Remember When

  • 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.

  • I can swim like an anchor

    Every time, I see a youngster splashing in a swimming pool, I stare at my feet.

    Among the things I never mastered was learning to swim.

    My inability to tread water was a great embarrassment, but I just couldn’t muster up enough gumption to learn.

    In later life, aboard troop ships, I always made it a point to become overly familiar with every lifeboat. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

    You know, I would’ve made a good anchor. For some reason, whenever I jumped into a body of water, I automatically sank to the bottom.

  • I didn't make the cowboy picture

    Somebody a lot smarter than me once said, “Into every life, a little rain must mess everything up.”

    Well, it was pretty close to that, anyhow.

    And for me, things had gotten pretty messed up and the only one to blame it on was me.

    Mama didn’t have a mean bone in her body, but when I crossed her, she made life around here real rough.

    When I came home from school on Friday, I sorta messed around and didn’t get all my chores done.

  • Wagons still get my full attention

    A recent visit to the Amish Farmers’ Market at Mechanicsville, Md., has me looking back. I never grow tired of seeing horses and wagons.

    The sight of them prompted us to stop and buy some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.

    Shucks, that means the fresh corn and Georgia cannonball (watermelon) harvest should be arriving any day via wagon.

    You know, there was a time when mule and horse-drawn wagons were  common sights in Lancaster’s business district.