Where There’s A Will

I saw a T-shirt that said, “I like a couple of my buddies, my dog, and that’s about it.”

It substantiated what I had long felt, seldom said, and had heard from others. Many of us like our dogs better than most people. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Every time we lose a dog, I always say I’ll never get another one. It just hurts too much. And if I’m honest, which I am, the hurt often exceeds ...

Continue Reading →

Shelter From The Storm

My uncle’s mother, Mrs. Ward, had a storm shelter. And I snuck into it every chance I got. Few others had one, so a storm shelter was absolutely fascinating to me.

At least, a storm shelter is what they told all of the kids it was. It doubled as a storm shelter, but it was actually a bomb shelter.

In mid-20th Century America, most kids were kept in the dark about a lot of things, including potential thermonuclear war.

When I was growing ...

Continue Reading →

Now We’re Cooking

When Eisenhower, JFK, and LBJ were in office, rarely would you find a kitchen that didn’t have an electric skillet.

Waking up each morning to the smell of bacon, sausage, and fried potatoes was just how the world turned in 1960s Ashdown, Arkansas.

And an electric skillet was part of what made that possible.

Moms across the South used cast iron to fry up meals, but there were only so many skillets and spaces on the stovetop. That’s where the electric skillet came ...

Continue Reading →

Brushing Up

It takes a lot of trust to let someone shave your face with a straight razor. But from what the old timers used to say, there’s no better or closer shave.

My great grandfather shaved with a mug, brush, and straight razor. So did other men in my family.

As a child growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, I would watch them lather up the soap with their brush. The ads on TV showed convenient cans of all kinds of shaving cream, but ...

Continue Reading →

A Big Phoney

Kids today have no idea what real phones were like. I do. And I miss them.

I still have a hard time comprehending how I can talk to someone on a phone that isn’t attached to the kitchen wall. On a phone that was harvest gold, avocado green, or in my family’s case, lemon yellow.

And phones used to have weight to them. Especially the ones at our older relatives homes. The handsets could have been used to prop up a Buick ...

Continue Reading →

Food For Thought

If you see a church cookbook, buy it. When women in a church are asked to submit their best recipes for a fundraiser, they bring their A game.

They do not want to be outdone. You will not find better recipes anywhere else.

I’ve admitted this before. I’m a cookbook addict. When my wife sees me coming through the door with an armload of books, she knows I’ve found an estate or garage sale and bought every cookbook they had.

And there’s no ...

Continue Reading →

Like A Fine Whine

When I was growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, I thought every adult was old. I really couldn’t tell how old someone was, I just knew that they looked old to me, so they were.

Maybe that’s why the young man gave me the discount.

About a dozen years ago, I went in early one morning to a restaurant that served breakfast. It’s gone now, but when it was around it was one of the few places where you could get real homemade ...

Continue Reading →

And A One And A Two

Saturday night 50 years ago, who else was held hostage by their grandparents and Lawrence Welk?

By their other grandparents and Hee Haw?

Back then a handful of relatives and three channels were all we needed to have good, clean entertainment and quality time with those we loved.

At the time, it seemed like TV prison. I would’ve rather watched The Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family but those shows weren’t options at my grandparents house.

We watched what they wanted, which was typically ...

Continue Reading →

Book ’em

My grandfather was a blacksmith. To supply his shop with the metal, wood, and other materials he needed to operate, he attended auctions. Auctions that sold all types of items.

Since his shop was in Ashdown, Arkansas, that gave him close proximity to the auctions frequently held in Oklahoma. Hugo, Broken Bow, and other Sooner State locales were rich with things he needed to fabricate his living.

One Thursday night a month, my sister and I went with our grandfather and grandmother ...

Continue Reading →

Thank You Very Much

There are events that are so significant that virtually everyone can tell you where they were when they happened.

The loss of Kennedy, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, the moon landing, and of course 911.

But the death of Elvis came to mind recently when someone mentioned it was his birthday. When I looked up his birth year I was taken aback.

Elvis would have been almost 90. The age of 88 to be exact.

What’s even more jarring is that he’s been gone ...

Continue Reading →
Page 1 of 32 12345...»