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Remember When

  • Football fans put Lancaster first

    The Chamber of Commerce is getting all revved up with its “Think Lancaster First” campaign.

    Shucks, that's nothing new. Most folks around here always figured our old town came first.

    In the late 1940s, down at the Roach Stewart Athletic Field behind Lancaster High School, it was real easy to put Lancaster first.

    Especially when a tough football team like the Chester Red Cyclone came to town.

    Local school kids were decked out in Hurricane Blue and toting sacks of steaming hot dogs from Mr. Lingles’ Arch Street stand.

  • I will be beneath the table

    Mostly cloudy, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday morning, with showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon.

    Now, I’m not a fan of playing in the rain, but seeing how bad we need it, I hope all the folks sitting in Panthers’ stadium today get drenched.

    You know, rain can be a double-edged sword.

    We really need it, but don’t want it on the weekends. 

    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of interesting things to do, such as checking out the Walmart inventory during a downpour.

  • I put on my good cologne for this?

    I like this Saturday retirement stuff, well, most of the time, anyway.

    These days, Saturday means everybody is at home, which lessens my great-granddad duties, to a degree.

    Clad in a white T-shirt and khaki shorts with those two-sizes-too-large bedroom shoes on my feet, I was just about settled in my favorite away-from-home chair when something dragged me back into reality.

    I had gotten comfortable and just closed my eyes when I heard my sweet wife’s bull horn.

    “Get cleaned up,” she said. “We’re going to the mall.”

  • Telling time not as easy as it looks

    Time didn’t really matter much because somebody was always telling me when to come and when to go.

    Now we had clocks all over the house, including the big wind-up downstairs Roman numeral grandfather clock where the half-pint bottle of cough medicine (whiskey) was kept.

    I couldn’t tell time, but I knew exactly where the cough medicine was.

    For me, learning to tell time was a bit confusing.

    Mama and Daddy didn’t do it like the way Miss Jones was teaching us in third grade.

  • Cardboard mixes with linoleum flooring

    I learned early on that you gotta have a back-up plan. I was also grateful that Grandma Evans lived on South Market Street and her house overlooked the L&C Railroad.

    Talk about a busy place, there was always something going on at the tracks by those dark wooden warehouses which stretched about down to the Southern Railway Station.

    We knew that section of town as the depot, but visitors just called it South Main Street.

    It wasn’t just a train depot, though. There was a bunch of businesses around it, including Mr. Bailey’s grocery store.

  • There is another voice at our house

    Charlotte Road doesn’t quite look like it did more than 60 years ago when a certain young lady from there caught eye.

    But returning from another visit to Maryland, the familiar landscape of home is always a welcome sight.

    You know, somehow I managed to talk that young lady into spending her life with me. In a few short months, we will be celebrate 60 years together.

    Bless Pete, time sure flies.

    Now our children and their children are adults. We retired and stuff was sorta settling in for us.

  • John's new bicycle loses its shine

    Mama would be upset if she knew I was carrying a grudge.

    But no matter how I tried, my first impression of someone was stuck in gear.

    Good things were coming to an end.

    The D. Reece Williams home next door was being renovated into four apartments.

    Boy, I sure had fun watching all the tearing down and rebuilding. Plus, all that scrap stuff and lumber the carpenters left behind for me was pretty handy. I kept a lot of it to use for my upcoming construction projects.

  • Pentecost comes to Bahamas, via Lowe

    Just like any other military branch, the U.S. Air Force has always had more than its share of spit-and-polish rules and regulations.

    Now, don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with that.

    But sometimes, those rules didn’t always get obeyed, especially by Capt. Lowe when we were stationed at the Air Force Missile Center in Florida.

    Now the good captain, thanks to his occasional copilot and courageous confidant, Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel, was known for bending those regulations almost to the breaking point.

  • Siren switch puts me in a bind

    On a very cold afternoon, I stood by the old North Bridge in Concord, Mass., trying to get a good handle on what happened on this patch of land more than 200 years ago.

    It was here, on April 19, 1775, where about 500 militia fought and defeated three companies of the King George’s troops.

    Romanticized in hundreds of history books, the “shots were heard around the world” signaled the start of the American Revolution.

    It kind of reminds me of the two shots America fired 65 years ago this week to end the war of all wars.

  • Ice man is king of summer

     Just a few months ago, Mama and Aunt Bess were drawing off water in spare pots, pans and a wash tub or two because our pipes were frozen.

    It’s now late July and as hot as blue blazes. Nothing is freezing.