Making Cents

The first coins minted by the U.S. Government were struck in 1783. The use of coins as a means of payment dates to the 5th or 6th Century BCE.

For over 50 years beginning in the 1960s, coins were a means of connecting with my dad.

“Always check your change. Look for wheat pennies, Indian head pennies, buffalo nickels, and any dimes dated 1964 or before,” my dad would frequently remind me.

Wheat pennies are called that because of the sheaf that appears ...

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Leaving It To Beaver

During my 20-plus years of working in the radio business, I met and interviewed many celebrities. Virtually all of them were promoting something (a new movie, record, book, or something else they were trying to sell), which is why they were spending time with me.

We weren’t hanging out because we were best buds or because they thought I was interesting. I had an audience and they needed to reach them to further their career.

Almost all of the celebrities I met ...

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Thanks For The Warning

My wife left town to visit relatives, so I had the fridge and TV all to myself.

TV used to be three channels. You watched whatever was on. Choice was not a choice.

Today, we have Netflix, Hulu, and other internet-based streaming services that allow us to watch just about anything we want at anytime we want.

As I ate things I wasn’t supposed to eat, and devoured movies my wife likely wouldn’t have watched, there was a similar message on the TV ...

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Night Lights

They used to be as common as sonic booms.

I’m referring to fireflies. Where I grew up, we called them lightning bugs. And for the first time in years (decades, actually), I saw them again. Everywhere.

I went out one evening to our patio to feed our peacock when I noticed a dim light out of the corner of my eye.

I looked and it was gone. But then there it was again. And another near it. Then another.

It clicked as to what ...

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It Becomes A Parent

There is a bond between a grandfather and his grandchildren that is like no other. He would trade all that he has for that one, single feeling that his grandchildren bring to him each time that they talk, smile, walk into a room, or proudly tell him that they’ve caught more fish than he has.

When you are a child, you love your parents, but there is a bond between you and your grandparents that is unique.

One could speculate that this ...

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Breaker, Breaker Good Buddy

Before there was Facebook, there was the CB radio. It was how Americans talked to each other.

During a few years in the 1970s, the CB radio, short for citizens band, was about as big as social media is today. We didn’t need the 10 o’clock news to tell us what was going on, we had each other. By purchasing a base radio for your home or a mobile radio for your vehicle, you could key the mic and talk to ...

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Not By Bread Alone

I was almost home from a very long drive when I saw the first estate sale sign. Exhausted, I paused for a moment trying to decide whether to turn or keep going.

That tells you how tired I was since I almost never pass up an estate sale.

I made the turn and followed the first sign to the second, then the third, finally arriving at the address. But, there was no sign in front of the house. It was 3 in ...

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Riding Like The Wind

The summer of 1980 was one of the hottest I recall.

The windows were down in my 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass. They were always down in the summer. I couldn’t afford to fix the air conditioner. But that summer was particularly brutal.

When I was young and broke, the summer heat was simply a fact life.

But, music? Music was life.

I was in college and had a pretty girl who allowed me to call her my girlfriend. The local radio station gave me the ...

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Scones And Other Nonsense

It’s remarkable how much people will pay for food that sounds fancy.

Take scones for example. Please, take them. All of them.

If you go into one of those fancy coffee shops that charges the same price for a drink as I pay for an oil change, you often will be asked if you’d like a scone to go with your order.

Don’t do it. It’s a trick.

The first time I was offered a scone, I expected something that exploded when I tasted ...

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The Fix Was In

Mr. Harless’ TV and radio repair shop wasn’t on Main Street, but it wasn’t far from it.

The hardware store and clothing shops took up most of the main drag through my hometown of Ashdown, Arkansas.

But, if you turned east off of Highway 71 on the street just before the city’s sole flashing red light, you’d find Mr. Harless’ fix-it shop.

He often was sitting with his back to the window as he worked.

In the 1960s, television was still fairly new ...

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