Vintage Bowls

We were watching one of my wife’s favorite cooking shows when she noticed a set of colored bowls the woman on the television was using.

“My mother used to have a set of bowls just like that!” she said. “I always loved those bowls. I wonder whatever happened to them? I wonder if she still has them? I’d love to have a set of those. They bring back so may memories!”

Before she had finished the last two sentences, I was already ...

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Driving Without A License

 

I was sitting in the living room on the avocado green couch watching daytime TV when I heard the back door open.

I was the only one home, but I didn’t even turn around to see who it was. In the mid-1970s in Arkansas, you didn’t worry about who was coming in your house. People just let themselves in. Especially if it was a relative.

I heard my uncle’s voice.

“Hey,” he said. “I need you to drive a car home for me ...

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Thanksgiving Monopoly

The holidays are just around the corner and with their arrival, many universal family rituals return. When individuals who haven’t seen each other since last Thanksgiving (or sometimes even longer) reunite to partake of good food, football, and gossip about the relatives who didn’t show up, inevitably, out come the board games, decks of cards, and puzzles.

Now, you’re either all in or all out on games and puzzles at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some people live for the annual 8-hour game ...

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Ms. Bobby

 

The building looked bigger, but I was certain it was the same one.

The last time I had been inside was 1977. I was 15, a sophomore in high school, and the facility’s chief dishwasher. As a matter of fact, I’m fairly certain that I was the facility’s only dishwasher.

County Seat Fried Chicken was my hometown’s only fried chicken restaurant at the time. With only slightly over 5,000 on the city limit sign, KFC and Church’s didn’t have franchises in towns ...

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A Cup Of Joe

Joe DiMaggio was great for baseball, but bad for coffee.

The man who got a hit in 56 straight games in 1941 and married Marilyn Monroe, could do no wrong in the eyes of most people. I agree except for one thing: he killed the percolator.

Prior to 1972, most American households used a percolator to brew their morning beans. But, that year, two bad things happened. Richard Nixon was re-elected, and the Mr. Coffee drip brewing system debuted.

I’m sure there will ...

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Happy Holidaze

 

The holidays all run together now. I don’t mean literally, I mean at the store.

Used to be, when you went into a Ben Franklin 5 & 10, Western Auto, Otasco, or Sears, you knew what holiday it was.

If it was almost Halloween, the appropriate decorations, costumes, and candy were on the shelf. My mom would take my sister and me to the store and we’d pick out a costume and then patiently wait for October 31 to roll around so ...

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The Chicken Fried Stakes

 

There is a short list of things in the South that you’d better know how to do correctly or someone will quickly say, “Bless your heart.”

Making a good chicken fried steak is near the top of that list. There’s a lot at stake when it comes to claiming you make a good one. Pun intended.

For the most part, cooks south of the Mason Dixon Line know how to make a decent chicken fried steak. Those who don’t, know which restaurants ...

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The Fouke Monster

 

When I was a kid in the early 1970s, the Fouke Monster was around every corner. At least, that was how I saw things as a 10-year-old.

For those who aren’t familiar with this Sasquatch-like creature, the Fouke Monster allegedly roamed (some say, still roams) the river bottoms and woods in and around Fouke, Arkansas, which is about 40 miles southeast of where I grew up in Ashdown.

At the time, several newspapers were reporting about people who had not only seen ...

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Bacon

I was rummaging through the freezer when something caught my eye. Bacon.

But, this wasn’t just any bacon, this was fully-cooked bacon.

I reached into the door of the freezer and removed the smaller-than-normal package. I read the label. It said that it did not require refrigeration or freezing. So, this bacon presumably could last forever, putting it in the same class as Hostess Twinkies and Velveeta.

I’m guessing that my wife put this bacon in the freezer out of habit.

So, how was ...

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I’ll Do It Myself

I understand that people have to make a living, but sometimes, the markup on repair services borders on ridiculous.

Case in point: I was recently walking on the treadmill, when it suddenly just stopped.

Now, I know that this is shocking, but try to get past the part about me being on a treadmill and focus on the rest of the story.

We bought a state-of-the-art treadmill from Sears back in 2002. The guy sold me this newfangled piece of exercise equipment that ...

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