Archive for the ‘Childhood Memories’ Category

My Mom is 91-years old, will be 92 in January, and is the coolest person I’ve ever known. She’s also a badass who grew up on a farm with two brothers. I’ve told many a story about my mother, from the time she gave me a Right Cross With Love to the time she was my teacher and paddled me the third week of school. One of my favorites occurred a few years ago when Mom was doing some mowing on her property. At one point she hopped off the mower to raise the mower blades. Keep in mind she was like 88 at the time. As she did, she heard a pop and thought the mower had backfired. Turns out she’d broken her back. The doctors said she be down for months, and of course she was back a few weeks later.

That’s Mom.

Another time Mom got a call from some ladies (aged 70ish) that wanted her to join their Garden Club. Mom has always had a green thumb, so it seemed like a reasonable idea. However, Mom declined and told me the reason she did was that “she didn’t want to sit around with a bunch of old people.

Mom was 83 at the time.

Even though Mom recently lost her oldest daughter, followed by her husband of 70-years, she’s hanging in there because that’s how she rolls.

Anyway, I’ve read that it’s good to ask questions about the past when dealing with older folks, because it helps to keep their mind sharp. I do this a lot, and every once in awhile she’ll drop a tidbit that is absolutely fascinating. For instance, last night we were talking and she mentioned that during her first year of substitute teaching she made $9 per day. She also once mentioned that her and Dad bought a new car for $1,400.00 around 1950 and that a loaf of bread cost 9¢. Of course money went a lot farther back then but you get the idea.

So this got me to thinking, what else has my Mom lived through? After a little research, here’s what I found. Believe me, it really puts things into perspective.

  • Mom was born on Sunday, January 23rd, 1927. In 1927 Charles Lindbergh flew The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic nonstop and solo, direct from New York City to Paris, in the first solo transatlantic flight. Mom was 5-months old when Lindbergh did this.
  • When Mom was 8-months old, work began on Mt. Rushmore.
  • The year Mom was born saw the first transatlantic telephone call – New York City to London.
  • In 1927, the Ford Motor Company began selling the Model A. The price? $460.00.
  • In the year Mom was born, color television and the pop-up toaster were invented.
  • The #1 song in the year Mom was born was “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael. Click here for a listen. Good stuff. The top movie? The Jazz Singer.
  • When Mom was 1-year old, a famous character made his first appearance – Mickey Mouse. Yes, my mother is older than Mickey Mouse.
  • When Mom was 2-years old, the Stock Market crashed, signaling the beginning of the Great Depression.
  • In 1929, the first public phone booths appeared in London. Mom was 2.
  • When Mom was 3-years old Pluto was discovered. Not the cartoon dog, the planet.
  • When Mom was 4-years old, “The Star Spangled Banner” became our National Anthem.
  • When my mother was 6-years old, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.
  • In 1937 Amelia Earhart was lost somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in her attempt to fly round the world. Mom was 10-years old. Yep, she remembers hearing about it on the radio.
  • When Mom was 12-years old, Gone With the Wind, King Kong, and The Wizard of Oz were all released into theaters.
  • When Mom was 13, Hitler invaded Norway.
  • When Mom was 14-years old the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, plunging the USA into WWII.
  • In 1942 Bing Crosby released “White Christmas” which has gone on the sell over 25-million copies. Mom was 15-years old.
  • In 1944 my Mom was 17-years old. That was the year she was introduced to 18-year old Ralph Shoemaker by her brothers Walt and Joe Immell. Thus began a relationship that would last 74-years, up until my father passed away on August 13th, 2018.
  • Mom was 18-years old in 1945 when WWII ended and Hitler committed suicide.
  • In 1946, when Mom was 19, televisions began being mass produced.
  • On October 4th, 1948, my 21-year old mother gave birth to my sister. They named her Karen Elizabeth.
  • In 1951, when Mom was 24, color television was introduced to the USA. I believe we finally got one in the mid-60s.
  • In 1952, on September 27th, Mom and Dad brought my sister, Sara Dailey, into the world. Mom was 25.
  • In 1953 Mom was 26. That year Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal were the first men to reach top of Mt. Everest.
  • On December 1st, 1955, Mom was 28. On that day Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • 2-days after Rosa Parks took a stand by not getting up in Montgomery, I was born. Mom and Dad named me Ralph David.
  • On September 9th, 1956 Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Mom was 29.
  • In 1961, when Mom was 34-years old, John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States.
  • On November 22nd, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Mom was 36. I remember that weekend pretty clearly and wrote about it in a blog called November 22nd, 1963.
  • On February 9th, 1964, I sat with my 37-year old mother and sisters and watch a new band perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. That band was The Beatles. I was mesmerized, Dad not so much. I think he watched about 2-minutes, snorted, and went off to make a sandwich.
  • In 1968 Mom was 41. That was the year Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated.
  • On July 20th, 1969 Mom, Dad and I sat in our basement and watched Ohioan Neil Armstrong become the first human to set foot on the moon. Mom was 42, Dad was 43 and I was 14. Afterwards Dad and I went out to the front yard and looked up at the moon, amazed that a two men were standing on it as we watched.
  • From August 15th-17th, 1969 the Woodstock Festival was held in upstate New York. Mom, 42, and Dad were not fans of Hendrix, The Who, Joplin and CCR and the rest. They were still into Dean Martin I believe.
  • On December 11th, 1969 Mom’s father Walter Immell passed away at 66-years of age. I recall being called out of my 8th grade class at Twin Elementary and given the news. Mom was 42.
  • On May 4th, 1970 Mom was 43. It was the day four students were killed by National Guardsmen on Kent State campus. Although the students had been protesting the war in Vietnam and had even burned down the ROTC building, I distinctly remember my father watching the news a couple days prior and wondering aloud “why in the hell” Ohio Governor James Rhoads had sent the National Guard there.
  • On December 27th, 1971 Mom and Dad saw their first grandchild enter the world. Her name was Aimee Elizabeth. Mom was 44.
  • In 1976 the United States celebrated 200-years of existence with its Bicentennial on July 4th. Mom was 49.
  • On November 22nd, 1977 Mom’s mother Ethel passed away. She was 76. Mom was 50-years old.
  • On December 8th, 1980, John Lennon was murdered in New York City. I was living alone at the time and wrote about that night on this site in a story called December 8th, 1980. It was nearly midnight when the news broke, but of course Mom called me early the next morning to talk to me about it. She was 53.
  • On January 28th, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded. Mom was 59.
  • On August 11th, 1991 the internet was first made available to the public. Mom was 64-years old.
  • Mom was 67 when OJ Simpson murdered his wife Nicole and her friend in L.A. on June 18th, 1994.
  • On April 19th, 1995 Mom was 68. On that day the Oklahoma City Bombing happened at 9:02 am, killing 168 people.
  • On August 31st, 1997 Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. Mom was 70-years old.
  • In the year 2001 the iPod was introduced. Mom was 72.
  • On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Mom was 73.
  • In 2008 my mother was 80-years of age and witnessed the first African American, Barrack Obama, to be sworn in as President of the United States.
  • In 2015 Mom was 87 and saw the US Supreme Court allow same-sex marriages.
  • On June 21st, 2018 my Mom lost her oldest daughter Karen. Sis was 69. Mom was 91.
  • On August 13th, 2018 my father passed away. Mom and Dad had first met in 1944, 74-years earlier.

