A Number of Memories

There are some things in life that are reminders of who we once were, yet also of how we’ve changed into who we are now. The telephone is one such item.

As I recently dialed my parents phone number, just to check in on them, I thought about how their set of 10 numbers, randomly assigned to them by Ma Bell when Lyndon Johnson was the president, has been a constant for my family for over five decades. No ...

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April Fools’ and Elvis

 

This column will be my last. April marks four years that I’ve written one of these every week. It takes time to write a column, and it’s time for me to focus on other things. Thank you for reading what I’ve written and for supporting me during the last four years.

For my last column, and since today is April first, I want to end with a related story from my days in a different medium.

When I was still in the ...

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When Seconds Count

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who like leftovers, and those who won’t eat them.

I’ve never understood the resistance that some folks have to eating them. I’m not one of them. I love making a meal out of what wound up in the Tupperware containers over the previous few days.

Even the great comedian George Carlin mocked the word “leftover.” He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Leftover is such a sad word. Who would want to be ...

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Three Spears For Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the few vegetables that comes back on its own every year. But, it takes over two years for asparagus to begin growing to a point where you can harvest and eat it.

Asparagus requires its own garden patch and lots of attention. A whole lot. It is not easy to cultivate, but it is quite hardy once it gets going.

It’s worth the effort. Once it is established, it can grow for 20 years.

Asparagus is a member of ...

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And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

Advertising can be traced back to the earliest parts of recorded civilization. The Ancient Egyptians used advertising on papyrus for messages related to sales.

But, in my opinion, the pinnacle of ads and advertising mascots occurred between the early 1960s and the late 1970s.

Dinah Shore invited us to “See the USA in a Chevrolet,” and Miller Beer told us that, “If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer.”

The high caliber concept development of Speedy Alka Seltzer, Charlie Tuna, and Tony ...

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The Picture Shows

It was 50-cents to get in. The additional 50-cents my mom gave me covered the cost of popcorn and a Coke, plus more if I wanted a giant dill pickle.

Williams Theater was an institution in my hometown of Ashdown, Arkansas. Wedged between the store that sold Buster Brown shoes and Piggly Wiggly, generations of residents walked through its doors to enjoy an afternoon or evening away from their cares.

The first girl I ever went steady with, I met there.

The family ...

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The Table of Wisdom

 

The clanking of the plates and silverware was constant. The waitress smiled as she refilled the diner’s coffee cups. She laughed at the old men’s jokes. Jokes she’d heard many times before, but she always laughed. Her laughter made the men feel good, and it didn’t hurt her tips.

The cigarette smoke hovered in a thick haze under the ceiling tiles. After filling and refilling cups, she emptied their ashtrays.

This went on in constant repetition. So reliably that you could exit ...

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The TV Guide

There were three TV channels when I was a kid. The signals of two of them were reliable. The third was iffy. If there was a storm, CBS probably wasn’t going to have a picture.

Nestled in the southwest corner of Arkansas, my hometown was not near any of the television towers. Radio stations were plentiful, but the closest television stations were in Shreveport. Little Rock and Dallas had stations, but the signals didn’t reach us.

So, we subsisted ...

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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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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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