Stranded During The Holidays

It wasn’t so long ago that people who could afford to decorate the outside of their house were limited to a few strands of Christmas lights. Sometimes, it was all they could afford. Other times it had to do with a dad’s patience.

Today, people put up light shows that shine all over their house and front yard that are timed to music, and can often be tuned in on a car radio by those who drive by to see the ...

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Toying With History

Christmas toys used to be simple. They fell into a handful of categories. For the most part, boys got army stuff. Girls received dolls.

A recent online check of top-selling toys proves this is no longer the case. What kids receive on Christmas morning these days is not G.I. Joe or Barbie. Matter of fact, I don’t really understand what most of it is.

There’s a photo of me that my mom took when I was around three. I received an army ...

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And That’s An Order

They call it Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. I’ve always had it, even before it had a name.

Well, maybe it had a name in fancy academic circles, but in our tiny little red brick house on Beech Street in Ashdown, my dad just called it, “afflicted.”

First, let me say that I’m not making fun of people with OCD. That’s the job of the writers on the TV show, Monk. Even if I am making fun of OCD, I get a ...

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Easy as Pie

The journey the average Southern dad must take to arrive at his annual Thanksgiving meal is one filled with roadblocks and relatives. But with some effort, he can successfully navigate it.

Today, dad drives the family vehicle to a destination that mom negotiated in advance. But once upon a time, there was hope.

When dad was a kid, his parents loaded his sister and him into the backseat of the Buick and everyone went to grandma and grandpa’s house. It was an ...

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Where There’s a Will

A child wrote his name and address on the cover of the book. The writing is printed, not in cursive. So, he was young.

Most children know better than to write on or in a book. The child must have valued the book greatly and didn’t want anyone else to try and take it.

I know for a fact that he valued it. That child was me.

Published in 1964, the book “Ribsy” is about a dog that becomes separated from his family ...

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Silence Of The Limbs

When I first started driving, my arms and legs all had assignments. But now, fewer of my limbs have something to do when I’m going down the road. The car and the computers that operate the car are doing more. I’m doing less.

The dimmer switch in the floor is gone. First, they moved the dimmer switch to the blinker arm. But these days, the car dims its own lights when you meet an oncoming vehicle.

I’m not sure why we even ...

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It’s A Sign

Before the realization of Eisenhower’s dream of The Interstate Highway System, America traveled the back roads. State highways, county roads, and main streets were the way to get where you were going.

And during the formative years of many of today’s Americans, trips and roadways were lined with cleverly styled and memorable advertising.

The roads of mid-20th Century America were filled with creative and appealing pitches, which were a far sight better than the paid-and-staid exit signs we pass today on our ...

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Something To Show

If we need proof that the TV shows we grew up with were great, look no further than the fact that they’re still popular today.

We consume Leave It To Beaver, Perry Mason, The Rockford Files, Happy Days, and many others, at a rate much higher than we ever could when they originally aired.

Until fairly recently, we had to wait until a new episode aired. Most shows were a weekly series, but shows such as Columbo, McCloud, and McMillan and Wife ...

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The Candy, Man

Candy corn is the fruitcake of Halloween candy. There are people who say they like candy corn, but I don’t believe them.

If candy corn is that great, why do people only buy it once a year?

Same for fruitcake. People give them as gifts during the holidays, but I think they’re gifts for people they don’t like.

 

Wife: “Honey, what do you want to give the Johnsons for Christmas?”

Husband: “Give them that fruitcake we got from them last year.”

Wife: “I thought you ...

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Making Room

When you grow up, you make your entire house your own. Actually, your wife makes it like she wants. But when you’re a kid, your room is the only place you have where everything can be just like you like it.

The only new house my parents ever built was constructed in 1974. Prior to that, we lived in a small red brick house that was built post-World War II. Before that, my parents rented a white, framed house that was ...

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