Front: Mom and Dad Top: Sara, Karen, Me

So yeah, Mom has seen a lot. She has lived to see 16-pesidents and 5 major wars. She has heard Big Band music, the birth of Rock & Roll, and Hip-Hop. She’s witnessed changes in the world that nobody could have dreamed of in 1927. During her teaching career Mom was a positive, impactful influence on thousands of kids, and through it all she’s been a strong, independent role model and mother.

And the best part? During the course of her entire life, including these past few months, Mom hasn’t changed. She’s stayed the tough, honest, loving, supportive mother she’s always been, and those of us lucky enough to know her would expect nothing less.


I’ve posted ads from the past in the past, and they are sometimes usually always well received. If you like this blog and want to check the others out, click here:

These Old Timey Ads Are Well Intentioned, Hilariously Inappropriate

Old Timey Ads Part 2: When Sexism Was Rampant

Good stuff, and you shall laugh uproariously upon reading them. Anywho, that brings us to my latest installment, which brings us ads just as inappropriate and cringe-worthy as the others. Let us begin . . .

[click on the first photo and scroll for the captions]


Check it out, man. That toy gun would put your eye out in a millisecond. Think anybody complained? Hells to the nah. If I would’ve gotten blasted in the eyehole by that thing Dad would’ve yelled at me for not ducking sooner, then punched me in the shoulder so hard my ankles would’ve gone numb. Back in my day men were men and toys could literally kill you.

PS- How did I miss this thing as a kid? I would have struck terror in the hearts of my sisters, man.

Lightning Bugs fo sho.

Well, some of you. If you’re under 30 perhaps not. Anyway, many of us older folk can remember the way old supermarkets looked, as well as the old country, small town stores. What follows is a look back at a simpler time, 20 photographs along with my comments. Point, click and scroll. Do it man.

It was a different time. In many ways better, in some ways not.

[click to enlarge]

For all you youngsters out there, what you are about to see may cause you wonderment, confusion and possibly even consternation. For you older folk, it will bring forth a feeling of nostalgia and a possible longing for a simpler time. What I’m talking about is automobiles and what isn’t in them anymore. Hey, it’s been a slow day. Let’s take a gander . . .


What you see below, kids, are what we called bench seats. None of this bucket seat bullshit. Since we never wore seatbelts Dad could take a hard left turn and we’d all go flying into the opposite door. Good times. On a related note, these seats came in handy when taking your girlfriend to the drive-in. I’ll stop right there.



Next we have something you never see anymore, something we called tailfins, and they were spectacular. A side bonus was the fact that you could back into an unsuspecting pedestrian and impale the hell out of his spleen. Seriously though, cars are boring these days compared to these beauties.



What you see below, kids, is something that was located on your car’s dashboard, and it was called an ashtray. That little knob on the left was a lighter. See, almost everybody smoked like a fiend back then so of course you needed a handy way to get your cancer stick fired up. We’ll get to all those little buttons and knobs above it shortly.



Seems like everyone drives an SUV these days, but back in the 60s and 70s everyone either drove a regular car or a truck. I had a luxurious Catalina Brougham, and that thing rode like a damn hovercraft. Anywho, most of the cars had enough trunk space to hold a Shetland pony, and I’m pretty sure my friend Cluck snuck 7-people into the Fiesta Drive-In in the trunk of his ’68 Chevy Impala once. Seriously, look at all that space. Now that I think of it, most cars don’t even come with a regular spare tire anymore. Sad really.



This next one is really gonna blow the minds of youngsters far and wide. That little doohickey you see below was on the floor of your car, to the left of the brake and gas pedal. What was it for, you ask? It was your headlight dimmer switch. Not even kidding. And it made a satisfying little click whenever you stepped on it to dim or brighten your headlights.



These were called vent windows and every car had them. You’d open them for a little fresh air, but mainly to flick your ashes out of so they wouldn’t fly back and burn your kid’s eyeballs out like they might if you tried flicking them out your regular window.



That thing you see on that steering wheel? It was called a horn ring. You simply pressed on it whenever you wanted to frighten a passing child on the sidewalk. On a related note, every car horn sounded like a damn tugboat horn. None of that beep-beep crap back in the day, man.



See that weird looking thing? Young folk, back in the barbaric days of yore people actually had to reach down and roll up their own damn windows. Gasp!

Thought: Why doesn’t every car still come with these as a backup? You know, when you’re automatic windows inevitably stop working?



Here’s something else you never see anymore – metal dashboards. None of that wussy padding for the Greatest Generation, man. Hey, if you’d gone to war against the Nazis a few sharp objects on your dashboard didn’t bother you a whole lot. Just sayin’.



Check it out! Kids, that’s what we called an 8-track tape player! See, you jammed the tape in there and it played the music of your favorite musical artist!

Note: Remember when the music would start dragging and you’d have to stick a matchbook or something under it to get it to play right? Sometimes I long for the old days.



Soon, my children, tapes and the tape player became obsolete and was replaced by cassettes and this little contraption, the cassette player. Sometimes the tape in the cassette would get all tangled up and you’d have to rewind it back up with a pencil. I’m serious. I included a photo below the cassette player pic. That’s what separates me from your average blogger right there, people. I go the extra mile.




What the hell is that, you ask? That, my friends, is an antenna. You could pull that thing down real far and let it whip back and lacerate your friend’s face, just for fun. Gas stations use to give out little antenna toppers that you could stick on the top of it, too. I once had a Union 76 ball that flew off and nearly killed an old lady behind me on the freeway. Fun!

