Remember When

  • 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.

  • Remember When: Country stores really haven’t changed much

    America is akin to an old-fashioned scale. On one side is all the modern technology and the folks with all the answers, and on the other end keeping everything in balance and on an even keel are country stores and the people who operate them.
    My son Blake has a delivery route from the N.C. mountains to the S.C. low lands. He distributes tobacco products where folks still puff away and ignore the cautions.

  • Remember When: The Fixers: Boys club for school’s oddest jobs

    Not all school clubs back in my youth were havens of snobbery where feelings were trampled on. Out in my little cave where I have the freedom to sit and recall stuff that happened years ago, I keep copies of the 1950 and 1951 Lancaster High School yearbook, the Rambler.
    There was one club that we called the Fixers Club, with unofficial advisors Mr. W.C. Hawkins, Mr. C.B. Alexander and Mr. C.W. Reece.

  • Remember When: Itching to see Lancaster, the old mill from the air

    Mama always said I was too much in a hurry and didn’t read directions. Shucks, most stuff didn’t need directions anyway.
    Some of the local boys were home from the war and a few of them had been pilots. Out at Coulbourne airport were several little Piper Cub airplanes. Single engine and lightweight, mostly for joy riding and picture taking, I’d say.

  • Remember When: Solving world’s ills under shade trees in downtown park

    Bet there are a few of you old codgers who can still recall the clang of a heavy metal horseshoe striking an iron rod.
    I remember those games of horseshoes between mostly grown men in shirts with rolled up sleeves. Usually, the crowd standing around the dusty ground roared after each throw. The winner got no shiny trophy, just the pleasure of being recognized by his peers as a pretty good horseshoe thrower.

  • Remember When: Driver’s permit: Is there a more joyous moment?

    What a grand day, that day I got my driver’s permit.  My daddy being sheriff didn’t help one iota.
    I had to climb those old back steps at the courthouse, take a written test and give the highway patrolman a ride, making sure I did all the stuff expected. Parallel parking, which took place in a marked-off space out behind the police station and almost under the big old water tower, made me nervous, but I passed with flying colors. 

  • Remember When: Telephones have evolved, and I haven’t

    My first recollections of a telephone were as a child.  The instrument was black and stood like an old outside water spigot, with a large round head that you spoke into. To listen, there was a round cylinder hooked to a black cord attached to a hook, which you jiggled to make contact with the operator, also known as “central.”

  • Remember When: Depression was ending, and I plotted to get a bike

    I wasn’t the dumbest kid on my block, because I had been taught to read the newspapers at an early age. Maybe I didn’t grasp everything in print, but I could tell that America was getting back on her feet at the end of the Great Depression.