Growing up in my Fifties – Drink some Water You Idiot!

Almost

Almost

My story blog site is named Growing up on Prytania because most of my informative years were spent on Prytania Avenue in Hamilton, Ohio.  The act of ‘growing up’, (at least in my opinion), is all about learning about oneself; learning about your body as well as your inner spiritual self, how others perceive you and then using that knowledge to become a better person.  I am well into my 50’s now and last summer Mother Nature tried to teach me something about my 50’s body.  I didn’t learn the lesson very well so she gave me a strong slap on the wrist with her ruler the other night.  Ok, now she has my attention!  Continue reading

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The Clock is Ticking – My Brother Mike is Dead

That's Mike in the very front, Circa 1971

That’s Mike in the very front, Circa 1971

My brother Mike, the youngest boy in the Wyatt part of our diversified clan, died recently.  Tall like my Grandad, he stood about 6’4 or 5″ and weighed over 400 pounds at the end.  He is the first to pass amongst me and my siblings.  When you’re young or even old and healthy, dying seems improbable, something that happens to other people, not you.  But eventually death grabs each of us by the throat and chokes the life out of us.  When it chokes someone you grew up with or perhaps someone you love, it punches you in the stomach, wakes you up, makes you realize that your time is coming.  It’s right around the corner.

This story is nothing close to a compendium of Mike’s life story.  I am not qualified to write that.  I was really not that close to Mike.  Some of the memories I plan to write about include Mike, but will appear separately.  Perspectives are our truths and this story is my perspective; my truth about what I recall about my baby brother Mike.  Continue reading

Garage Doors Springing a Plot to Get Me

Well at least he's wearing eye protection

Well at least he’s wearing eye protection

I grew up believing electric garage door openers were only owned by the rich.  In the Prytania neighborhood where I grew up, no one had a garage door opener, some didn’t even have a garage (we being one of those).

Some garages have doors that have a wheel bearing assembly on their tops where the wheels ride on a rail.  This allows a person to pull aside the door, opening access to the garage.  Most garage doors though open from the top, the full weight of the door itself being lifted off the ground.  Let me tell you, they’re heavy; even those made of thin aluminum will typically weigh at least 75 pounds.  If they’re wooden?  Whoa, some can weigh upwards of a couple hundred pounds, especially if the door is older.  Kids – call a trained professional and don’t try this at home. 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

Two More Laps – Part Two

A Landmark in my memory

A Landmark in my memory

And now….the exciting conclusion to last week’s story, Two More Laps

I remember that each time a new face would come out to greet me, I would shout out an important declaration – “TWO MORE LAPS!”  Apparently the accountant in me felt the need to express the solution in terms of a precise numerical declaration.  I’m not sure how long I had been walking when 5 or 6 wet bodies came out to get me with the purpose of tossing me into the pool.  Likely they felt a drenching was what was needed for sobering me up.

I was so drunk that I was scared.  I tried to look as sober and straight faced as I could to the wet one of the group who had a reputation for being level-headed.  That was a guy named Ricky.  The guys had all had me lifted and were making our way to the pool.  “Ricky – I don’t know if I can get out.”  I’m certain Ricky had a few to drink, just as everyone else in the group, but my statement had the desired sobering effect because Ricky immediately got in front of the group and said, “hey guys, this might not be such a good idea.  Let’s leave Rob alone out here, let him keep walking.”  There were some moans and groans but they trusted Ricky’s judgment and set me down.  Continue reading

Two More Laps – Part One

I love you man.  No, I love you man!

I love you man. No, I love you man!

This would be the second time, (or third if I count a party at the Menzer house in high school), that I drank uncontrollably, but FINALLY learned a lesson.  It goes down in my personal journals as my most stupid drinking night (as an adult).  My ‘first’ bad night occurred many years earlier and I have to claim teenager-ignorance otherwise it would be my most stupid.  I offer it here if you’d enjoy reading (link).  I didn’t know my limit and it resulted in a rough night.  I remembered my lesson learned from this experience until I forgot about it 16-17 years later.  This is that story, offered in two parts.  Look for the conclusion next week. Continue reading

My First Grilling Attempt – an Explosive Moment in History

A quick way to shave the legs

A quick way to shave the legs

Growing up on Prytania Avenue did a great job at educating me in the fine arts of making stink bombs (read me), but in the area of culinary skills not much time was spent training in the Alley with my cohorts there. That’s too bad as I might have avoided a scary, (and stupid), episode in the first summer of my marriage.

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Egg Wars & Aunt Edna – More Stupid Things We Did in High School

Such a waste of an omelette

Such a waste of an omelette

If you were to ask me what the dumbest thing I ever did in my life was, I’d struggle with the response because I’ve done a LOT of stupid things. I’m much better today, but in younger years I had always been that type of person who didn’t ask others for their advice or opinion before taking action. I would learn from my mistakes. Learning from your mistakes is a good thing, but what if that thing you’re doing is so stupid that you don’t get a chance to learn from it? I suppose I have more than my fair share of those types of dumb things. This is a story of one crazy night of high school antics which included one of those stupid acts; an act that could have gone badly and yet again, here I am to tell about it.

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I Almost Met the President – My First Day at College

I felt as smart as these guys

I felt as smart as these guys

Hello everyone!  This week I am a pinch hitter for Emily who, along with Kelly, co-host a weekly blog hop called Remember the Time.

I know what most of you are thinking right now – I’m too new, I’m not good enough to co-host RTT.  You’re the rich college kids who race every year in the Little 500 and you think we Cutters aren’t good enough (for those of you who don’t get the joke, go watch Breaking Away – you won’t be sorry).  Well all I can tell you is that if you don’t like my story here, just ask Emily & Kelly for a “refund”.  I hope you have a good time feeling superior while you are laughing at my idiocy as an 18 year old.  All my stories are true – this is the story of my very first day at college in 1976 at Miami University of Ohio.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQaavQNGsMY

Now that I’m in my 50’s, I have the wonderful benefit of being able to look back and to celebrate many accomplishments – in my career, home life and education.  This is how it’s supposed to work out in America – you work your ass off and hopefully reap some benefits.  Among the educational accomplishments are a few degrees and a couple of certifications.  Yes, I gratefully can look back on these educational accomplishments…..but you sure wouldn’t have predicted that I could even successfully find the college lunchroom had you been with me on my very first day of college at Miami University of Ohio. Continue reading

The Time I Almost Burned Down my School

The Junior High that Almost Wasn't

The Junior High that Almost Wasn’t

When I was a kid in junior high school, it was easy to get hurt at school. In metal shop we had access to any number of machines that could cut and bend galvanized steel into all sizes and shapes of poorly designed ash trays and in the process maybe lose a hand. In wood shop there were numerous saws, awls and a multitude of pointed and serrated objects capable of severing fingers as easily as it is to clip a fingernail with a pair of nail clippers. In drafting class we were loaned pointy pencils and compasses capable of putting out an eye just as easily as a Red Rider BB Gun.

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