PS – Photo of identical antenna topper included below!

PPS – It has been pointed out to me that some cars still have antennas. Really?

PPPS – Antennas gradually grew shorter and shorter until they disappeared into the windshield. Sad really.



Check it out, man. Rear facing seats! Andy Anderson and I rode all the way to Boulder, Colorado and back riding in the rear of a 1967 Buick Sport Wagon. It was sort of a weird vibe watching the world go by backwards like that, lemme tell ya. You never knew where you were until you were past it.



Finally, we have the dial radio. Yes, you could either set a station by pushing a button or just roll through the stations manually. Barbaric but effective.

Aaaaaand, that’s all I can think of. Knowing my loyal readers like I do, however, I’m sure somebody will quickly point out something obvious I missed and make me feel stupid. Thanks in advance!

Here’s a short but pretty cool story about my father. Dad is 91 now and not in the best of health, but he’s a pretty amazing guy who’s lived a pretty amazing life all things considered. I plan to write a story about all that one day, but for now I thought I’d share a short story about something that happened when I was perhaps 5-years old.

Dad was a smoker back then, but most men were in those days. Just look at an old photo from back then and you’ll see a cigarette in almost everyone’s hand. Hell, doctors smoked in their office as they examined you. I’m dead serious.

There’s probably a bottle of booze in his drawer too.

The cigarette folks even advertised using doctors. Crazy but true, man.

You cannot make this stuff up. What can I say? People didn’t know. And it was a different time, in many ways better, in some ways most certainly not.

Bottom line, the link about cigarettes and lung cancer had been known for a decade or so, but was for the most part ignored. Hence, Dad the smoker.

Let me take you back to the winter of ’60 or ’61, maybe even ’59. I don’t really remember. I just recall it was winter because there was a fire in our fireplace. It was in the evening, and I climbed up on Dad’s lap as he sat by the fire burnin’ a Lucky Strike.

At one point I reached up and tried to grab his cigarette, because hey, I was a kid. I got my hand slapped, and it was then the following conversation took place:

Dad: “Hey, what are you doing? Stop it.”

Me: “I want to try it!”

Dad: “You can’t. You’re too young and besides, cigarettes are bad for you.”

Me: “Then why are you smoking one?” 

Really, that was all it took. Because at that point Dad paused, looked at the cigarette in his hand, and flipped it into the fireplace.

And he never smoked another cigarette in his life.

I asked him about this recently, and he too remembered that evening. He told me he just didn’t feel he could justify smoking while at the same time telling me how bad it was for you. So he quit to prove a point, on the spot, for himself but mainly for me.

And I’m glad he did.


Back on the late 60s and early 70s there was a baseball camp near the town I grew up in. It was Ted Kluszewski’s Baseball Camp, run by the former Cincinnati Reds’ slugger from back in the day. During the days of the Big Red Machine, “Big Klu” was the team’s hitting instructor. Anyway, it was a cool camp with kids attending from all over the world. Players ranging in age from 6- 17 attended the camp, and local baseball teams would go there to play against the campers. Bottom line, I spent a ton of time there, either playing in or watching games.

As I’ve mentioned before I used to spend a copious amount of time at my Uncle Myrl’s house and I basically went wherever they went, which leads to my story.

My Aunt Dorothy had taken my cousin Mick and I to the camp to watch some games, and it being the late 60s and all she just dropped us off and left, telling us she’d be back in a couple hours. Alas, it was a simpler time. Anyway, she returned later to pick us up, and we hopped in the backseat for the ride home.

However, as we were pulling out of the lot a guy waved us to a stop, and as I recall he didn’t look happy. Aunt Dorothy rolled her window down to see what was up, and the following conversation (as I remember it) then took place.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry to stop you but your boys have something that belongs to us.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Your kids stole some of our baseballs. I have people who saw them getting foul balls and sticking them down their pants.”

[Those of you who want to insert a “balls in your pants” joke may do so now.]

What I witnessed next was the most epic ass-ripping my young ears had ever heard, and believe me, I’d heard a lot. But alas, my aunt’s gush of fury and vitriol wasn’t directed at us. Instead, Aunt Dorothy tore into this poor dude in every way imaginable, letting him know in no uncertain terms that she had not raised thieves and there was no way on God’s green earth we would ever stoop to the level of a common criminal.

During all of this Mick and I sat quietly in the backseat, not saying a word.

Turns out there was a reason for this.

I recall the guy backing away with his hands up as he said he was sorry for the mistake and left, presumably to look for the real ball burglars or perhaps a corner in which to weep.

You know, we might have gotten away with it had Aunt Dorothy not had to make a sudden stop on the way home in the little town of Bainbridge when some jackass pulled in front of her. But he did, and that was when all the baseballs we’d pilfered rolled out from under the backseat from where we’d hidden them, onto the front floorboard, and around the feet of the woman who’d just defended us to the ends of the earth to a man who’d had the audacity to call us crooks.

Which, incidentally, we now very clearly were.

Well, I thought the tongue-lashing given to our accuser was bad, but it paled in comparison to what was laid on Mick and I now.  We were yelled at, belittled, shamed, mocked and at one point may or may not have been called assholes.

Which, again, would not have been a false statement.

Note: Understand that the fact I was a nephew wasn’t figured into the equation. When I was with my cousins I was considered one of the immediate family in every sense of the word. This was often a good thing but sometimes not. This time? Decidedly not.

We then had to suffer the indignity of returning to the baseball camp, giving back our stash, and apologizing to the man who had accurately accused us of our larceny in the first place. I believe we had to perform this indignity in front of an entire Pop Warner Little League team who happened to be nearby. The fact that a couple of them were laughing at us only added weight to our collective embarrassment.

And I still remember our accuser’s smirk as he accepted the returned baseballs. Dude was absolutely smug I tell ya.

And Aunt Dorothy must have figured we’d learned our lesson because as far as we ever knew she never told my Uncle Myrl or my father Ralph, and for that we were thankful. If she had a more physical punishment would have undoubtedly been administered, and that would’ve hurt a lot more than an ass-ripping by an aunt, the smug-smirk of a baseball camp employee, or the laughs of a couple 5-year old little league punks.

Alas, we survived, although we may have been blackballed from Ted Kluszewski’s Baseball Camp for a week or two, I cannot recall for certain.

Just another day in the life of a Bourneville kid.


