There’s a great ’89 SNL skit featuring Jan Hooks and Alec Baldwin, set in a diner. Two geeks sitting up at the diner bar were regulars. They had no chance with any of the waitresses, but loved to come on a regular basis, not only because the food was good, but also because the waitresses were nice to these poor saps. This was me and 3 other paperboys in 1971 in a corner drug store in Hamilton, Ohio. (here’s the transcript for that skit) Continue reading
In all neighborhood kiddoms, there was a well established pecking order which was very simple to follow – grade level. It had been established hundreds of years ago and it helped to maintain order in the alley. Being the oldest didn’t necessarily mean you were the strongest in the alley, but we all respected the chain of command where it came to arguments or a minor shoving match. Never, I repeat, never did I ever witness anyone breaking this rule in the Prytania alley. The only exceptions were family fights. Following this rule helped us make sense of the world (and prevented riots). Continue reading
I must have been 15 years old at the time of this event I’m sharing. A guy named Randy was 16 and Randy was popular for many reasons, one being that he was the oldest kid in our particular age group…and had access to one something we all desired as blossoming teenagers. No, I’m not talking about Playboy magazines – I’m talking about a car! This was no average vehicle. No, it was the one and only Ralph Nader Death Machine, the Chevrolet Corvair, affectionately referred to us as “The Pic Mobile”. It belonged to Randy’s dad, but was the primary transportation for Randy, (known to us all in the neighborhood as Pic – short for Pickle). Continue reading
Boredom rarely struck growing up on Prytania Ave in the 70’s. That’s because on our city block alone, the parents there had birthed over 60 children…yes 60. Of course the ages were varied, but in my ‘baseball age group’ there were at least 30 kids to tap into for entertainment. One of my favorite night time summer games to play was called “purse”.
Playing purse was easy – all that was required was an old purse from a mom, a little patience and the primary secret ingredient – dog poop. We would play this game as the sun was going down. The ball games had ended for the day and it was time for serious evening entertainment. The game was the invention of Tim (who sadly is no longer with us). We would acquire an old purse from anyone’s mom and then we would place a few lumps from Tim’s dog kennel. Next we would wait for no passing cars and then one of us would run out to the middle of the street and drop the purse. We’d then hide and watch the fun unfold. I can’t recall just how many times a car would come by, stop to collect the purse and then about midway down the block we’d see the purse come flying out the window!
We’d laugh ourselves silly…..and then reset the bait, waiting for the next victim.