Pete Rose Cardboard Belly Grass-Sliding

Charlie Hustle

Charlie Hustle


As I’m writing this week’s story, we’re down south at our Phoenix home.  Our house sits on a corner lot within a baseball’s throw of a small town civic center.  The cross street that our house parallels must be directly on the route to all of the local schools because the buses all stop at the corner, just outside our front door.  Through my kitchen window, I have a direct view of all of the kids and their morning antics.

The high schoolers are boring.  They arrive, they try to act cool and nonchalant, they don’t interact much with each other.  They’d rather be anywhere than where they are and if they didn’t, they certainly aren’t going to show it to their peers.  The elementary kids aren’t much better.  They all act like a bunch of kids (the nerve of them).

The junior high kids; now there’s where the action is.  Continue reading

Breaking Commandments 8 & 9 – Stealing and Lying

Mmmmmm....yummy, especially with dry ice

Mmmmmm….yummy, especially with dry ice

Growing up, I didn’t attend a lot of church.  On Goodman Avenue, (ages 5-10), I attended Vacation Bible School (VBS) a few weeks in the summer.  I don’t think church was Dad’s thing and Mom’s thing was doing whatever Dad said.  When Mom got divorced and married to Joe, she discovered that she had quite a bit more freedom to do as she pleased.  Finding her church was one of those.

Even though we didn’t attend church on a regular basis when I was young, we were raised under a Christian roof.  As such, we were taught the Ten Commandments.  Well, ok…we were too young to discuss half of them, but numbers 3, 5, 6, 8 & 9 – those we knew.  If we broke them, we knew we’d meet up with a belt or a switch.  Eight and Nine, those two I was scared to death to break because my Dad warned us about them on a regular basis.

8 & 9?  Stealing and lying; never steal and never lie.  One day I did both.  I did both, was immediately found out and then immediately punished for my crimes. Continue reading

MI1, The Big Sleepover

To us, this is what it felt like

To us, this is what it felt like

In the last ‘Kim story’, I finally worked up the courage to tell Kim that I loved her.  If you are new and would like to get up to speed, there is a Category named “Kim Saga”.  Merely find the “Categories” somewhere on this page your are reading and then select this category.   One of the things I immediately loved and was attracted to in Kim was her sense of adventure, her lust for life.  You know the old adage about walking a mile in another person’s shoes?  Well, at pretty much the same age, both of us had experienced life threatening events.  I was hit by a school bus (read me) and she had open heart surgery.  Yes, open heart surgery; way back in the early 60’s as a little girl, with a pioneer surgeon, it was a complete success.  No doubt our own personal experiences played a major role in shaping our psyche and influencing our behaviors.  Both of us are what I would describe as very determined and long term goal oriented.  We are grateful for what we have and we recognize the beauty of life itself.  We have a few sharp differences, but what we have in common is much stronger than our differences. Continue reading

Giving to the United Way – a Day of Calculated Caring

A Day for Calculating?

A Day for Calculating?

In several stories, I’ve written about childhood antics and pranks.  Pulling pranks and getting into trouble over harmless antics was a common theme when I was a kid. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have the internet or even much TV to watch?

I still remember all the TV channels we could pick up in Hamilton, Ohio.  Counting all of the channels on The VHF and the UHF frequencies, (and right now the younger readers are going ‘huh? VHF, UHF?’), we could receive 6 stations. Hamilton, Ohio is located somewhat midway between Dayton and Cincinnati so we could pick up all of the channels from both cities.  Oh, and of our 6 channels, 2 of them were duplicate networks (ABC and CBS).   We kids were thrilled when WXIX was introduced to us because it meant we could watch great entertainment like The Cool Ghoul!   I confess though that although we didn’t have much TV, I did rush home from school each day so that I could watch Dark Shadows. Continue reading

Marijuana and 69 – Make for a Mighty Fine Time

I'm shocked!

What is that?

The nicest thing about turning 50 has been what feels like either enlightenment or perhaps self-realization.  I have achieved the most important life goals I set out for myself as a young adult, so now I am at the beginning of a personal transitional period.  I have been writing these growing up episodes from my life experiences for over a year now.  It has been fun.  It has also been a bit illuminating.  I am sometimes shocked as to the level of detail I have been able to drag out of my memories.  Another way it has been illuminating is that through my writing, I have been able to ‘recreate’ for myself some of the feelings I must have experienced from the time periods I write about.

With that said, I will start by telling you this next story is from a time of very early teens or pubescence.  I am guessing I was 13 based on what I have been able to decipher from other stories.  I remember feeling ‘cool’ as I was providing my explanation to my mother about what you’re getting ready to read.  Hindsight tells me I was ignorant, brash, an idiot.  Those are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind.  The truth is just that I was young.  I thought I was cool, or I wanted to be.  Continue reading