A girls softball team from Virginia paid a steep price for a lesson about social media: After a victory, think twice about gloating over your opponent on their home turf — especially if the chosen method of gloating is posting a photo on social media of six teammates flipping the bird under the caption, “watch out host.”

The 12-to-14-year-olds who make up the Atlee junior league softball team from Mechanicsville, Va., were disqualified Saturday from the nationally televised championship game at the Junior League World Series in Kirkland, Wash., after one team member posted that photo on her Snapchat account before their game Friday. The team apologized Saturday, even asking for an investigation into the game, but it was too late to repair the damage the image had caused.

Little League spokesman Kevin Fountain called the post “inappropriate” in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, explaining that it violated the league’s “policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct.”

The disqualification didn’t sit well with the Atlee team manager, Scott Currie, who found out about the photo Friday evening after the team’s 1-0 win. Currie immediately reprimanded the players who were involved, before demanding they delete the post and apologize in person to their rivals.
“It’s a travesty for these girls,” Currie told the Times-Dispatch on Saturday. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”

Yes, I have an opinion on this “controversy”, and it’s pretty straightforward – I agree with the decision to disqualify this team 100%. I’ve spoken at length about my feelings on running up the score and showing bad sportsmanship, and nothing has changed although it seems I’m becoming more and more in the minority.

If you research this story online, you’ll find that a lot of people upset about it, especially because the entire team was disqualified when only six girls were in the photo. Newsflash: In sports, you are a TEAM. Many times, when even one players makes a mistake, everybody pays for it.

And in its own way, that’s a beautiful thing. It’s a life lesson, something to use forever and hopefully pass on to your own children one day. Don’t simply think about yourself, think about your friends, your family, your team.

Hell, do you now what one of the worst punishments I can hand out as a coach is? It’s when one player makes a mistake, and I make him stand there and watch everybody else run. Is that fair? Perhaps not, but neither is life.

Oh, and again, it just might help you remember that your actions can affect everyone around you.

As anyone who’s ever played for me will tell you, I believe what these girls did was a bush league move. It was classless and wrong. And I don’t care what the other team was doing during the game to possibly provoke them either, that’s irrelevant. So is how many hours they put in or how hard they worked to get there. They threw all that away with one ignorant decision.

And hey, Coach Currie, you shouldn’t be upset. This was largely your fault. Coaching is much more than teaching how to hit, field, tackle or shoot free throws. It’s teaching what’s right and what’s wrong.

Had you done your job your team would’ve known better, and by defending them you’ve made the problem worse.

Coach, listen up. Back when I was in high school I was playing in a basketball game. I’d committed a dumb foul and followed it up by receiving a technical foul. That night after the game I went to my Uncle Myrl’s house, a man I had great respect for, to visit my cousins. As I walked by him in the kitchen where he was sitting reading  the newspaper, we had the following conversation:

“Dave, you know what’s worse than making an ass of yourself?”

“Uh, no.”

“Making an ass out of yourself twice.”

Still true today, coach.



Not Duke but awfully close.

Looking back, growing up in the small southern Ohio town of Bourneville wasn’t a bad way to go. Everybody knew everybody else, everyone looked after each other, and we were sort of unaffected by what was going on in the turbulent 1960’s. Oh, I knew about the Vietnam War and all the protests, but that was mainly because of my oldest sister Karen. Sis, always the rebel, made sure her little bro knew about the injustices of the world. As far as the Civil Rights movement down south, my father had made all that clear to me years earlier during our vacations to Florida. I distinctly remember him pointing to the “Whites Only” signs over bathroom doors in Georgia and explaining how it was wrong. All-in-all though, my daily life was pretty idyllic, to be honest.

I say all that because it’s pertinent to the story that follows.

For a few years in the mid-60’s I had a dog named Duke. Unlike all the dogs I’ve owned as an adult, Duke was an outside dog. We didn’t really know what kind of a dog he was, he sort of looked like a Greyhound with longer, collie-like hair. He was light brown with some white on his face and tail, and he could run like the wind.

How do I know this, you ask? Because he chased every car that drove by our house. Pull in our driveway? Fine. Drive on past? Get chased.

Anyway, Duke was a great dog.  He went with me everywhere, followed me whether I was on my bike or walking. He’d wait patiently outside the local store or gas station while I was inside, hang with my friends and I, or just generally be a great companion for a kid growing up in Southern Ohio.

And everyone in town knew my dog Duke.

Then one day, for some reason I was all by myself at home. This wasn’t unusual, parents left their kids home all the time back then. Hey, we could fend for ourselves. Compared to now it was a totally different world.

Anyway, the phone rang and it was the guy who owned the gas station in the middle of Bourneville. He basically said to get down there, that Duke had been in an accident. Obviously, I was distraught. I raced down there on my bike, and as I rounded the corner I saw a group gathered, maybe 8-10 people. When I got near they sort of separated so I could see, and there, on the ground, was Duke.

He looked normal, no visible injuries at all, and no blood. He was breathing normally and just looked very at ease and peaceful. Still, something was clearly wrong.

What happened next could only happen in a small midwestern town. Somebody backed up a pickup truck, and some of the men helped me place Duke gently in the bed. Somebody put my bike in as well, and we were driven back to my house where we carefully lay Duke on a blanket on my garage floor.

At that point everybody sort of backed away and left, leaving me there with my buddy.

And so here I was, a 10 or 11-year old kid, sitting on my family’s garage floor, with my dying dog’s head on my lap.

After maybe 10 or 15-minutes Duke sort of gave a sigh, and I knew he was gone.

I then held Duke, waited for my father to get home, told him what had happened, and he and I proceeded to bury Duke in our backyard.

Was it a tough moment for a kid my age? Hell, yes. But it was a different time, a different era. What happened wasn’t unusual for a small midwestern town in the 1960s. While people looked out for each other, ultimately you had to be independent and deal with life on your own.

And I did.

And in the end, I was better off for it.


Back when I played high school basketball I had a coach that I dearly loved. No, he wasn’t my high school coach, but an assistant. He was always there for me, counseling and giving advice when I needed it.

And God, did I need it.

Anyway, he was the guy who I knew always believed in me, saw the best in me, and I’ll never forget it. He never let me down. However, there was one time I let him down, although I didn’t know it at the time. Here’s the dizzle . . .

It was just before a game, and we’d finished our pregame warmups. We all went to the huddle to listen to our head coach’s final instructions, and it was then I smelled trouble.

