A Christmas Story Story

Of all of the movies that came out in 1983, it ranked #39 in ticket sales. That was ahead of Amityville 3-D, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, and Smokey and The Bandit III – but behind Porky’s II: The Next Day, Breathless, and the number one movie of the year – Return of The Jedi.

It’s likely that of all of the movies I just listed, you probably only remember two of them: Return of The Jedi – part of ...

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Who Are You?

My wife and I were watching the TV show “Blue Bloods,” and there was an episode where Tom Selleck’s character, who is the police chief of New York City, was asked by an injured officer on the force to investigate an incident with his son.

The dad had been shot in the line of duty and was not going to be allowed to return. He had asked for his son to be offered his position, but that had not happened.

The dad ...

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Is That Your Vinyl Answer?

Someone on Facebook recently posed the question, “What was the first record you ever bought?” I immediately remembered what it was.

It was a record by The Osmonds called, “Crazy Horses.” I saw it in a wire display rack at the Shurway Grocery Store in Ashdown, Arkansas, and it was .67 cents.

The reason I remember the cost is because someone had stamped the price on the record sleeve with one of those ink pricers that they used to use to put ...

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Leftover Leftovers

“It’s a leftover. What a sad word that is. Leftover. How would you like to be… a leftover? Well, it wouldn’t be bad if they were taking people out to be shot. I might even volunteer.” – George Carlin

 

Right about now, each of us is on roughly our third idea for how to do something different with all of the leftovers from Thanksgiving. We’ve eaten our fourth turkey sandwich, maybe tried to make turkey salad out of it, and the ...

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A Lure of Life

I don’t remember much about it, but I do remember riding a train.

The adventure began with a discussion about passenger train rides coming to an end. My mom and grandmother were discussing how sad it was that, before long, you wouldn’t be able to use the train as a means of travel.

The decision was made to take me on a train ride before the opportunity was gone.

I was about three years old.

This memory came back to me as we were ...

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Sticking With It

When I started driving in the early 1970s, many of the cars on the road had a manual transmission. Being less expensive than an automatic transmission, most kids had a stick shift. An automatic was a luxury, just like having an air conditioner, so that’s how a vast majority of young people learned how to drive – with a stick and no AC.

Today, if you look around, an air conditioner is in almost every vehicle. But the stick shift? Not ...

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A Guy I Once Knew

I first noticed him early one morning on the side of the road. He was sitting outside a fence that surrounded a small building.

You’ve seen those buildings. They’re one of those small, remote buildings that utility companies use for maintenance. Every now and then, you’ll see the gate and building door open and a company truck parked out front while the maintenance man or woman is inside doing whatever it is they do.

But this day, there was no open gate ...

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Cousins – Times Two

I opened my Facebook app on my phone and saw that I had three private messages.

Two were the typical, “Please forward this before a worldwide virus overtakes everyone on Facebook,” kind of thing. But one was a message from someone I don’t hear from often – my cousin, Randy.

Randy is the middle child of my mom’s oldest sister. He and his older brother, Doug, and I would hang out during holidays when we were growing up, but I also used ...

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Mel Blanc

I waited six months to talk to him. That’s what his receptionist told me the wait time was for an interview when I called his Beverly Hills office in early 1984.

Since he was my childhood idol, I was willing to wait the required one-half year to have him on my radio show. And wait, I did.

“Alright,” I said. “Six months from today is August 8th. What time should I call?”

“Noon,” she answered.

“Noon it is,” I responded. And then I ...

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I’ll Take The Fall

One of my most vivid memories of fall happened during junior high. I was standing in the end zone prior to the start of a game. I could barely feel my fingers and toes.

It was October, but it was unusually cold (Al Gore had yet to invent global warming). My shoulder pads, helmet, and other gear typically made me sweat profusely in the Arkansas heat and humidity. But a cold front, and the rain that pushed it through, had arrived.

I ...

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