Stuck on Green Stamps

My mom and her mother saved 7 1/2 books to get us that swing set. Just three years before in 1966, my parents had saved to buy their first house. Money was tight, so, if my sister and I were going to have that new addition to the backyard, Green Stamps would be the key.

For families in America in the 60s and 70s, Green Stamps were part of life.

S&H Green Stamps are no longer available, but at their zenith, moms, ...

Continue Reading →
1

A Free Gift Inside!

My sister and I would make a beeline for the cereal aisle at the Piggly Wiggly while my mom did the shopping.

Decisions, decisions. Did we want to roll the dice and pick the cereal that promised the possibility of getting the coolest toy, or did we want to go with cereal we liked since, either way, we’d have to eat the whole box?

They were called product premiums, and you don’t see them much anymore.

The marketers of American products used to ...

Continue Reading →
0

Where The Heck Is Tyler, Texas?

“Where the heck is Tyler, Texas?”

My question didn’t surprise the guy on the other end of the line, and he chuckled.

It was early 1987. I was a 24-year-old disc jockey with a young family, and the job I had at the time just wasn’t working out. Shockingly, six months into the gig, the manager at the station reneged on my compensation package and cut my salary.

If you aren’t familiar with the radio business, being lied to and underpaid are hallmarks ...

Continue Reading →
0

The Cat On The Mat

After living in the city my entire life, in 2003, we decided to give country living a try.

The transition wasn’t too different from Eddie Albert’s Manhattan to Hooterville move on the TV show, “Green Acres.” The only difference was that I wasn’t a wealthy New York attorney and our move was from Tyler to South of Whitehouse. Other than that, it was exactly the same.

I grew up in rural Arkansas, so I’d been around country settings in my youth, but ...

Continue Reading →
0

Name Dropping

Most old-school celebrities are just regular folks.

There are very few celebrities I’ll spend money to see, but Jay Leno made the list.

We sat in the audience waiting for him to take the stage, and when he did, he didn’t disappoint. He’s one of the few comedians left who can be non-stop funny for 90 minutes without being vulgar.

We didn’t get to meet Jay, but he seems like a nice guy. He has that reputation in the show ...

Continue Reading →
0

The Dream Car

It was the car I’d always wanted. A 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 Convertible.

I found it one morning while cruising (pun intended) on eBay. The guy who owned it and had it for sale lived just east of me, a few miles across the Louisiana line.

It was red, with large white stripes on the hood. From the photos, it looked to be in great condition for a 32-year-old car. I stared at it on the computer screen.

I wanted this car.

My love ...

Continue Reading →
0

TV Or Not TV? That is the question

I don’t understand the new TV shows.

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. Shows such as “Cops,” “World’s Wildest Police Chases,” and “Judge Judy,” are fairly straightforward. Some of those programs even remind me of family members. But, I’m getting off track.

We’ve come a long way from “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Happy Days,” and “Touched By An Angel.”

I often wake up early and sometimes spend a few hours alone, which gives me complete control of the TV remote. This ...

Continue Reading →
0

The Canning Jar Quest

Forty-five years ago, my mother began collecting a series of antique canning jars. I can’t remember why this happened, but my best guess is that she came across one that was unique, she liked it, and she bought it.

This purchase would start a chain reaction and a multi-year search for my family.

Specifically, she sought green Atlas jars with glass lids. These were also known as “Lightning Jars.” Allegedly, the name came from how much faster they were to open than ...

Continue Reading →
0

Diners, Drive-Ins and Memories

Chain restaurants are rapidly replacing what I believe has been one of the best facets of small town America: the local diner or restaurant.

Unexpectedly and unannounced, the drive-in in our small town closed last week. In fairness, it was a Sonic, which technically is a chain restaurant, but it wasn’t a corporate location, it was locally owned.

Whenever we lose an eatery that was owned by someone who lives in our town, we lose a little bit of who we are.

After ...

Continue Reading →
0

Match Game Is Unmatched

Once upon a time, daytime television was filled with game shows, people winning prizes, and funny celebrities. I miss those days, and one game show in particular. Match Game.

During the midday hours of the summer breaks in the mid-1970s, just about the only thing on TV that a kid wanted to watch were game shows.

We stayed with my grandmother during those summer days. She watched game shows too, but she mainly watched soap operas, or as she called them, her ...

Continue Reading →
2
Page 4 of 19 «...23456...»