Remember When

  • Fruitcake time is around the bend

    The mere mention of fruitcake can cause many a face to frown and crinkle.
    My mug isn’t one of the them. To me, a slice of homemade fruitcake is the crowning touch to a cup of piping hot coffee.
    Many of you have been done in by those poor, mass-produced, poor-excuse-for-fruitcakes sold by retailer merchants.
    You know, I can understand your disdain.
    Each year, my late Uncle John of Evans Oil Company would dole out those Georgia-made concoctions to his regular customers as a show of holiday cheer.

  • Stand up, be quiet for our veterans

    – Editor’s note: Due to requests from our readers, we are reprinting this Remember When column, which was originally published in the Nov. 9, 2008, edition of The Lancaster News.

    At one time, the significance of Nov. 11 – Veterans Day – wasn’t lost on anyone.  
    Of course, World War I ended years before I was born, but Uncle Harry made sure I was well-schooled on what he called the Great War or the War to End All Wars.
    There was a bunch of World War I soldiers around, too.

  • Teachers are a strange breed

    It was late October. The leaves were slowly turning colors, but the days were still sunny and warm.
    I was up and at it for another day of school and could smell hot buttered toast coming from the kitchen.
    I walked in to find some Merita and a bowl of Wheaties waiting for me on the white enameled table.
    Momma was scurrying about to making sure I’d be at school on time. Shucks, school was only three houses up the street. I seriously doubt I would be late, but I could never convince her of that.

  • Avoid the seed house if possible

    Most of you reading this right now know I don't claim to be a newspaper reporter.
    I just like to share a few childhood memories the way I remember them.
    For me, the exact dates that stuff happened is as hard to recall as an incumbent's voting record in Washington, D.C.
    Talk about being in the right time at the right place, we had been reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” about the Headless Horseman who roamed the New England countryside.

  • Put the genie back in the bottle

    Looking back, if I had a brownie for every time I have uttered “if I could live my life over, I wouldn’t make the same mistakes” phrase, I could pick the penny counter clean inside Mr. Dunn’s place.

    Yes sir, we’ve all said it plenty of times. But in reality, if we could live it over again, we’d surely make some of the same errors and surely wished we hadn’t.

    Now think about this; you’re standing on a sandy beach and a bottle washes ashore beneath your bare feet.

  • Football fans put Lancaster first

    The Chamber of Commerce is getting all revved up with its “Think Lancaster First” campaign.

    Shucks, that's nothing new. Most folks around here always figured our old town came first.

    In the late 1940s, down at the Roach Stewart Athletic Field behind Lancaster High School, it was real easy to put Lancaster first.

    Especially when a tough football team like the Chester Red Cyclone came to town.

    Local school kids were decked out in Hurricane Blue and toting sacks of steaming hot dogs from Mr. Lingles’ Arch Street stand.

  • I will be beneath the table

    Mostly cloudy, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday morning, with showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon.

    Now, I’m not a fan of playing in the rain, but seeing how bad we need it, I hope all the folks sitting in Panthers’ stadium today get drenched.

    You know, rain can be a double-edged sword.

    We really need it, but don’t want it on the weekends. 

    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of interesting things to do, such as checking out the Walmart inventory during a downpour.

  • I put on my good cologne for this?

    I like this Saturday retirement stuff, well, most of the time, anyway.

    These days, Saturday means everybody is at home, which lessens my great-granddad duties, to a degree.

    Clad in a white T-shirt and khaki shorts with those two-sizes-too-large bedroom shoes on my feet, I was just about settled in my favorite away-from-home chair when something dragged me back into reality.

    I had gotten comfortable and just closed my eyes when I heard my sweet wife’s bull horn.

    “Get cleaned up,” she said. “We’re going to the mall.”

  • 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.