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Remember When

  • 2010 is 'year of the grin'

    The first day of a new year is coming up fast.

    Frankly, I have no idea what 2010 has for any of us.

    Hopefully – if things go my way – I will be 77 years young in February. My family members will also add another candle to their birthday cakes, too. Maybe the extra candlelight will make all of us wiser and healthier. For most of us, the wealthier part is out of the picture.

    During the last few years, I’ve shared many of my memories of growing up on Chesterfield Avenue right here in Lancaster.

  • I like wearing bathrobe to church

    I guess I was just too young to understand or didn’t know better.

    Having a manger scene in front of the courthouse or in your front yard was an accepted norm.

    Now, as one of the brightest (and best, I dare say) young men on the rolls at First Baptist Church, I didn’t bat an eye when Mama started getting her “boys” ready for the annual telling of the Christmas story out in the church sanctuary.

    She was more than my mom; she taught my Sunday school class, too. 

  • Fruitcake is the only tradition I have left

    After making a quick dash to the grocery store last week, I found myself pinned against the ice cream case by a faithful reader.

    “You do write a whole lot about times long ago,” she said.

    Well, yeah, I thought to myself. That’s what “Remember When” is all about.

    I share some stuff from long ago, hoping that folks can recall similar events from their younger days, too.

    But that did put me in a thinking mood.

  • Raincoat makes me a toy soldier

    Up here in Maryland, the cold winds are scattering the remaining  oak and maple leaves across the back of the house.

    And wouldn’t you know it, we’re fresh out of hamburger buns, colas and frozen French fries.

    But we were at a point of no return, having thawed out hamburger patties.

  • We need to slow down for holidays

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to Christmas. But I liked it a little better a long time ago when we took it a bit slower.

    Whatever happened to really enjoying Thanksgiving?

    At the rate things are moving, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see Cupid hovering above store shelves in the next two weeks.

    Bless Pete, let’s slow down a bit.

  • Naming the turkey a bad idea

    – Editor’s note: Due to an overwhelming reader response, we are reprinting this Remember When column, which was originally published in the Nov. 19, 2006, edition of The Lancaster News.

    I don’t know if it was tradition or custom, but a couple weeks before “Big Thursday” or Thanksgiving Day, me and Daddy journeyed down to Tradesville to pick up our big ole gobbler.

  • Rabbits don't go with tea

    For grown-up women in the South, the highlight of the summer months were those afternoon tea parties.

    Both Aunt Bess (a staunch Presbyterian) and Mama who was a double dipper (sprinkled as a Methodist and baptized as a Baptist) were right in the middle of them.

    The menu for most of these high-society daylight soirées was just about the same.

    The Presbyterians were partial to pimento cheese sandwiches, while the Baptists liked chicken salad.

  • I have a hard time spelling plagiarism

    Someone recently asked if all of my “Remember When” ideas come from the Internet. 

    The answer is no. Since the first column in 2003, the stuff I write every Sunday is solely based on my memories of growing up along Chesterfield Avenue in downtown Lancaster.

    I catch a fit trying to spell plagiarism, let alone trying to do it.

    Now, if by chance, you see more than one reference to the washing of my dog, Tiger, well, bless your heart. That means you’re keeping up. After all, I gave my favorite all-time dog more than one bath.

  • New car smell fills fall air

    Fall has arrived. The leaves are turning colors and my sweater feels just right during my morning walks to school.

    Leaves and cooler days are fairly obvious signs that summer is slipping away.

    What’s happening downtown is another visible reminder, and that’s what has gotten the attention of boys of all ages.

    Mr. Burns, whose Chevrolet place is across the road from the courthouse, and Mr. Brigman’s Ford dealership at the corner of Catawba and Arch streets are getting ready for the new 1940 models.

  • Watching people keeps me occupied

    I was in a Saturday afternoon rut. Me and my buddies had done about everything there was to be done.

    Of course, the recent battle I waged against the Rogers’ boys on Market Street didn’t help. Mama had me on a short leash.

    What started as a mud ball fight ended up in full-blown warfare after somebody put a rock inside a mud ball.

    And it found its mark, too. I took a direct hit; the mud ball popped me square in the mouth, drawing blood from one lip and chipping a front tooth.

    The outcome of that battles was two “nevers.”