And when I say smelled, I literally mean smelled.

Because in that huddle, I distinctly caught the smell of alcohol. Listen, I was no angel when I played high school basketball. Not even close. But at the time, I was pissed that one of my teammates had been doing some pregame drinking. It was a big game and I was upset that somebody hadn’t been taking the moment with the seriousness it deserved. How dare they? I proceeded to let everyone on the team know how disappointed I was in their behavior, their attitude, and their general disregard for commitment to our team.

Anyway, we went on to lose the game and I never did find out who had let me down that day, the guy who had downed a couple pregame totties, the player who had spat in the face of sportsmanship and all that was sacred to high school athletics.

That is, until later.

Because a few years on I ran into my old assistant coach, the man I admired and had moved on to another school somewhere in northern Ohio. Here’s the conversation that transpired:

“Shoe, do you remember when you tore into the team that night after you smelled alcohol on somebody?”

“Uh, yes. I was pissed. I couldn’t believe somebody could be so damn dumb.”

“Well, that somebody was me. I’d had a couple drinks before the game that day. You just about sold me out, man.”

Uh-oh. Well, hell. Little did I know the guy I looked up to more than anyone on the court was the guy who’d tipped a couple back pegame.

Hey, was he right to do that? No, he was not. But it was a different time. Hell, we also had a high school administrator that kept a bottle of whiskey in a desk drawer.

In retrospect I shouldn’t have been so self-righteous, handled it another way, and kept my mouth shut.

Alas, I did not, and in the process I almost outed my favorite coach.



Not me but damn close.

The following story took place a long time ago, during my 2nd grade year. Yep, way back in 1963. Here’s how it all went down . . .

We were sitting in class at Twin Elementary when our teacher told us that somebody wanted to talk to all the boys. In walked a guy, I can’t remember who, who proceeded to tell us all about the Cub Scouts. It sounded great. There would be hiking, camping, building model cars, all kinds of cool stuff to do. My buddies and I were all amped up. Couldn’t wait! All we had to do was go home and get the forms signed by our parents, which we couldn’t wait to do.

Of course, with my father there would be stipulations.

After I excitedly told him of the opportunity, he sat me down and we had a talk. Number 1, he thought the Cub Scouts would be a great idea. Number 2, he said there would be no quitting once I started. One full year would be completed, no excuses, end of discussion. Hell, that wasn’t a problem with me. I was stoked!

I couldn’t wait to get back to school to tell my buddies I was in, and it turns out they were too. It was gonna be fantastic.

We had our first meeting at the local church, the Cub Scout guy explained everything, and it all sounded great. Then he brought out the uniform. Hey, it was a little different with the little hat, scarf and knee socks, but what the hell, we’d all be wearing it so it’d be cool. I was ready to roll.

Not so fast Scout Boy.

Here’s what I heard from my friends when I got to school the next morning:

“No way I’m wearing that uniform, man.”

“That uniform looks stupid. I’m not wearing that thing.”

“Sounded good but I’m out. I quit.”

Wait. What? You’re quitting because of the uniform? After one meeting?

Turns out they were. My closest friends were out. The only other kid in my class who stayed in was a nerdy little kid named Quincy (name changed to project the nerdy).

Did I ask my Dad for a reprieve so I could stick with my buddies? I did not. I was dumb but not that dumb. A deal was a deal, man.

So, as it turned out every Tuesday Quincy and yours truly wore the uniform to school as required by the Scouts, and every Tuesday I was ridiculed, mocked, jeered, belittled and spat upon.*

*OK, nobody spit on me but it seemed like it at the time. It was 2nd grade hell I tell ya. 

On a related note I’m pretty sure that was the year I learned to fight.

Anyway, at the next meeting we learned who our pack leaders would be, and it turned out mine was a new guy who had recently volunteered.

That man was my father.

Did he join because he knew I was going through a tough time? Did he know it would help me get through it if he was around?

Probably, but if it was true he never said a word.

Bottom line, pretty soon we were doing cool stuff like building and painting little cars to race down a ramp, constructing airplanes to fly, even going on all-night camping trips. It wasn’t long before my non-Scout friends wished their parents hadn’t let them quit, and in fact they joined up the next year. Hey, maybe it was how cool I looked in that uniform. Chicks dig uniforms, ya know.

All-in-all it was fun, and we did it all while learning about being leaders, being responsible and providing service to others.

But what I learned the most was to never, ever quit.

Thanks Dad.

Hey, I taught all through the 90’s, plus I had a kid who was born in 1988. Hence, I remember all this stuff. Do you?


So I’ve been getting up early every morning, grabbing my sturdy walking stick, bournevilleoh1and embarking on 3.5 mile brisk walk through and around the neighborhood.

I begin when it’s still dark, and I’ve mapped out a route that takes me down every street and alley that is the old town of Bourneville, Ohio.

Fun fact: Lewis Igo has the honor of being our first settler, having emigrated to the “Paint Creek Valley” in the autumn of 1797. The first baby born was the son of Lewis, named Tom. Oh, and Bourneville was platted in 1832 by Colonel Bourne, who the town was named after.

I’ve lived in Bourneville most of my life, although I did have a 14-year stint in Chillicothe and spent short periods of time in Columbus and North Carolina. Anyway, as I walk around the village a thought occurred to me, and it was this – I’ve been in nearly every house in Bourneville. Legally even. Seems weird I know, but as a kid my friends and I seemed to get around. Because of this nearly every house, street or building seems to hold a memory for me, many of which have been written about on this site.

But back to the walk. It begins down Taylor Street, past the houses of a few friends I grew up with including Billy and Richard. Richard was my buddy we all called Itch, short for Rich. As I recall his mom didn’t like that name, so being the kind-hearted kids we were, we quit calling him Itch. He henceforth went by the name of Scratch.

Kids, man.

As I round the corner past the house where Scratch use to live and head down the hill on Cropp Street, I’m reminded of the time I attended a Junior High party at the Ward house there on the left. Full disclosure: I had my first kiss in the driveway of that house, and it was spectacular (at least in my mind). I won’t mention names and I have no idea if she reads this site, but she knows who she is.

Past the Ward house and onto Keran Street, I wistfully leave my adolescent memories behind and roll onward. As I come to the base of a small hill where we used to race go carts, I recall the time I was run over by a truck. You read that right, kids. It’s all documented in a blog I cleverly entitled Run Over by a Truck. Fascinating reading I tell ya.

But hey, I lived so it’s all good.

