Measuring Up

I remember it as clearly as yesterday. There it was in my Weekly Reader: “By the year 2000, the United States and the rest of the world will be using the metric system.”

When you’re in the third grade, you typically don’t have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, so the Weekly Reader was pretty much my go-to publication for all things current and what would be decades in the future.

And believe me, in 1970, the year 2000 sounded like ...

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The Pinball Wizards of Wal Mart


My hometown of Ashdown, Arkansas, had Wal Mart #17. They’ve since built a Super Center, but during my early teen years, it was a small store.

It was the early 1970s and Sam Walton still made trips to the grand openings of his new stores. He was there when ours opened, ball cap, pick up truck, and all.

But at my age, I was far more interested in what was sitting in the entrance than what was inside the store.

A pinball machine.

It ...

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Water We Do Now?

When I was a kid, things didn’t break as often as they do now. If you bought something at Sears Lawn and Garden, you needed to run over it with an 18-wheeler to render it nonfunctional.

(Insert the sound of Tim Allen here)

Such used to be the case with lawn sprinklers. Made of steel or cast iron, the lawn sprinklers of the 50s and 60s were solid for watering your yard, and for making you dance when you stepped on one ...

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A Good Ribbing

In the South, the only thing you can say that’s considered bigger fightin’ words than, “Why didn’t you put beans in your chili?” is to speak ill of dry rub on ribs.

First, let me say that I don’t fall on either side of the chili or rib fences. I can consume chili with beans just as easily as I can devour St. Louis ribs with dry rub or a rack that’s been basted.

There are plenty of other things worth fighting ...

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