In My Life, I Once Knew a Boy Named Terry

I want to document my times with a boy who was once my best friend, a boy who has totally disappeared, making himself totally incognito to me….or dead, for all I know.

Terry in 9th Grade

Terry in 9th Grade

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Death – Only One Potato Chip Away

Heaven is up there?

Heaven is up there?

If you’ve lived, then you’ve experienced death.  Anyone beyond the age of 20 has likely lost someone they love.  It’s been a number of years since I’ve lost a family member, but I’m not naive; I know the knock on the door will yet come again soon.  Recently I received an email informing me of the recent death of a couple of coworkers who both have been retired for a number of years.  It got me to thinking – when did I first experience death?  Whose death did I first cry over?  Whose life do I still think about often? Continue reading

The Second Time I Saw Kim – Kim is a Waltz Skater

Ah, the familiar skating sign in Hamilton

Ah, the familiar skating sign in Hamilton

I shared the story of the very first time I ever saw Kim, my wife, in the Thunderbolts story (read me).  That experience was very unusual and the memory that lives with me is very vivid.  This is the story of the second time I ever saw Kim.  We still did not know each other.  Likely she didn’t even know my name yet….but I knew hers. Continue reading

Getting the Boys Snipped – Kevin had Great Hands

He could scoop up a ball like a Dyson

He could scoop up a ball like a Dyson

While growing up in the Prytania/Ridgelawn Alley in the 70’s, we played a heck of a lot of baseball. Speaking at least for all the boys, if you lived on our block, you played in the baseball games. I can only recall two boys in my age range who never played baseball in the pickup games and that was only because both were very interested in football and not baseball. On occasion kids, who were friends with one or more of us but not living on our block, would come in and play ball with us. This happened quite a lot because at least within a mile or so our block had quite a reputation for having a ball game going on every day in the small park up the street. One of these kids was named Kevin Campbell. If I remember correctly, Kevin was Tommy Mathews’ friend and I think he might even have played on Tommy & Rich’s Little League team, the team that the Mathews’ dad coached for.

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Rain or Shine, Snow or Sleet – Mail Delivers Memories

Pee Wee Always Gets his Mail

Pee Wee Always Gets his Mail

I used to imagine myself as a mailman.  I guess the proper term today is a mail carrier.  I just thought it would be a cool job to deliver parcels and letters from across the country or world to the doorstep of the recipient awaiting its arrival.  I still write personal checks to pay our bills.  I know I could do all of this over the internet and probably it is much faster, but the simple fact is that I enjoy mailing letters.  I enjoy going to the post office thinking about the fact that for a price of a postage stamp, (46 cents today), someone is actually going to physically carry and deliver my envelope across the country.  I also love looking out on my front porch to see if there are any packages that day and then the related walk to the mailbox.  Oh I know, most of my mail today is junk, but I still enjoy retrieving the junk mail, even if it’s to carry it immediately to the recycle bin. Continue reading

Thunderbolts & Rocket-arms – Prologue, An Introduction to my Wife

After 6 years when this story occurred, here we are - note she has me in her clutches

After 6 years when this story occurred, here we are – note she has me in her clutches

In one of my stories I will list all the crazy connections I’ve noted between my wife and me.  The story today is about the first time I ever saw Kim, now my wife. Continue reading

Thanksgiving – Good People & Good Times


This week’s “Remember the Time” theme is of course about Thanksgiving. When I consider the word ‘Thanksgiving’, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling and the first thing that pops into my mind is either deep fried turkeys in Phoenix with my family or of Grandmas & Grandpas, Aunts & Uncles and Cousins in Indiana.

The only known photo of the Raymond Thompson cousins - me up top holding my cousin Chad on shoulders

The only known photo of the Raymond Thompson cousins – me up top holding my cousin Chad on shoulders


While my mom and dad were married, (and even after she remarried), almost every Thanksgiving we would pack the station wagon up with clothes and kids, (and maybe bottles – read me), and head west from Hamilton, Ohio towards Vincennes, Indiana on good old US Route 50. When you hear the word California spoken, you automatically think of sunshine, beaches and crisp fresh air. You may not know this but Sacramento, CA is on the same line of latitude as Vincennes, Indiana and only 1 degree different for Hamilton, Ohio (mystery solved). So I have a beeline, (albeit a very long one), today from my home in California to my roots in ‘Hamiltucky’.

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Third Grade – New Friends, Heartbreak, Empathy….Change

OK, so she didn't always look grumpy

OK, so she didn’t always look grumpy

This week’s RTT post theme is ‘end of days’.  For every ending there is a beginning so this week I chose to share a story I consider to be a bit of a time of beginnings for me.  I hope you enjoy.

 

In A Shocking Discovery (read me) I wrote about my favorite teacher, Art Adams. I shared his darker side and wrote about how he helped me as a young adult while attempting to earn my first degree. If I were asked who I would award the ‘Gold Standard’ prize to among my teachers, I would have to say the award goes to Mrs. Amy Wright, my third grade teacher at Fillmore Elementary School.

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Romance & Royalty in the Fourth Grade

Ours were shorter and more rectangular

Ours were shorter and more rectangular

Before I write any stories about my girlfriend, (ultimately my wife), I am working my way through childhood romances.  There is one that I almost accidentally skipped so let me try to document what I remember about my fourth grade flame Kathy Dudley, and anything else worthy of mention that year. Continue reading