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Remember When

  • I'm going back to story time

    I’ve just about had my fill of these cold, rainy days.

    They are dreary, but every once in a while, there is an upside to ’em.

    I couldn’t go outside and ramble with Tiger, but I could ramble in Uncle Harry’s well-stocked library. That was one of the advantages of growing up as the only child in a house of adults. 

    Uncle Harry was a well-read man. He not only gave me permission to plunder through the volumes on every shelf, he always encouraged me to enjoy the printed word.

  • Remember When: I gotta recall his name

    Now let’s be honest. Age has its embarrassing moments. 

    Just the other day, I ran into a long-lost friend. 

    He walked up, shook my hand and said he was glad to see me. Shucks, we had not crossed paths since the 1950s.

    We’re about the same age and I was sure glad to see him, though our chance encounter was somewhat embarrassing. 

    For the life of me, I couldn’t recall his name and I am so ashamed. 

  • Using Cambuoy soap not a problem

    Most folks my age will never forget how Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, changed our lives forever.

    For you youngsters, that’s the day the Japanese attacked our naval installation, Pearl Harbor.

    That was one rough month for me.

    Reality sunk in when Sears, Roebuck & Co. canceled my order for a J.C. Higgins Roadmaster Deluxe bicycle because someone in Greensboro thought it would be needed by the Army to fight the enemy.

    I still bet somebody whose daddy worked for Sears got my bicycle for Christmas.

  • Remember When: My first phone cost less

    Gettin’ the word out is always important.

    Today’s cell phones and palm pilots are far advanced of my first one. They’re more expensive, too.

    Me and one of the fellas managed to make it home from Mackey’s Drug Store with a couple of Dixie Cups.

    Thanks to a block of Gulf Sealing Wax and a short piece of kite string, we were jabbering away in no time.

    Alexander Graham Bell would be impressed with our choice of raw materials. We knew that a waxed kite string offers the best reception. 

  • I prefer my orange juice from the original carton

    I was lucky to  get in on some pretty good vacations.

    Uncle Harry had bouts with recurring asthma and found some relief on the Atlantic shores, namely Myrtle Beach. That meant lots of those vacations were unplanned and came at various times throughout the year.

    At the Grand Strand, I usually ate my fill of deviled crabs.

    Maybe that was a foreshadowing of sorts. As fate has it, I now find myself frequenting the “Blue Crab State” of Maryland.

  • Come on in; I'll shake your hand

    You’re right. I don’t always practice what I preach and miss the mark.

    Cutting church is a whole lot easier than cutting school classes.

    You skip one Sunday service and, lo and behold, the second and those following are a snap to pass over.

    I could cite the old-age excuse by saying my legs don’t navigate as well as they used to. I could probably come up with a few more, too.

    Some folks like me spend a great deal of time out of the Palmetto State and it is impossible to be in two places at once. 

  • New box grabs my immediate attention

    For my faithful readers, I usually attempt to recall my growing up adventures, which in many instances, are very similar to yours. 

    Life wasn’t necessarily better, although it was somewhat more relaxed. Things got done, but haste made waste.

    For me, it doesn’t take very much to stir up those memories once again.

    Sometimes, life turns full circle, kinda like a washing machine agitator.

  • I already had snipe hunting down pat

    – Editor’s note: W.B. Evans is taking a well-deserved birthday break this week. This column originally appeared in the Feb.11, 2007, edition of The Lancaster News. We are reprinting it at the request of our readers.

     

    We just celebrated National Boy Scout Week. 

    I’m pretty sure it always comes during the first week of February. 

    I know for sure that it did back in 1945. My birthday is Feb. 9 and that year, Scout Week had started a few days earlier. 

  • Mama is the snake expert in our family

    With its two-story wooden frame houses and large wrap-around porches, Chesterfield Avenue was pretty much like every other neighborhood around the Lancaster city limits.
    On muggy nights, neighbors walked about to enjoy the slightly cool summers breezes, which rarely blew.
    Aglow with the flicker of a about a half dozen citronella candles, our side porch became a gathering place. It’s hard to rock and carry on a decent conversation when swatting at “skeeters.”

  • Make sure you have the right wrench

    It’s never wise to start a project without having the right tools.

    I had accumulated enough cardboard, 2-by-4s, 10-penny nails and two metal rods for axles. 

    I removed the four wheels from my old Radio Flyer wagon and spread out my new “race car” parts on the dirt floor of the old plunder house. 

    In my estimation, it would only be a matter of getting this marvel up and running.

    Suddenly, Mr. Edison’s light bulb gleamed real bright above my head.