Remember When

  • Mow money, mow money, mow money

    Spring is here again. Up on “the Charlotte Road,” we can tell things are starting to bloom and blossom.

    We’re seeing a few more pickups on the road that are pulling trailers loaded down with string trimmers, lawn tractors and gas cans.

    I guess these folks have begun their annual trek to some of the more affluent homes to manicure lush lawns and trim shrubbery and shape up those ornamental topiaries.

    Times sure have changed; cutting grass has now evolved into mowing and lawn maintenance.

  • It sure pays to be lucky

    For some reason, boys of all ages (including me) have a lifelong fascination and obsession with automobiles.

    It’s something we grew up with, or at least I did.

    In back of our house was a magnificent, full-size garage complete with windows, a wooden floor, workbench and hinged doors.

    To one side of it was a slanted shed where the Model A was kept.

    We called it the “big car shed.” It was home to “Old Betsy,” our big, black four-door Dodge.

    We always kept the garage doors closed up tight whenever Old Betsy was home.

  • I'll ride this storm out under the kitchen table

    Lately, I’ve found myself paying a little more attention to the radio weather forecasts and wondering if we will get caught up in a path of destruction like our friends and neighbors in small midwestern towns.

    You know, it’s kind of a helpless feeling, any time a tornado watch and warning are issued here.

    We don’t have storm shelters in our basement like folks in Kansas where Dorothy and Toto lived.

    A recent report said that a town there was nearly wiped off the map by a violent storm.

  • Fill'er hp meant more than buying gas

    There was a time in Lancaster when filling stations were on just about every corner.We were served by Esso, Pure Oil, Gulf, Spur, Shell and Amoco oil companies through local distributors. Gas was about 25 cents a gallon for regular grade and “high-test” cost about three pennies more.

  • Aunt Bess found a way to help out soldiers

    By 1942, "Uncle Sam" was finally getting his act together when it came to all this war business, or so it seemed.

    So were we.

    At the time, First Presbyterian Church – with its huge silver Mason cap roof – was at the corner of Main and Gay Streets.

    The church became the preferred site of frequently held socials for far-from-home soldiers who were passing through here on maneuvers.

  • Uncle Walter gave up his cows and plows for oxen

    A former classmate is curious about a previous “Remember When” column that chronicles the adventures of some Lancaster boys who erected steel power transmission towers across the rugged mountainous sections of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

    I’ve searched my records high and low, but I just can’t a copy of it for her.

    Not to be outdone, here’s a few details about those long ago days that will hopefully answer her questions.

  • I didn't always listen to my mama

    Mama's words stung.

    "Just because you went to the show and watched another old scary movie, don't think you can jump into our bed in the middle of the night." 

    I understood the message loud and clear as I crawled back into my own bed after having watched a Wolfman movie at the Midway picture show earlier that day.

    And what a glorious screen gem it was!

  • Getting there was always half of the fun

    These days, we don't do very much advanced planning for an automobile trip. The Evanses just jump in the car and go.

    But, if the destination is new, we get out a road atlas or let the computer map it out for us in great detail.

    As a youngster, I didn't get to tag along on very many road adventures. Places like Ridgeway, Winnsboro or Charlotte were just about the only places of interest we visited. Those trips were mostly to shop for seasonal clothing or to check on relatives.

    However, I do recall one trip to Tampa to visit Momma's brothers.

  • From here on, I'll camp on the porch

    Last February, I turned 12 years old and as a result, I joined the Boy Scouts.

    I was growing up and I was lucky in more ways than one. Talk about a dream come true –Momma just about cleaned out the "Official Boy Scout Headquarters" equipment section inside Robinson-Cloud's clothing store on Main Street to get me the latest in Scout accoutrements.

    I was really amazed by all that stuff.

    I had been hankering for Boy Scout gear ever since I was a Cub Scout in Mrs. Ellie Pipkin's Cub Scout Pack, where she was our den mother.

  • Cream of Wheat ripped me off

    Do you remember Billy Batson? Gosh, a heap of us fellas were envious of his super powers.

    All little Billy had to do was utter one word – "Shazam" – to turn into the action hero, Captain Marvel.

    Captain Marvel was something else; he could do just about everything Superman could do, and he did it in a much flashier outfit.

    It was a big event each month whenever the Marvel and DC Comics "funny books" hit the newsstand racks at the drugstores and at the Greyhound Bus Station.