I write about buying lamps with S&H Green Stamps and youngsters stop me on the street and say, “How did you buy furniture with stamps……did the Post Office know?”

I write about buying lamps with S&H Green Stamps and youngsters stop me on the street and say, “How did you buy furniture with stamps……did the Post Office know?” I relate the afternoons we spent sliding down the embankment behind the swimming pool on cardboard boxes and folks look at me like I’ve lost my mind. I tell about calling Buddy Wiggleton and mention I didn’t need his phone number, I just told the operator I wanted to talk to Buddy. People dwell on that for a moment and say, “Operator?”

It’s the same with the dimmer switch on the floorboard of our 1951 Chevrolet. Or trying to explain how helpless you were if you couldn’t find the key to your roller skates. Or why it was four foul balls and you were out. And I don’t even want to bring up bobby sox, moon hubcaps or those little wax bottles filled with Coca-Cola.

I mentioned a week or so ago an old picture show that scared the bejeevies out of us back in the early fifties. I got emails asking me what kind of movie would be entitled “The Thing.” Or what kind of “Thing” was it? Was the “Thing” something like a zombie? Did they kill “The Thing” by driving a stake through its heart? Some just laughed at how odd the name sounded. And this was from people who pay eleven dollars to go see “The Force Awakens”, Terminator 3” and “The Revenant.”

I’m just thankful I’ve never featured “Beach Blanket Bingo” in any of my little blurbs.

Not many readers today can relate to sitting on the porch of the ice house on a hot July afternoon letting a little of the coolness from the blocks inside drift out to you. The conversation is about the weather, how many days it would take a man to walk to Memphis and if Mr. Kermit Holland milks all those cows out at the dairy by hand. Of course, you wouldn’t have to tell your parents where you’d been. The damp sawdust still clinging to your britches was a dead give away.

Who would believe we used to spend whole afternoons lying on our backs communicating with high passing clouds. They would talk to us as the shapes transformed before our imaginative eyes. I’ve seen the face of Geronimo. And Dorothy Kilgallen. Army tanks were always easy to spot. You could see an apple or an orange in near ’bout every cloud. Leon once saw Elvis dancing with Marilyn Monroe on an elephant’s back as it paraded across the infield in Yankee Stadium. I squinted, closed one eye and turned my whole body around so my head pointed north…..but I couldn’t see it.

Leon was the best cloud watcher in all of West Tennessee.

There are not many people left who have experienced the “story” of sitting on the front porch and guessing whether the next car to come by would be driven by Archie Moore or Max Manley……because those were the only two that lived out past the house. Folks would question your sanity if you told them you use to race the half mile to the railroad before school to lay a penny on the track. And then ran back over there when you got home to see if you could find the “flattened out coin.”

Today’s crowd would think “Indian burn” had something to do with Native Americans or fire. They’ve never saved a cereal box top or worn a cigar band on their finger. I bet there are kids today that have never accidently dropped a tiny “torn off piece” of a Brummitt Funeral Home cardboard fan out of the balcony at church watching breathlessly to see if it landed in Mrs. Ruth Collins’ wide brimmed hat.

This modern group wouldn’t know a sock hop from a Sadie Hawkins Dance. They’ve never owned a pair of white bucks, penny loafers or blue suede shoes. And they more than likely couldn’t tell you the difference between a ZagNut and a Clark Bar.

I’ve heard rumors there are people alive right now in the United States that have never tasted a Root Beer float or a double chocolate malt.

They wouldn’t believe you could “run a rabbit down” if the snow was high enough. They never one time squared off against a good friend in a watermelon throwing contest. And they’ve probably never pulled the top of a right good sized sapling over to the ground, laid their little brother on the highest limb “that would hold him” and created a human cannonball!

Maybe I’ve outlived my usefulness here. I’ve got baseball shoes older than some of my readers. I just celebrated (if that’s the right word) my seventieth birthday. That once sounded ancient to me but age gets more relative the longer you’re in it.

When I started these harmless little stories they were the musings of a young man…..I fear they have turned into the dodderings of an old one…..

 

Respectfully,

 

Kes