As I come to the end (or beginning, depending on your perspective) of Keran Street I take a right on Upper Twin Road and pass the houses of two more of my childhood friends, Ted and Rocky. Ted, in particular, had my back on more than one occasion. He passed away at a too young age but I still think of him a lot.

The next turn is a right onto North Alley, which takes me through the backstreets of Bourneville. Oh, the memories of racing down that alley on my bike as a kid. I passed the back of my cousin Mel’s house, where many a shenanigan occurred. I once witnessed Mel shoot a kid square in the back with a pellet gun, then thoughtfully remove said pellet with a knife after heating it with a blowtorch. What can I say? It was a tough neighborhood.

Proceeding on westward through the alley, I walk past the former Maughmer family garage where the famous incident with Drano, Max and Grundy took place, all the way to the end and take a hard left to what is now the Valero Station. When I was a kid it did some time as a Sinclair Station, which had those cool dinosaur logos. Seriously, take a look at that logo over there. sinclair_oil_logo-svgAwesome, amirite? It was also known as Brook’s at one point and was also a Texaco. Anyhoo, as I head back down Route 50 I remember what a busy little town Bourneville used to be. Seriously, besides the Sinclair Station the following businesses operated on the main drag:

  • Springer’s: Located at the corner of Cropp Street and Route 50, this was an old country store that had those big jars of candy. Great place that sadly burned to the ground one night in the 70’s.
  • Lance’s: Lance’s was on the left heading east, smack dab in the middle of town. Lance’s was a store run by Jimmy Jack and his son Butch worked there a lot too.
  • Ted Wisecup also ran a very busy gas station right by the firehouse, and I believe it was a Sunoco. I do remember him beating my ass for repeatedly running over the tube that rang when somebody pulled in. He’d warned me a few times to stop, but being the punk that I was I continued. Next thing I knew I was pulled off my bike and whipped with a fan belt. Back then, any adult could beat your ass. ‘Twas a better time in many ways, I tell ya.
  • Where the Dairy Hut now stands, there once stood a beautiful church. I’ll never forget sitting on my porch talking with somebody one beautiful day back in the late 70’s (early 80’s?) when I heard the church bell ring. It was odd because the church hadn’t been in use for a few years. It was only later when I drove by that I realized I’d heard the last ring of that bell, because the church had been demolished and the bell had rung as it fell. Sad. Oh, and this is the corner where the legendary story entitled Harold, Max and Me took place.
  • Catty-cornered from that church stood Homer Ward’s Sohio station, a place where I played many a pinball game.

Like I said, it’s surprising that a town the size Bourneville used to support so many businesses, but support them they did. And as I walk memories of all these places come back to me.

After the Bourneville tour I head back up Twin Road and the hill where the Bicycle Wagon Train made its infamous ride. There may still be scars in the blacktop, man. Then, at the top of the hill, I once again pass The Post for the zillionth time, where it still stands proudly today.

Next I pass a cornfield where Twin School once stood. I not only attended the school in grades 1 through 8 but I taught 6th grade for 3-years there as well.

Heading on up Twin Road, I pass the cemetery and my Uncle Myrl’s old house where I sent many a summer day, take a left, and circle around the new housing development. As I cruise the back stretch I can’t help but remember the time my beloved Sparky tangled with the coyote there. On a related note, I’ve seen some eyes glowing in the dark a few times at that spot and I always have my walking stick at the ready. Hey, I know coyotes don’t attack people but better safe than sorry I always say.

And then, my 3.5 mile walk comes to an end. You know, it’s funny how much different walking the neighborhood is as compared to driving through it. You have time to see things and not just drive by without taking everything in.

As a result, it’s a great way to get back in touch with your town, and also a great way to awaken some old memories. And that’s a good thing, right?

As kids we all had our favorite foods, right? No matter the age, we all have memories of eating certain things we loved when we were little ‘uns. Seems like Ramen Noodles are sort of a staple these days, but when I was a kid other foodstuffs were more common.

Heck man, I could tear through a box of Cheez-Its in 20-minutes if I could have done it without Mom catching me. On a related note, nothing worse than your parents buying groceries and then not letting you eat certain things. I remember having a 6-pack of Pepsi in the fridge with the instructions that it had to last the whole week between my two sisters and I. Brutal, man.

Anyhoo, here are a few of my staples as a youngster:

Cheez Whiz

Are you serious? I still love Cheez Whiz. That stuff is the best, man. I used to put it on crackers, bread, pretzels, and I even used it as chip dip. And yes, sometimes I just ate it right out of the jar, quite often with my fingers. And you know it helps to fend off cancer, right? Cheez Whiz is golden, man.


Peanut Butter Sandwich

Oh yeah. Straight up peanut butter on white Wonder Bread. And I loved both the crunchy and smooth. Jif and Skippy were my favorites, hands-down.


Suzy Q’s 

Sweet Mother of God I ate these babies like they were going out of style when I was a kid. I’d ride my bike down to Lance’s Store, buy a 2-pack, and have them finished off long before I got back home. Tastilicious.


American Cheese

Sure, it was processed cheese that tasted a little like styrofoam, but it was way too convenient to pull out a slice, rip that plastic off, and scarf that baby down.


Atomic Fireballs

Hey, any product that has a nuclear bomb on the box has gotta be good, amirite? I’d pop as many of these tasty little kerosene balls in my mouth as I could and let the good times roll. Woot!


Mallo Cups

Hell, I eat Mallo Cups today. As a matter of fact, my 5th grade students used to bring them to me a couple times a week. It seems as if the scrumptious cups are becoming harder and harder to find and that’s a national tragedy. Mallo Cups > Reese’s Cups, all day, every day, every way.


Wax Bottles

Remember the little wax bottles filled with God knows what? You’d bite off the top and drink them? I don’t know what was in there but I loved it. And I was hardcore man, I’d chew on and eat the bottle like a boss.


Vienna Sausages

Vienna Sausages in barbecue sauce, to be precise. That was my staple mid-afternoon snack right there, man. I lived with a dude in college that made Mac & Cheese with Vienna Sausages and it was spectacular. Still love me some Vienna Sausages.



Oh, hells to the yah! Nothing says heaven more than a couple sardines on a cracker, man. Oh, and they have to be in mustard sauce, that’s a no-brainer. I lived on sardines as a kid.


Oh, of course I had bologna and cheese sandwiches, frozen pizza, pizza rolls and stuff like that, but these were my favorites. Don’t judge, man.

