A gentleman I once worked for told me although he grew up in Atlanta, the antics of young boys here and there in the 1940s were pretty similar.

    Bless Pete, I reckon he had a fondness for old cardboard refrigerator boxes, too.

    It made me smile.

  • I struck a match to Mama's trust

    Bless Pete, Saturday was finally here. After a tough week, I was ready for a trip to the picture show.

    These weekend adventures had become a big deal for me. I had finally reached the “age of trust.”

    That meant I was now old enough to walk uptown by myself and go to the Saturday morning show without an adult chaperon.

    However, Mama’s general definition of trust was somewhat different.

    “That means you’re old enough to have good sense about some things,” she said.

  • I don't hoard, I just forget

    I can identify with the folks on this new cable television show who have an inability to part with belongings they should’ve thrown out long ago.

    At one time, I conceived a plan to sort our accumulated junk and haul it off to the green boxes by the racetrack on a regular basis.

    However, since retirement, that’s kind of got shoved to the back of the drawer, so to speak.

    Of course, I can’t blame anybody else. I have fallen down on my job.

    But in my defense, stuff just looks different now.

  • Snowfall hones my skills at shoveling

    I’ve been in southern Maryland for several weeks now.

    After what happened here on Wednesday, I may be snowed-bound for a spell.

    Christmas was white from an earlier snowfall, but folks were able to navigate.

    Sand and salt trucks and snow plows were busy. The roads cleared, even in neighborhoods, schoolchildren didn’t miss a day of reading, writing or arithmetic. But all that has changed. An additional 2 foot of snow has everything here almost at a standstill.

    It sort of reminds me of Lancaster.

  • In some ways, the old ways are still better

    Plasma televisions, Charlie Duke walking on the moon, computers, Bluetooth cell phones and iPods are proof that the world is a more technical place now than it was when I was a boy.

    Yes sir, folks are smarter.

    But at the same time, we’re a lot dumber, too.

    By today’s standards, it appears that we might not have enough sense to come in out of the rain.

    But I’ll bet anybody a marble sack full of Indian head brownies that our early life – even with its shortcomings – was better than modern folks give us credit.