Buying Penny Candy with Pop Bottles

We didn't see a bunch of empty bottles - we saw 24c in Indiana!

We didn’t see a bunch of empty bottles – we saw 24c in Indiana!

When I was a kid, aluminum cans had not yet become very popular for sodas or beer.  Most everything was bottled and when you purchased a carton of sodas, (we called them “pops” in Ohio), you would have to pay a two cent deposit for every bottle.  When you finished drinking all of the pops, you’d put the bottles back into the carton and carry them back to the grocery store or quick mart.  You would receive two cents for each bottle or even-credit if you were purchasing more pops.  The bottles would get picked up by the delivery drivers and carried back to the bottling plants where they would be sanitized and reused for new product. Continue reading

Stump Beats Oil Pan Every Time!

Stump Wins!

Stump Wins!

Weekend nights (read me) as high schooler’s while Growing up on Prytania were likely a lot like they are today.  We’d typically have a hang out spot that we’d hit to share a few laughs and make some memories.  Maybe it would be Frisch’s or the roller rink or perhaps we’d just cruise around.  This story entry is all about the ride home on one of those nights.  It doesn’t qualify as one of those things that could have killed us, (as in this story), but it’s a fun memory of days gone by with my best friend during high school – Joe Copas.  Continue reading

Breaking Rules – Gee Rob, You Speak Spanish, Right?

This week’s

topic is about a time when I broke a rule or law.  I don’t know if all boys are full of mischief, but I broke a lot of rules while growing up and so did most of the kids I hung out with.  So as not to embarrass or implicate anyone in this story, the names of the characters are going to be changed. Continue reading

Missing Tricycle Seats can cause Hernias, Right?

I can't hear you!

I can’t hear you!

My dad was in the Marine Corps after high school.  He graduated in 1955, he and Mom were married in ’57 after she graduated and they were off to southern California; boot camp, Camp Pendleton – home of Gomer Pyle.

Yup - that's them

Yup – that’s them

Well, ok, so Gomer was filmed in Desilu and Paramount Studios, but it was supposed to be Pendleton in the show. Continue reading

Scott is King of the Hill

It was Scott, not Hank

It was Scott, not Hank

We had moved to Prytania after the 4th grade.  I attended Lincoln Elementary for 5th and 6th grades.  Coincidentally, my wife Kim attended Lincoln through 5th grade and lived only a block away from me but I didn’t know who she was and wouldn’t meet her until 10th grade. Continue reading

Fortress of Solitude – Snow Hideaway

For a few moments, I was alone like Superman

For a few moments, I was alone like Superman

A year or two after my mom and dad divorced, Mom remarried a man who had his 5 kids.  Mom had us four.  We were all light and blonde.  Joe was a pure bred Boston raised Italian and his first wife was Filipino.  All of his children were dark skinned and so we became a diversified Brady Bunch. I became the oldest of nine children at the young age of 12, getting ready to turn 13. Continue reading

The Power of Music – Diane was not a Green-Eyed Lady

Diane's Eyes were Brown

Diane’s Eyes were Brown

The other day I was listening to my car radio and heard Carole King’s song, “It’s Too Late”.  After it was over I kept wondering – where is Sugarloaf’s Green Eyed Lady?  All night I was mentally singing to myself It’s too Late which then got followed up in my mind by Green Eyed Lady.  So, I got to thinking about it and I realized that anytime I hear Carole’s song, I just automatically expect to hear the Sugarloaf song immediately afterwards.  Why was that?

I gave it some serious thought and came to the conclusion that it’s connected to a vivid childhood memory of love lost.  My summer girlfriend of 1971 when I was 13 was Diane Mathews.  In hindsight, Diane was my first ‘long-term relationship’.  Diane was a year older than I and attended St. Peters Catholic school, whereas I attended public schools.  She was cool and she was a good athlete.  She became the mold for my perfect woman, the one who I eventually fell in love with and married. Continue reading

Keep the Record Playing

Someone please stop the room from spinning!

Someone please stop the room from spinning!

This week’s is about fear or being afraid.

Really?  I want to write more fun stories about childhood or maybe rant about my crappy dad again.  What the heck am I going to write about related to being afraid, death?  Come on, I got hit by a school bus at the age of 7, hit head on by a drunk driver once, slid 300 yards on ice into traffic, have had terrible clotting in my left leg after surgery for breaking it backwards at the knee in a softball game and more.  Life is a gift at this point, why be afraid of dying? Continue reading

The Cats in my Life – (more great memories of my dad)

See Puff pee?  Run, Puff, Run!

See Puff pee? Run, Puff, Run!

Being the firstborn amongst your siblings I guess has some advantages.  We typically don’t have to wear hand-me-downs, we get the most baby pictures taken of us, we can steal our siblings’ Halloween candy and we tend to be ‘grandma’s boy’ (or girl).  There are a few disadvantages documented in the parenting textbooks, but there can be some other lesser-known disadvantages.  In my case, I have a much different set of memories of my birth father than my siblings have.  Their relationship with my dad was, (I am sure), better than mine was (which I’m glad for). Continue reading

Burn ‘Em – More Adventures at Taco Bell

Ours looked just like this one

Ours looked just like this one

I worked at Taco Bell in Hamilton, Ohio from the Spring of 1976 until January 1979.  Writing about the Taco Bell years would be far too long a story to be entertaining to the average bathroom blog reader so I intend to break them down into tiny episodes.  This one is called “Burn ‘Em”. Continue reading