Note: I have to give a shoutout to the greatest bubble gum of all-time, Bazooka. I followed the enclosed comic Bazooka Joe, too. No better gum, ever.



Yeah. Like this.

Growing up in a small southern Ohio town in the 60s was pretty idyllic, really. Sure, a lot of the country was being torn apart by civil unrest, whether it was caused by race, the war in Vietnam or the Battle of the Sexes, but here in Bourneville we were relatively untouched by all that upheaval. Sure, my older sister Karen, rabble-rouser that she was, eventually turned me onto what was going on on our country (man, did Dad hate that peace sign she taught me to exchange with her), but that was towards the end of the decade. For a large part of the 60s I was just an innocent kid enjoying life.

I have a ton of stories from those days, the most famous being Harold, Max & Me, a story that folks seem to enjoy because of its sheer insanity. I also told a story of a kid named Grungy who, although we teased him mercilessly, turned out to have a good heart. That story was called Grungy’s Revenge. Max was the central figure in another childhood escapade as well, in the story entitled The Bicycle Wagon Train Was A Bad Idea. And believe me, it was.

The story I’m about to tell involves both Max and Grungy, and I’ll steal fro my own writing to describe each. Let’s start with Grungy:

We had a kid in our neighborhood when I was growing up that was, shall we say, lacking in the looks department. Ah, what the hell, he was the ugliest SOB I’ve ever seen. He had a bulbous nose, elephantine ears, beady eyes, and his complexion was so bad it looked as if his face had caught on fire on somebody’d put it out with a rake.

God, I can be mean. But seriously, this dude’s parents had to tie a steak around his neck to get the dog to play with him.  I swear he had to sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink. Hey-O! I could go on forever.

In addition, he was really big for his class at school. Alright, so he’d been held back a couple of times. But he was still big for his age, and not just big-big. Humongously fat-big. Add some long greasy hair to the mix and I think you get the visual. Oh, and when Grungy got mad you best run for your life. Dude was a badass.

Next, my description of Max:

Max? Max was my age, small for his age and a Bourneville badass. I can never remember him not smoking, he always had a cig in his mouth from the day I met him, which was when we were probably around 6-years old. Max could whip any kid’s ass and was a con-artist deluxe. He’d have his friend’s mothers eating out of his hand, then turn around and cuss like a sailor around the rest of the kids in Bourneville.

So there’s your visuals for two of the principal subjects of my story. There were others, including yours truly, which you’re about to hear about . . .

One hot summer day a few of us Bourneville rapscallions and ne’re-do-wells were hanging around Max’s family garage, just shooting the breeze and probably planning our next hijinks.

The cast of characters included myself, Max, Grungy, Scratch, Fred, Ted, and a new kid in town we’d inexplicably christened with the name Drano.

Like I said, we were all sitting around the perimeter inside the garage, talking about God-knows-what. Max was sitting beside one of those big fish fryers that his family owned, and it had about 6-inches of nasty grease at the bottom. Max’s older brother said they never cleaned it because it made the fish taste better.

Anyway, sitting between Max and Fred was the new kid Drano, and I was sitting across the garage with Grungy, Ted, and Scratch. At some point Max, the ultimate instigator, decided it would be a good idea to reach in the fryer, grab a big glop of grease on his finger, and casually flipped it across the room toward us.

I think I was the only one who actually saw him do it, and as I recall the dollop of goo seemed to fly in slow motion through the air, directly toward its intended target . . . the prodigious cranium of Grungy.

As I watched in horror, the grease-ball made a soft plop, directly on the bridge of Grungy’s humongous schnozz. Everyone looked up, and for a few seconds there was silence as we contemplated the terror to ensue.

Grungy just sat there, and it would have been hilarious had we not been aware of the big man’s penchant for anger when tormented.

Slowly, he reached up and wiped the offending lard from his nose, flicked it away, and glared across the room, trying to figure out who committed the deed. Of course, the first guy he looked at was young Max, who silently pointed at the new kid sitting beside him.


Poor Drano. He’d been in town for maybe a week and made the fateful mistake of sitting next to Max.

As Drano stood shaking his head no, waving his arms and basically looking like a kid staring down a charging rhinoceros, Grungy advanced across the room methodically and with a single purpose on his mind.


As we looked on in terror, Grungy picked up Drano like a rag doll, flipped him upside down, and unceremoniously dunked his head into the grease.

Stunned, we watched as Grungy held his head there for what seemed like forever, then slowly twisted his head in even deeper.

When he finally pulled him out and sat him back down, Drano’s hair looked like, well, like he had the first-ever mohawk, except greasier. The funny thing was, Drano just sat there, afraid to move.

Then Grungy just walked out of the garage and went home.

Of course, Max had to have the last word:

“See Drano, I told you not to make Grungy mad.”


PS: I distinctly recall handing Drano a dirty old rag from the corner of the garage, nice guy that I am. He proceeded to try and rub the gook out, only succeeding in making matters worse. Then his hair stood up all over, making him look like he was perpetually frightened, which incidentally he was from then on.






Weird, but a lot of my readers won’t know what this is.

I was talking to a friend the other day about how much not only music has changed over the past 40-50 years, but how much we buy and listen to it has changed as well. After we talked I began thinking about music and how I became so involved in it, and my mind went back to the early 60’s, when I was just a young whippersnapper . . .

Mom and Dad always had records around, but they were by guys like Dean Martin and Al Martino. Then my sisters started bringing records home by Elvis and artists like Gene Pitney, Bobby Vinton and The Four Seasons. Of course, The Beatles arrived and changed everything, but I began to get really immersed when one of my sister’s boyfriends, Dave, started bringing 45s to the house and playing them for me. Not only would he play the 45s, he would describe the group to me and give me background he’d learned from music magazines and other sources.


If this isn’t it exactly it’s pretty damn close.

In those early years I listened to everything on Mom and Dad’s massive stereo. It was one of those giant wooden ones with the lid that popped up, revealing the fascinating array of knobs and buttons with which to adjust the sound and volume.

Anyway, I was endlessly fascinated by Dave talking about the people behind the music, so as time went on I got into it more and more. I’d lie in bed listening to WLS radio out of Chicago every single night, just soaking up the sounds and imagining what the bands and singers looked like. I recall DJs like Larry Lujack and Wolfman Jack, and lying there the music just seemed so magical. It also, in my mind, came from exotic, faraway places.

That’s why I disliked music videos so much. They told us what to see, not what our imaginations could create. After MTV the song brought to mind the video, and that was sad to me. But back to my childhood . . .

As the late 60’s came along, so did my teenage years. Sometime around then I began buying my own records, and in the beginning it was always 45s. I remember going to Central Center with my father every other Friday to get  haircuts. I’d go first, and then I’d walk down to Woolworths where they sold records. They had a display where they’d have the Top 20 singles and I’d always go there first, followed by the “New Releases” section.


Yep. Like this.

The 45s cost 79¢, and I usually had $5.00 that I had saved (I used to get an old guy’s mail that lived in Bourneville and he’d pay me a whopping $5.00 a week!) so I had to choose wisely. That’s six 45’s every 2-weeks for you non-Math folks out there. Sometimes I’d only buy 3 or 4 records so I could buy a Coke Float and Grilled Cheese sandwich over at the Woolworths soda fountain and bar. They has those cool stools and everything and I loved it.

Then I’d walk back up to the Barber Shop, meet Dad and head home. I could not wait to get there, take that record from the wrapper, drop it on the little turntable in my bedroom, close my eyes and let the music take me away. Man, you couldn’t beat the late 60’s groups like The Rascals, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Four Tops, and of course The Beatles and others.

Later, around the time I got my driver’s license I believe, I started buying albums, or LPs. See, in the early 60’s albums were basically one hit song and a bunch of filler tunes. The songs were all independent of each other. The Beatles changed all that by making concept, or theme albums. On these albums the songs were all connected, like on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Because of this you wanted the entire album, or at least I did.

I bought most of my albums back then at Hart’s department store and places like that. If I really wanted to buy stuff out of the mainstream I went to Columbus and visited places like the gloriously named Magnolia Thunderpussy to find hard-to-get music. Up through the early to mid-80’s you couldn’t find alternative bands like R.E.M. and The Replacements in regular department stores.


Great LP cover. On a related note, I sat at a desk like this at the old Twin Elementary.

And kids today will have no concept of this, but there was nothing better than taking the cellophane off of an album and reading all the information on the back. It was even better if it was an album (usually a double album but not always) that opened up like a book. Often the lyrics were contained somewhere, either on the back of the album itself or maybe on the actual sleeve in which the record was contained. Posters could be in there, and some albums were really unique, like Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” LP which opened up like an old school desk. Cool. I’d spend hours going over everything on an album jacket, over and over and over.

eightSoon, LPs were pushed aside in favor of 8-track tapes. You couldn’t put much information on an 8-track, which sucked. 8-tracks had four sections and when the tape went from one to the other it made this clunky sound as it switched over. Sometimes, if the tape was dragging, you had to press a matchbook or something between the tape and player to tighten it up. I bet everyone who owned a tape player has done that a few times.

Next came the cassette. The cassette was even smaller than the 8-track, which led to even less information on it. Of course the CD followed, and by then you could go straight to a song without listening to other songs on the album. I remember hearing kids say, “Hey, play #4!” Hell, they didn’t even know the name of the song, let alone the background of it or, God forbid, the lyrics.

Alas, nowadays everything is downloaded from the internet and a lot of people don’t purchase the entire album. That’s sad because a lot of the time you have to listen to a song a few times before it grows on you. With an album you put it on and listened to everything, then you flipped it over and listened to Side 2. There was no fast-forwarding unless you wanted to get up and move the needle, man.

On a related note, LPs have made a pretty significant comeback. The sound is just different, and somehow better.

Bottom line, technology and the subsequent downloading of music has led to young people missing out on the depth and breadth of the music and the musicians that created it, you know? Nobody gets into the “Deep Cuts” anymore. And now that I think about it, isn’t that sort of describing the state of music today? That it’s lacking depth and breadth? It’s all tied together. Yep, it’s all becoming clear to me now.


Aw, maybe I just sound like an old guy lamenting the way things used to be. Then again, maybe not. I really believe that most of the changes have been for the worse. Advances like autotune, digital recording, even multi-tracking have cheapened the whole process.

Bottom line though? Even though I mostly prefer the older methods of recording and listening, I still love a lot of today’s recordings.

Why? Because it’s music, man. I couldn’t live without it.

It’s just an old cement post, and it stands probably 150-feet from my front door.

I FullSizeRender (6)currently live in the house I grew up in, so I’ve driven or walked by the post at least 100,000 times according to my estimations. I have no idea how long it’s stood there, but I’m guessing it could be at least 100-years old.

The Post was built during a time when people went the extra mile to make things the right way, so rather than just put a standard wooden post in the ground they took the time to pour a big, ornate concrete post as a cornerstone to their property.

People don’t do that type of thing anymore, you know? Everything is done quickly and as cheaply as possible nowadays. That’s one of the things that makes The Post cool to me. Somebody cared about its appearance.

The Post has stood there while the world rolled on through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Kennedy Assassination, the Vietnam War, 9/11, and many other world and local events.

The Post was right beside Twin Elementary School, a building in which I spent at least 7-hours a day from the ages of 6 to 15. I remember kids sitting on The Post before and after school, either waiting to go in for the day or waiting on a ride home. I recall kids sitting on it after basketball practice at the school, waiting on mom or dad to pick them up.

On many a summer day I sat either on top of it or on the ground leaning against it, watching the occasional car go by as I talked with my friends.

And man, if I had a dollar for every bicycle that leaned against The Post I’d be a rich man today.

Hell, The Post was right there that warm summer day back in the late 60’s and served as a starting line for Max when he made his famous ride down the hill and into infamy. It’s also where the Bicycle Wagon Train began its descent into history.

Through it all, The Post has been a constant, standing tall day after day as the years went by.

I really don’t know why The Post fascinates me so much. As I said, it’s just an old cement post after all. But I love old stuff like this, and the fact that the man who poured the concrete and frame for The Post clearly took pride in what he was doing makes it special to me.

As I mentioned before, Twin Elementary School stood right next to The Post, and it was sadly and unceremoniously knocked down back in 2008. Right down the hill there once stood a beautiful old church, and it suffered the same fate.

I suppose one day I’ll come home and see that The Post is gone as well, and if that happens it will make me sad. Again, it’s just a concrete post, but somehow it’s more than that to me. It represents pride in workmanship, childhood memories, longevity, and much more.

Strange how you can become attached to an inanimate, soulless object, isn’t it?

Note: Sparky loves The Post too, but for other reasons.